Two Oklahoma City brands, Love’s and Sonic, are teaming up to open joint locations.
The new Sonic restaurants inside Love’s Travel Stops represent a new format for the Oklahoma City drive-in chain. The co-branded stores have the traditional drive-up dining stalls, as well as an indoor restaurant dining area and a drive-thru.
Love’s inherited two co-branded locations after acquiring Travel Stops that already had Sonic locations in them — in Hinton and in Memphis, Texas. Now the two companies have joined to expand the co-branded concept.
The first new Sonic/Love’s location opened Jan. 28 in Holcomb, Kan., and a second co-branded store is expected to open March 17 in Scott City, Kan.
Love’s hopes to eventually open more co-branded locations in Oklahoma, said Kealey Dorian, a spokeswoman for Love’s.
“We do have several more that are in the works,” Dorian said. “We are looking at Oklahoma. That’s something we would both aspire to.”
Love’s has more than 370 Travel Stops in 40 states and partners with 18 quick-service restaurant brands.
The company tries to choose concepts that can compete well and offer something new in the community, Dorian said.
The new Sonic restaurants at the Love’s stores are operated by local Sonic franchisees.
The co-branded restaurants offer the complete Sonic menu. The Holcomb restaurant is doing quite well, said John Budd, Sonic’s executive vice president, chief development and strategy officer.
Sonic is in “expansion mode” and partnering with Love’s was a good way for the company to bring its brand to smaller communities, Budd said.
“We saw some opportunities to join the synergy of both brands and open these new locations,” Budd said.