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.

Why Now Is a Great Time to Invest in SONIC

SONIC Drive-In ownership easier for investors due to low interest rates

SONICIf you are looking for a franchise with unprecedented brand recognition and pent-up national demand, now is a great time to invest in a SONIC® franchise. The U.S. Federal Reserve continues to keep interest rates at record lows, making it easier to bring our iconic American drive-in to your community.

SONIC has great potential as a long-term investment for seasoned operators who are well-versed in franchise systems or for experienced business owners who want to diversify their portfolios. Our company is focused on growth, aiming for 1,000 new locations over the next decade. SONIC is backed by visionary leadership, robust national advertising power and tier-one brand operational excellence.

2 Guys SDI Launch Image_1000px“It really is a fantastic time to open a SONIC franchisee. We have a best-in-class franchise support team that works with you every step of the way, strong brand equity and recognition even in markets where we have not yet opened thanks to our successful Two Guys national advertising campaign,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing.

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, we believe 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, capitalizing on a series of historic revenue increases — and joining SONIC makes more sense than ever.

From Discovery Day to opening day, we help franchisees succeed

Our corporate franchise support team is here to assist every step of the way. Once potential franchisees speak with Lori and go through the proper application channels, they are invited to attend Discovery Day at our Oklahoma City headquarters.

“Discovery Day is critical for potential franchisees,” Lori says. “We are a relationship brand, so we want to make sure we start that relationship on that first day.”

Prospective franchisees meet with SONIC’s core group of decision makers, from our real estate and construction team to our technology and operations teams. This is a big investment, and we want to ensure it is the perfect fit.

Once financing is approved, it typically takes 6 to 8 months to get a SONIC site secured. Construction and buildout of your restaurant takes an additional three months, depending on the area. We provide help throughout the process, analyzing critical factors such as demographics and traffic, to make the entire site-selection and construction process as stress-free as possible for franchisees.

Meeting the requirements to become a SONIC franchise owner

We are a brand with growth momentum. SONIC franchise owners saw average gross sales-by-store increase from $1,072,000 in 2012 to $1,246,000 in 2015, with more than 23 percent of our stores exceeding $1.5 million in gross sales in fiscal year 2015.

SONIC franchise owners must meet several specific requirements. In addition to total net worth of $1 million, a variety of attributes make an ideal SONIC franchisee: strong business acumen, restaurant experience and/or franchise experience, preferably as a multi-unit operator, and active involvement in their local community.

The franchise fee is $45,000, with an total estimated initial investment for a traditional SONIC ranging from $1.02 to $1.77 million, exclusive of land costs. The net worth of a partner can be used toward the total net worth/liquidity requirements. 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.