SONIC Menu Updates Keep Customers Coming Back

The addition of new frozen Custard Concretes to our Million Drink Menu drives customer loyalty — and revenues

SONIC Drive-In FranchiseA cornerstone of SONIC®’s five daypart strategy is our exhaustive combination of refreshing drink choices. The Million Drink Menu features more than a million possible combinations of beverages and refreshing, iconic treats, and customers know when it comes time to tickle that sweet tooth, they only need to point their car in the direction of America’s Drive-InⓇ.

At SONIC, we’re committed to keeping customers coming back time and time again with an ever-evolving selection of beverages and frozen treats. Whether it’s a menu stalwart such as our cherry limeade or the introduction of new flavors in our signature frozen Custard Concretes line-up, this devotion to keeping our menu fresh is a key component driving our iconic brand’s innovation year after year.

“Our drinks menu is just one of the many reasons customers are devoted to their local SONIC, and that’s because we go out of our way to make sure every expectation and desire they have during their visit is met,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Development for SONIC. “When you look at other franchise concepts in the QSR space, we’re head and shoulders above the competition on both the diversity of menu offerings and the level of customer retention. That’s a winning combination for a franchise.”

SONIC is America’s Drive-In, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. An iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. Over the past six decades, SONIC has become an integral part of the American experience, and our menu is just one of the many reasons why. Here are a couple more:

Our Five Daypart strategy keeps customers coming back

One of the biggest advantages SONIC holds over the competition is our powerful five daypart strategy, which separates each service day into Morning, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner and After Dinner. At the heart of this strategy is our diverse menu.

sonic franchise

No other QSR can compete with our five daypart strategy, and that’s nowhere more clear than the breakdown of franchise performance during each of these dayparts. In fact, our five daypart strategy is so powerful that less than half of franchise revenues come from the Lunch and Dinner dayparts. Approximately 52 percent of average revenues are generated during the Morning, Afternoon and After Dinner periods.

Put another way, the highest margin products — breakfast, beverages and desserts — are driving the majority of our average revenues. That means bigger revenues and higher margins.

Innovative and popular marketing keeps our brand top-of-mind between visits

It’s one thing to say our customers come back again and again. It’s another thing when they are kept constantly reminded of their community’s SONIC through innovative and high-visibility marketing efforts, such as our award-winning Two Guys campaign.

When combined with television, print and billboard advertising as well as online social media strategies, the SONIC name and brand are always top-of-mind for our customers. That way, when they think, “I want a snack,” they think, “it’s time to go to SONIC.”

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

You can make SONIC® Drive-In an integral part of your American experience by bringing America’s Drive-In to your community today. For in-depth details about the SONIC® Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

SONIC is Bringing Back Vintage Favorites

America’s Drive-In revitalizes classic menu with fan favorites like Pancake on a Stick while introducing innovative new slushies and other items

SONIC MenuSONIC® is always looking for ways to innovate while remaining true to our roots. Our company was born out of innovation, like when our founder, Troy Smith, placed speakers in the drive-in stalls of the very first SONIC location. Over the years, a lot has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is our commitment to the delicious, made-to-order menu items that make SONIC, America’s Drive-In® an unforgettable dining experience.

When you’re a brand that’s been in business for over 60 years, you develop a fanbase that spans generations, with everyone from Grandma to Junior turning out to gather, eat and celebrate. A bit of nostalgia inevitably accompanies this long history, with guests associating “the good old days” with their memories of SONIC.

Consequently, when we decide to revive a vintage favorite like Pancake on a Stick, customers take notice. The response to this new item has been extremely enthusiastic, with publications like Fortune, Business Insider and Brand Eating taking notice.

“The customer and media response to the return of Pancake on a Stick has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing. “Pancake on a Stick epitomizes SONIC’s commitment to providing a new generation of millennial consumers with dining options to fit their mobile lifestyles. At the same time, the Pancake on a Stick also appeals to long-time customers with its nostalgic, vintage associations.”

