SONIC Drive-In Ranks #6 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

Iconic SONIC franchise moves up 33 spots to the top 10 on the franchise industry’s most prestigious list

Entrepreneur magazine, a leading business publication, recently unveiled its annual and prestigious Franchise 500 list, and we’re pleased to announce SONIC® ranked #6. This news is especially meaningful considering that SONIC jumped 33 spots from last year’s ranking.

With more than 4,000 franchise systems in the U.S., earning a spot in the prestigious top 10 of the most popular franchise ranking list is a major accomplishment. The Franchise 500 list is widely used by entrepreneurs to select top-performing franchise opportunities and the competition for ranking is fierce, with 80 percent of franchise brands failing to make the list.

What explains our tremendous climb on the 2018 Franchise 500?

Widely regarded as the franchise industry’s preeminent list for entrepreneurs who are seeking a best-bet investment, Entrepreneur rigidly compared more than 1,000 franchise systems to determine their ranking. When we consider that Entrepreneur measured the growth potential of a brand, the level of franchise support provided to franchisees, brand equity and a myriad of other factors, it is no small wonder why SONIC enjoys such a high position on this year’s list.

“We’re tremendously pleased with our high ranking on this year’s Franchise 500,” says Claudia San Pedro, President of SONIC. “This is an incredible time to be a part of SONIC, as our continued investments in new technology, new indoor dining models, menu innovation and our ongoing national advertising campaign positions us for another year of growth. As a franchisor, we work hard to ensure that our franchisees have the tools and resources needed to be successful, and we’re going to continue to find ways to deliver for our franchisees in 2018 and beyond.”

What makes SONIC a Best-Bet Investment in 2018?

SONIC is in the midst of an aggressive expansion that is bolstered by the resounding success of our wildly popular “Two Guys” marketing campaign. The enormous brand equity SONIC enjoys across the country makes it easy for entrepreneurs to bring America’s Drive-In to new communities, where large populations are already craving our delicious and memorable food. In the markets where SONIC is already established, the ease of our business model and the demand for our innovative menu makes scaling up to multiple locations a wise investment for many in our franchise system.

sonic franchise - two guys

Unlike other QSR brands, SONIC franchisees benefit from our five daypart strategy of breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner and evening, as well as a robust and innovative menu that offers customization and choice. Recently, SONIC invested in a new mobile app that is encouraging our customers to connect with us in new ways, such as mobile-ordering and payments.

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 65 years, SONIC believes in excellent customer service and developing core relationships with customers in the communities where our franchise owners operate. We are in the middle of a major nationwide expansion and joining SONIC now makes more sense than ever.

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.

SONIC Presents Awards to Top Franchisees at 2017 National Convention

Franchisees and Operators recognized for brand leadership

During the 2017 SONIC National Convention in Denver, Colorado in October, franchisees and operators of SONIC received 10 awards.

Annually, SONIC recognizes exemplary individuals and franchise groups to honor those who have a proven track record of strong leadership skills and leading the brand.

Award Recipients of the Convention

Troy Smith Hall of Fame: Gary Kinslow

Named after SONIC’s founder, induction into the Troy Smith Hall of Fame is SONIC’s most prestigious award. It is given to a franchisee who has worked with SONIC for a notable amount of time while making a significant contribution to the brand in terms of leadership, growth and positive influence.

This year, SONIC presented the award to Gary Kinslow, a second generation SONIC franchisee and leader of Kinslow SONIC Group. Based in Prague, Oklahoma. He owns and operates 40 SONIC Drive-Ins in Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi. Kinslow started his career at age 14 at SONIC as a cook for his father and now leads his team to provide guests with a remarkable SONIC experience every day.

“Gary has lived and breathed SONIC his entire life and has vast knowledge of the brand,” says Clifford Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO. “He truly captures the spirit of Troy Smith and the inspiring entrepreneurial spirit of SONIC’s founder.”

Chain Leader Award: Steve Gonzalez

The SONIC Chain Leader Award was presented to Steve Gonzalez, director of the Warren Group in recognition of his success in exerting both leadership skills and a positive influence on his organization and the SONIC brand. Based in Lubbock, Texas, and operating 24 drive-ins, Gonzalez focuses on retaining good people and building a solid infrastructure through his strong leadership.

Turnaround Operator Award: Norm Kaufman

Norm Kaufman, SONIC franchisee and leader of Brand Ventures, LLC was presented with the SONIC Turnaround Operator Award, which honors an individual or group responsible for turning around operations, sales and profit performance of one or more SONIC Drive-Ins. Based in St. Louis, Missouri., Kaufman focused on two areas – guest service and people development. The group has built strong, long-lasting relationships with their employees, demonstrating Kaufman’s belief that developing great people can help turnaround any aspect of business.

Great People Award: Buddy McClain

SONIC presented Buddy McClain, franchisee and leader of McClain, Vaughn and Partners franchise group, with the SONIC Great People Award. This award is given to an individual or group who has made the recruitment, training, development and retention of people a top priority and strategy for growth. Based in Jackson, Mississippi., McClain developed an innovative management program and is reaping rewards in his 100 drive-in locations across Mississippi, Texas and Florida.

Operational Excellence Awards: Eddie Frey and Jeff Simmons

The SONIC Operational Excellence Award was presented to Eddie Frey, operating partner for the D.L. Rogers Group, and to Jeff Simmons, general manager for the Jimmy Hodges franchise group. This honor is awarded to individuals supervising fewer than five drive-ins with a track record of upgrading talent and growing sales and profits.

