New Detroit SONIC Drive-In Restaurant Includes Indoor Dining

America’s Drive-In is a versatile franchise restaurant concept that fits any community

SONIC® Drive-In has always been a leading innovator in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. From founder Troy Smith’s forward-thinking decision to install speakers in SONIC’s first Oklahoma location and our recent nationwide upgrades to our point-of-personalized service (POPS) system, SONIC is always finding new ways to provide an exceptional, personalized customer experience.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that Sonic’s new franchisee in Detroit has opened Detroit’s first Sonic Drive-In restaurant. It proudly features indoor seating, which is an innovative direction that demonstrates SONIC’s ability to adapt to the different markets that we will serve as we expand our network of franchises into new, profitable territories across America.

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“We’re proud to continue expanding our one-of-a-kind QSR franchise business model to the Midwest,” says Lori Osley, Senior Director of Franchise Sales/Development Marketing. “This new location in Detroit continues our long tradition of delivering high-quality, freshly-made food from morning to night. The franchise owner’s decision to offer indoor seating shows how SONIC always does the utmost to ensure a top-notch experience that keeps customers coming back day after day.”

SONIC is in the middle of a major nationwide expansion, with the goal of opening 1,000 new SONIC Drive-In restaurants by the end of 2024. We’re building upon our rich history and iconic brand to expand our network well beyond 3,500 currently operating dining establishments. We already serve over three million customers each day, and we have a robust marketing infrastructure that creates pent-up demand and strong customer turnout as we expand into new territories. Now is a better time than ever to be a part of this expansive growth.

Although the core of our expansion will be our traditional drive-in model, we also offer our franchisees other models such as added indoor dining to fit the specific needs of their markets. Read on to find out how one franchisee in Detroit is taking advantage of this model to provide a high-quality dining experience that fits his customers’ lifestyles and local climate.

SONIC adapts to the needs of the communities it serves

As America’s Drive-In moves into the Midwest, we’re helping our new franchisees adapt their restaurants to the unique needs of local markets. In the case of places like Detroit, colder winters make indoor dining a natural choice for providing an optimal seasonal customer experience. At the same time, these franchises can add patio seating, a drive-thru and drive-thru stalls to ensure the utmost customer experience year-round.

sonic franchise infographic

We offer a range of different SONIC franchise models to fit the specific needs of the markets we serve. Whether it’s a counter-service model in a convenience store , indoor dining in Detroit or one of our time-honored traditional drive-ins, SONIC is positioned to serve communities across the nation. We work closely with our franchisees to help them choose and implement the model that’s best for the markets they serve. We conduct detailed market research and analysis to help our franchisees select models that best serve their customers to better position our franchisees for experiencing profitable investments.

Regardless of the model, our greatest goal is to give customers a memorable, quality dining experience for every occasion year round. We’re proud to be the place people choose to celebrate everyday occasions, and we will continue that tradition as we expand and innovate. Thanks to our wildly successful Two Guys advertising campaign, the demand for and awareness of our brand has never been higher[BD2] . The future for expansion is bright.

More ways than ever for customers to enjoy the food they love

SONIC customers can’t get enough of our food. With a menu that maximizes all five dayparts (breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and evening), we’re able to offer customers the food they want when they want it. For instance, we were serving breakfast all day long before it was trendy, and our Happy Hour promotion drives 23% of business. Our broad and flexible menu can translate into a higher ROI for our franchisees[LA3] , keeping business constant during times of day when other QSRs normally see less activity.

sonic franchise

Our food offerings appeal especially to millennials, who love the range of choice and customization present in our menu. Whether it’s a coney for breakfast, a breakfast burrito for dinner or one of our hundreds of thousands of drink combinations as a “just-because” treat, the versatility of our menu fits perfectly into the busy lives of millennial professionals. According to research from Morgan Stanley, 53% of millennials dine out once a week. With more than 80 million millennials in the United States,[LA4] this represents an exciting business opportunity for SONIC franchisees.

At the same time, SONIC remains a favorite option for a broad variety of demographics, from baby boomers who want a dose of nostalgia to parents who want to grab a quick bite after their children’s sports practice. We are the go-to QSR for high-quality, made-to-order food and superb service at the times of day that are right for our customers.

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

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

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