Simultaneously, we continue to innovate. We recently introduced the new Ice Cream Slush, which features SONIC’s Real Ice Cream added to any classic Slush flavor. With this new item, customers now have more ways than ever to enjoy our delicious frozen treat offerings.

SONIC is America’s Drive-In®, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. An iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion, which means that now is the time to join SONIC, as we set a goal of 1,000 new Drive-Ins by the end of 2024.

SONIC offers tasty food options to fit customers’ mobile lifestyles

Customers can’t stop raving about SONIC’s diverse, delicious, endlessly customizable menu options. We prepare every item fresh to ensure the utmost quality, while at the same time offering a destination dining experience that gives customers the chance to grab a quick bite or gather to celebrate life’s everyday occasions. This winning combination has kept customers coming back for generations.

Our menu is the result of over 60 years of history and innovation. That’s why we’re excited to announce that Pancake on a Stick, a past fan favorite, is making a comeback at local drive-ins. This irresistible breakfast mashup is a breakfast sausage link wrapped in a warm, fluffy pancake and served on a stick with a side of sweet, maple syrup.

“Our Pancake on a Stick is the ultimate breakfast combination, with a pancake wrapped around a savory sausage, that’s perfect for guests on the go,” said Scott Uehlein, Vice President of Product Innovation and Development at SONIC. “The new Breakfast Deals, including the Pancake on a Stick, give guests the chance to customize their morning with a variety of their favorite breakfast items.”

The SONIC menu maximizes five dayparts to keep revenues consistent

The SONIC menu is like nothing else in the QSR space. While other QSR franchises typically experience “slumps” in business during the late afternoon and late evening, SONIC’s menu is specially designed to ensure consistent sales throughout all five parts of the day. We call this the BLADE strategy (Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner, Evening), and it’s one of the keys to SONIC’s steady year-over-year sales growth.

SONIC Menu

What’s more, the sheer diversity of our menu options means that there’s something for everyone no matter what the time of day. Whether it’s a busy white-collar worker who needs a portable breakfast before work, a construction worker looking to grab a filling lunch or a soccer mom who wants to grab her kids a frozen treat after a sports practice, America’s Drive-In is there to meet the need.

The new Ice Cream Slush is a perfect example of this multiple daypart strategy. Adding this item to our SONIC Nights promotion is just one more reason for customers to come to SONIC at night, helping to keep sales volume up when other QSR franchises are practically empty.

“By offering such a variety of craveable, one-of-a-kind ingredients mixed into our rich, creamy Real Ice Cream, our guests are able to have a new Shake experience every night of the week for half price,” said Scott Uehlein. “This year, we added the new Ice Cream Slush, marrying our tangy, famous, real fruit Slush flavors with Real Ice Cream, making SONIC the perfect place to socialize with your friends and family at an unbeatable price.”

America’s Drive-In is the perfect fit for your local community

Just as SONIC’s menu has something for every customer’s need, SONIC also has a concept to fit communities both big and small. We offer a variety of franchise models that work everywhere from a busy travel plaza to an all-American small town. Wherever you are, there’s likely a franchise opportunity that works for you.

SONIC is in the midst of a major expansion push, with particular interest in bringing our brand to the Midwest and Northeast. At the same time, there is still plenty of room for growth in our core territories. What matters most is that you’re a savvy entrepreneur who knows your local community better than anyone. If this sounds like you, we’d love you to become part of the SONIC franchise family.

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

For in-depth details about the SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

New Downtown Baton Rouge SONIC Franchise Prototype Opens

America’s Drive-In experiments with new restaurant design adapted for urban environment

Here at SONIC, we’re proud to say that innovation has been a part of our company from day one. Our founder, Troy Smith, started a tradition of innovation when he made the decision to install speakers in the drive-in stalls of the burger stand that would eventually become SONIC. Today, we continue Troy’s commitment to innovation, leveraging new technologies to create the best customer experience possible.

