One of the hottest restaurant categories today is drive-thru coffee, with brands like Dutch Bros, 7 Brew, and Scooter’s quickly expanding across the country. But those chains aren’t alone in the drive-thru-only, caffeinated-beverage space. In fact, another brand has a much less crowded path toward national expansion.
Swig, the Utah-based concept with 59 locations in seven states, offers soda-based beverages that leverage the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper and mix in creams, purees, and other ingredients. This distinct menu — which also includes energy drinks and water-based options — has helped Swig make a name for itself and ink franchise deals for hundreds of locations. CEO Rian McCartan believes Swig has “runway for days.”
McCartan joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about how the brand plans to capitalize on essentially infinite runway and how it manages to do the unthinkable: work with both of the soda titans, Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
In this conversation, you’ll learn more about why:
- The first rule of expansion is to remember your roots
- You can be highly technical and highly personable at the same time
- Scarcity marketing can be a successful growth strategy
- Beverage concepts will always find an audience, but they must be unique and relevant to survive
- By tapping into customers’ emotional relationship to products, you build trust and show those customers that you’re listening to them
Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].