That’s why we’re excited to highlight the opening of a new SONIC franchise prototype in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This new location, located in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge, differs from our traditional drive-in franchise design. In order to better serve customers in a dense urban area, this prototype location forgoes drive-in stalls in favor of a larger indoor dining area and a double drive-thru window.

SONIC Franchise Expansion

According to Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, the new design was a strategic decision on the part of franchisee Larry Tucker, who owns more than twenty SONIC franchises. “With all the traffic in and out of downtown they thought this concept would work well at that location,” says Donnie Jarreau, who developed the site. Larry’s decision is a great example of how to locate a SONIC franchise for maximum revenue and sales volume.

“America’s Drive-In is proud to work with innovative franchisees like Larry Tucker,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing. “SONIC couldn’t continue its innovation without the support of franchisees willing to experiment with new concepts. This goes to show that much of the best innovation is franchisee-driven, since dedicated franchisees know their markets better than anyone.”

SONIC is America’s Drive-In®, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. An iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion, which means that now is the time to join SONIC, as we set a goal of 1,000 new Drive-Ins by the end of 2024.

New restaurant prototype continues SONIC’s strong tradition of innovation

As America’s Drive-In has entered the 21st century, we’ve found more ways than ever to use technology to offer our customers the best QSR experience in the industry. For example, the introduction of POPS (point of personalized service) has allowed us to offer customized menu suggestions to guests based on their order history. And this summer, we’ll also test mobile ordering at select locations, giving customers even more control over the already distinctive SONIC experience.

All of these technological innovations, of course, serve our larger mission of providing our guests with made-to-order hot food, delicious drinks and frozen treats, all with the best customer service in the business. Unlike other QSRs, SONIC is a destination dining experience, a place where people from all walks of life gather to celebrate everyday special moments from morning until night. With innovations such as our new Baton Rouge prototype location, we aim to bring enjoyment of the SONIC experience to even more customers.

SONIC offers franchisees a variety of franchise models to fit their needs

SONIC Franchise ExpansionSONIC understands that our franchisees operate in as many markets as there are communities across America. Because of that, we offer a diverse range of franchise models to help our franchisees provide guests with the best experiences possible. Whether it’s the traditional drive-in that built our company’s foundation, the indoor dining model to help serve guests in colder climates or bold new innovations like the Baton Rouge prototype, SONIC has a model designed for your market.

The introduction of this new prototype in Baton Rouge represents exciting potential for serving communities in areas where traffic patterns and building density make one of our traditional drive-ins impractical. We’re excited to see where things go with this concept, and we bet it’s yet another hallmark of SONIC’s bright future.

Become part of SONIC’s innovation-driven growth

There has never been a better time to open a SONIC Drive-In franchise. We offer a QSR investment with remarkable momentum driven by three things: leadership from our exceptional franchise support team, a diverse menu that maximizes all five dayparts and increased brand recognition generated by our popular national Two Guys advertising campaign.

SONIC is growing across the country, and we still have available territories throughout the United States. Franchisees continue to join the SONIC family, which means no matter where our customers go, they’ll find a SONIC restaurant and feel at home. That’s just one of the many factors driving more than 3 million customers to our drive-in restaurants each and every day.

The franchise fee for a single unit is $45,000, with a total estimated investment for a traditional SONIC ranging from $1.07 million to $2.36 million (excluding land). The net worth of a partner can be used toward the total net worth/liquidity requirements, which helps ease cash flow for your opening. The term of a traditional SONIC franchise is 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal.

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

For in-depth details about the SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

How SONIC’s National Buying Power Benefits Franchisees

America’s Drive-In leverages over $1.2 billion national buying power to optimize operational efficiency, raise brand awareness and achieve steady sales growth

SONIC's Buying PowerWhen you decide to start a new business venture, you want to make sure you’re investing your hard-earned capital in a way that minimizes potential risks and maximizes potential revenue. If you decide to invest in a SONIC® franchise, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve chosen a brand that will use its large national buying power to help your new franchise thrive.

With a national purchasing power of over $1.2 billion, SONIC is a QSR powerhouse. We leverage our substantial purchasing power to spread awareness of your franchise, all while optimizing operational efficiency to keep costs low. Consequently, America’s Drive-In® continues to see year-over-year growth in average sales, making now an exciting time to invest in a SONIC franchise.

“America’s Drive-In is in a time of substantial growth and expansion,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing. “We’re moving beyond our core territories and turning our sights to the still largely untapped markets on the East and West coasts. As we expand, we’re using our 10-figure national buying power to create demand for our brand even in markets where we have no physical presence. At the same time, we’re using unit-level economics to keep costs down and sales high. We remain committed to serving unmatched food and beverage options backed by superior customer service and a ‘destination’ dining experience.”

SONIC is America’s Drive-In, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. An iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years of history, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion, which means that now is the time to join SONIC, as we set a goal of 1,000 new Drive-Ins by the end of 2024.

If you decide to join us in this expansion push, you’ll have our superstar brand and massive purchasing power behind you the whole time, making your investment a smart QSR franchise pick.

SONIC optimizes unit-level economics for maximum efficiency

At SONIC, we’re all about helping you maximize your investment. One way we do this is to optimize unit-level economics, leveraging our national buying power and closely analyzing individual store sales to continually improve efficiency. Furthermore, our franchise leadership team is unmatched, and our teams work collaboratively to maximize efficiency and profits across all facets of the business. Having such a team behind you is essential to making your franchise venture a model of excellence.

SONIC's Buying Power

National buying power of over $1.2 billion helps us control costs system-wide. In addition, SONIC’s purchasing department works closely with marketing and innovation teams to ensure every SONIC restaurant has 100-percent availability of the right product at the best costs. As a franchisee, this level of support lets you focus on other activities such as managing your teams and building business relationships in your community.

Large advertising budget and innovative marketing create pent-up demand for SONIC in growth territories

While the foundation of SONIC’s business model is creating a destination where customers can enjoy quality, fresh food and beverages with exceptional service, we also support these core efforts with a marketing engine that’s second to none.

We use our national cable advertising campaign, which is a large portion of our $200 million annual marketing budget, to achieve automatic brand recognition in geographic regions that are not yet home to SONIC. This means people are excited about your franchise before you decide to open the doors; and when you do open the doors, you’ll have customers eagerly waiting.

What’s more, advertising campaigns such as our wildly successful Two Guys appeal especially to millennials, who make up the largest group of consumers in the United States with a total population of 80 million. According to research from Morgan Stanley, 53 percent of millennials eat out once a week, which represents a substantial market your SONIC franchise can serve.

America’s Drive-In uses substantial purchasing power to achieve steady sales growth

SONIC’s commitment to operational excellence, backed by our national purchasing power and brand recognition, have helped us achieve steady growth. We experienced five consecutive years of growth from 2012 to 2016, with average sales growing from $1.07 million to $1.28 million.

As we expand, we plan to continue this growth trend, and we’re looking for the best of the best entrepreneurs to help us realize our vision. With markets all along the East and West coast without a substantial SONIC presence, as well as core markets with plenty of room for growth, a SONIC franchise represents one of the most exciting potential investments in the contemporary QSR space.

SONIC is a great fit for both communities big and small, with the potential for locations in all different kinds of markets. We offer a menu that maximizes sales across all five dayparts, keeping revenue steady at times of the day when other QSR franchises typically see business slumps. Every step of the way, we’ll support you with an industry-leading training program designed to set new franchises up for success.

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

For in-depth details about the SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

SONIC Franchise Review: An Interview with Nashville Area Owner David Watson

SONIC Drive-In franchisee discusses decades of success that’s taken him from carhop to multi-unit owner

Sonic's Multi-Unit Owner Franchisee David WatsonDavid Watson has built his current empire of 26 successful SONIC Drive-In franchise locations primarily in middle Tennessee. His success through the decades embodies the American dream so many of our franchisees share.

David’s journey as an entrepreneur began on skates in a SONIC parking lot in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he spent his teenage years delivering burgers and tots. He stayed on board with SONIC through college and before finishing his degree went to work full-time for America’s Drive-In®, opening new restaurants all over the country.

“This was during the big boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s when we were opening locations every week,” David says. “Then I fell in love with a girl.”

The rest, as they say, is history. David got married, went back to school and got his master’s degree in business and began a new career outside of SONIC but thought about his time at SONIC daily.

In the mid-1980s David was driving from Memphis to Atlanta and stopped in Franklin, Tennessee, where he spotted a former SONIC drive-in that had been converted into a liquor store. “I paid $150,000 for the building and the land…everything. I got three partners to join me, one being my dad, and we opened in 1987. Since then I’ve probably owned about 60 SONIC locations.”

David is a firm believer in the operational excellence of franchising and is one of the founders of The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at his alma mater, Brigham Young University, and frequently speaks to college students at BYU, as well as local middle Tennessee colleges and universities about franchising and entrepreneurism. David recently shared his excitement for the SONIC brand and his family’s involvement in the business, which includes son-in-law Blake Haines as director of operations.

This is his story:

What do you like about the direction SONIC is heading?

I feel so fortunate that I was able to go through the era when I was just starting as a franchisee with former CEO Steve Lynn. He came up with the idea of co-oping all of our advertising efforts and purchasing pooling in the late 1980s. I was blessed to be with the company because we just skyrocketed. Success magazine at the time ranked us as the No. 1 franchise, and I believe that — I really do. From Lori Osley [Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing] to Drew Ritger [Senior Vice President for Development] to my field marketing reps to my operations people, they are always there to help franchisees.

What differentiates SONIC from other QSR concepts?

Of course, the first and foremost is the carhop service. We are the only QSR in the industry that does that. Second is our gigantic menu with all the choices. Third is the consistency of our operations and food. A good example is that when I was a teenager I promise you that the kitchen is exactly the same as it was. It hasn’t changed as far as layout. The equipment, of course, is upgraded and top of the line, but back then we had already perfected getting the food out the door fast.

What do you think of the Two Guys national advertising campaign?

When I travel by plane and I am wearing my SONIC shirt, someone will always approach me and ask, “I hear those commercials, my mouth waters and I hear the Two Guys. When will we get a SONIC in my town?” The national ad campaign is really getting people excited about new markets.

How often do you visit your restaurants?

My son-in law goes there every day since he is head of operations. I go there to eat or if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Any time we do renovations I meet with the contractor on-site.

What do you like to order when you go to one of your restaurants?

My go-to order is a SONIC hamburger with mayo and mustard, tots with cheese and the hot fudge and peanut butter milkshake for dessert.

How does training and support from SONIC’s home office help you succeed as a business owner?

The consistency and product control is stellar. Every product we have has a flip chart.
Everything has exact specifications, and the home office support provides training online, so our employees do a lot of computer work before they actually step in the kitchen. We do a lot of training. SONIC is also really good with assistant manager training and management training classes. We also offer continual food safety classes. All these things are very beneficial.

What is your customer base like?

It really is 18 to 30 no matter how we look at it. They are the ones who spend money. The 30-year-olds, like my daughter who has an 8-, 6-, 4-, and 2-year-old, start to teach their children how to eat at SONIC, so when their kids turn 18, guess what? They are going to be SONIC fans with their own cars and their own money.

How do you give back to the local community?

You can call any school in Williamson County here in middle Tennessee and ask them if SONIC is involved and they will say, “Absolutely.” We are all over the schools in the county in which we operate. We sponsor YMCA ball teams left and right and the softball fields have SONIC signs all over them. We jump on board with any kind of school participation. Our locations are big on community involvement. We designate half a percent of our sales to use locally.

We really give our management the opportunity to become what I call Mr. or Mrs. SONIC in their community. We expect them to wear their SONIC shirts and aprons, have coupons in their pockets and go out in the community, stay involved and see where they can help. That’s how you build sales and business loyalty.

Why have you stayed with SONIC all these years?

I was really good at it. I understood it and I knew the business and that’s why, for me, it was such a draw. Plus I saw the future and knew SONIC was something that could grow, and I could have a bigger stake in it. That’s what drew me back. I’ve helped recruit probably a half dozen franchisees. It’s a great franchise; we get lots of support. If I had done “David’s Drive-In” instead of SONIC, I would have failed miserably.

Own a Sonic Franchise today

Learn more about SONIC

For in-depth details about the SONIC franchise opportunity, request franchise ownership information. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

SONIC Drive-In Franchise’s Indianapolis Expansion Efforts in the News

The Hoosier State is a top choice for business, making it an ideal Midwestern city for our iconic drive-in franchise

SONIC Drive-In franchise plans to add 10 locations in the Indianapolis market over the next five years, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing Lori Osley told the Current in Zionsville news publication. With just seven locations open in the Indianapolis area, there is plenty of room for expansion.

sonic Drive-In franchise

“We think there is particular on-tap potential [in Indianapolis], especially to develop more in Boone, Hamilton and Marion [counties],” Lori says in the Current in Zionsville news article. “We have 17 Sonics in the state, but we only have seven in the Indianapolis market. Our first step is finding qualified and enthusiastic franchisees who are entrepreneur-like who would like to hear more about the opportunity.”

SONIC is America’s Drive-In®, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. An iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion, which means that now is the time to join SONIC, as we set a goal of 1,000 new Drive-Ins by the end of 2024.

As we continue to expand from our super-regional roots and move into new areas of the country, we also adapt to the needs of our consumers. Our innovative approach to growth is a great fit for the growth Indianapolis is experiencing.

SONIC is a perfect fit for the thriving Indianapolis restaurant scene

Indianapolis’ restaurant scene attracts business owners, young professionals and families, making it perfectly suited for SONIC as we continue coast-to-coast expansion. Indiana ranked as one of the top five states to conduct business and first in the Midwest in a recent “Best/Worst States for Business” survey of more than 500 CEOs conducted by Chief Executive magazine.  The Indianapolis region is attracting multi-unit franchisees like Todd Fugate, who owns SONIC Drive-Ins in Avon, Camby and Greenwood, and has plans to open three more over the next five years. Another Indianapolis area franchisee, Drew Keriwala, is opening a location in Kokomo in early 2017.

“With those two and new franchisees, we’re hoping to develop the market more fully in Indy,” Lori says. “We really like the Indianapolis area market. Some of the reasons are that we don’t have a lot of stores in the market and we have a very strong brand. We spend up to $200 million a year on national cable TV and digital strategy, so people in the market know who the brand is and they are excited when we get there. It’s a thriving restaurant scene. It’s a growing market. I’ve been out there a couple of times in the last six months, and I love it out there.”

Indoor dining option offers flexibility for franchisees operating in colder climates

sonic Drive-In Franchise

SONIC is an iconic brand with an eye on the future. We modify our traditional drive-in model in markets located in colder climates by providing indoor dining areas, in addition to traditional drive-in stalls. Lori says this modified restaurant model is most conducive to the Indianapolis area.

“SONIC has experienced incredible success operating in suburbs surrounding major metropolitan areas like Indianapolis. With only two SONIC Drive-Ins in the market, we see significant untapped potential to develop more franchised restaurants, especially in Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties, with their strong population growth over the last year,” says Drew Ritger, Senior Vice President of Development. “Coupled with Indianapolis’ thriving restaurant scene and business-friendly tax environment, now is a perfect time for SONIC to grow in the greater Indianapolis area.”

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

For in-depth details about the SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

 

SONIC Drive-In Franchise Leverages Technology in the New Year

America’s premier drive-in franchise leverages technology to create the most personalized customer experience in the QSR industry

Sonic Drive-in franchise SONIC, America’s premier Drive-in franchise, will make continued strides in technology in 2017 to bolster our already robust customer experience, by testing new and enhanced app features such as mobile ordering and payments. Chairman and CEO Cliff Hudson discussed these technology initiatives and more planned for the new year during a first quarter company earnings call.

Industry publication Nation’s Restaurant News spotlighted the updates, showcasing how our iconic brand is using technology to streamline and customize the already-unique SONIC experience. We will continue to leverage POPS (point of personalized service), now in use at more than 70 percent of our more than 3,500 locations nationwide, as well as test suggestive selling via POPS to custom content for SONIC fans based upon their ordering history.

“We are continually focused on how we can further optimize the consumer experience by providing much more of a customer connection with them, through targeted content that meets and suits their needs,” Cliff said during the announcement.

SONIC is America’s Drive-In®, serving more than 3 million customers a day at more than 3,500 locations nationwide. As an iconic brand with a rich heritage encompassing more than 60 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers and the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion and joining SONIC makes more sense than ever as we set a goal of 1,000 new SONIC Drive-Ins by the end of 2024.

Our iconic brand offers a deeply appealing nostalgia that attracts diverse customers, from millennials to moms. At the same time, we are forward thinking, using technology to improve operations and drive sales. Here is a preview of our technology updates:

Summer 2017 will herald the testing of mobile orders

Sonic Drive-in franchiseBy summer we will begin to give consumers even more control over their SONIC experience through the testing of smartphone ordering and payment options. SONIC fans will eventually be able to order their favorite real ice cream treats or one of a million drink combos from the convenience of their smart phones. Our overall Integrated Customer Engagement platform, or ICE, will result in “the most personalized customer experience in QSR,” Cliff says.

Increased use of the SONIC App will allow our brand to send customized offers, based on the patron’s order history, and drive incremental traffic in targeted dayparts and seasons. 

“Once the order is placed and paid for on their smart phone or tablet, the customer proceeds to the lot where they are recognized on the POPS screen as they pull into a stall,” Cliff explained. “The screen will then tell them where their order is in process and it will identify the carhop; it will be by name and he’s going to be bringing their food to them shortly.”

Technology helps franchisees offer hyper-local offers

“In addition to offering a more robust consumer app, we are also testing store segmentation and suggestive selling through POPS digital kiosks in some markets. This allows SONIC to send customized offers, based on the patron’s order history, and drives incremental traffic in targeted dayparts and seasons”, Cliff says.

SONIC franchisees are already ingrained in their local communities and the use of technology will allow them to offer an even more custom experience. “Using store segmentation, for example, a customer would pull into a drive-in stall and see a message unique to the characteristics of that store or market,” Cliff says, offering the example of a special cooling beverage on a hot day in a Southern market. “As the guest begins to place that order, the order is cross-referenced with similar orders in our database that generate add-on suggestions with a good degree of relevance for whatever it might be — that daypart, that time of the year, etc.”

Technology and customization go hand-in-hand at SONIC and we continue to innovate, while embracing our iconic history.

Bring the SONIC Drive-in franchise to your community today

There has never been a better time to open a SONIC Drive-In franchise. We offer a QSR investment with remarkable momentum driven by three things: leadership from our exceptional franchise support team, a diverse menu that maximizes all five dayparts and increased brand recognition generated by our popular national Two Guys advertising campaign.

SONIC is growing across the country, and we still have available territories throughout the United States. Franchisees continue to join our franchise family, which means no matter where our customers go, they’ll find a SONIC restaurant and feel at home. That’s just one of the many factors driving more than 3 million customers to our drive-in restaurants each and every day. The franchise fee for a single unit is $45,000, with a total estimated investment for a traditional SONIC ranging from $1.07 million to $2.36 million (excluding land). The net worth of a partner can be used toward the total net worth/liquidity requirements, which helps ease cashflow for your opening. The term of a traditional SONIC franchise is 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal.

Learn more about SONIC Drive-in franchise

For in-depth details about the SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.