Based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Frey started his career with SONIC as a manager trainee in 2003, working his way up to operating partner at three drive-ins located in Hartsville, S.C., Fayetteville, N.C., and Elizabeth City, N.C. Simmons, based in Mandeville, Louisiana., started his career with SONIC in 2011 in the kitchen and is now a general manager. Both Frey and Simmons make it a priority to make a positive difference in their local communities.

Multi-Unit Leader Awards: Justin Chandler and Dora Simonds

Justin Chandler, director of operations for MHR Group, and Dora Simonds, director of operations for the Rubyhill Group are recipients of the Multi-Unit Leader Award. This honor is awarded to individuals responsible for supervising more than five drive-ins with a proven track record of upgrading talent, delivering outstanding guest service and growing financial performance of their drive-ins.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Chandler oversees 16 drive-ins in the MHR Group and is known for his leadership and drive to constantly look for ways to improve the business. Simonds is the director of operations for 11 drive-ins in the Rubyhill Group across Denver, Colorado. In 2000, she started her career at SONIC as a cook and has grown to become a strong leader with a proven track record of developing talent while growing sales and profits.

Newcomer Award: Cinos, LLC

The Newcomer Award was presented to Cinos, LLC located on Long Island, N.Y. Cinos, LLC owns and operates three SONIC Drive-Ins in the state of New York. This award is given to an individual or franchise group new to the SONIC brand who delivers the SONIC promise to guests every day while achieving strong sales and profits.

Mason Development Award: Mason, Harrison, Ratliff, LLC (MHR)

The Mason Development Award was presented to MHR, a SONIC franchise group led by partners Ralph Mason, Chuck Harrison and Reeder Ratliff, who own and operate 288 drive-ins across 13 states with their partners. MHR has made outstanding contributions to the development of new drive-ins as we remodeled, rebuilt and relocated existing drive-ins. Based in Oklahoma City, Okla., and founded in 1974, MHR is one of SONIC’s largest franchise groups and credits its longtime success to their partners and operators, some of whom have been with the group for more than 30 years.

About SONIC®, America’s Drive-In®

SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving approximately 3 million customers every day. Nearly 94 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 64 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated $8.5 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC) and Sonic franchising, please visit sonicdrivein.com and sonicfranchises.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Veteran SONIC Franchise Owner Featured in Multi-Unit Franchise Magazine

National publication spotlights longtime SONIC Drive-In franchise owner on ability to grow by focusing on quality, not quantity

SONIC® multi-unit franchise owner Ted Kergan began his career with SONIC in 1977 as general manager of the Alexandria, Louisiana, location. Today he is the largest Sonic Drive-In franchisee in the entire state. Kergan Bros. — which ranks No. 20 on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Private Companies in the region with $107 million in revenues in 2014 — now owns and operates more than 50 SONIC restaurants throughout Louisiana.

Ted Kergan Sonic Franchise

Ted shared his rise-through-the-ranks SONIC franchising success story with Multi-Unit Franchisee. In the magazine article, Ted says that his career at SONIC has been both fulfilling and fun. “At SONIC, we sell fun. We have girls on roller skates and cherry limeades. All we do has to fit into the ‘fun’ box. Our success is a combination of our food and how we serve it.”

Ted also was recognized as a company leader in 2015 when he received the Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award, presented at our annual SONIC Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I’m certainly grateful for the opportunities that got me where I am today. SONIC, under the leadership of Cliff Hudson, is a great organization with great folks,” Ted says in the article.

Long-term success with the SONIC Drive-In franchise

Kergan Bros. is the largest SONIC franchise in Louisiana, employing more than 1,500 residents and making excellence a part of the company’s day-to-day operations.

Ted has a customer-first mentality when it comes to running his businesses. “I’m always upgrading the restaurants,” he says in the article. “If a unit starts looking tired, I tear it down and rebuild or refurbish it. I’m a big believer that the customers want to come into the nicest facility on the street. Not something funky — that’s like putting lipstick on a pig — but something genuinely striking. That shows respect for our customers and our employees.”

Ted gives back to the SONIC brand by serving in numerous capacities, including membership on SONIC’s franchisee advisory council. Additionally, Ted and his team give back to their communities by working with more than 250 schools across Louisiana and volunteering with nonprofit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club and the American Cancer Society.

The level of excellence Ted founded his business on also translates to his crew. Crewmembers of Ted’s SONIC Drive-In at 3505 Monroe Highway in Pineville, Louisiana, recently were recognized as one of the best in the nation. The team took home the gold medal at the 2015 annual Dr Pepper SONIC Games, an Olympic-style competition and training program recognizing excellence.

The time is now to open a SONIC franchise in your community

While Multi-Unit Franchisee perfectly captures the inspirational narrative of Ted’s continued success as a multi-unit SONIC franchise owner, SONIC continues to thrive with plans for rapid expansion across all 50 states. SONIC is more than an iconic brand; we are a solid franchise investment focused on the future and backed by visionary leadership, robust national advertising power and operational excellence. SONIC is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain, serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by franchisees. Over the past 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic carhops.

Sonic Franchise

As the new location in Somerset is off to a terrific start, America’s drive-in franchise is actively seeking savvy entrepreneurs to fuel SONIC’s ambitious plans to open dozens of new locations across Massachusetts. The franchise fee for a single SONIC restaurant is $45,000, with a total investment for a traditional SONIC ranging from $1.02 million to $1.77 million (excluding land). The net worth of a partner can be used toward net worth/liquidity requirements. The term of a traditional SONIC franchise is 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal.

For new franchise owners, Ted offers a simple and straightforward recipe for success in the article:

“Go find somebody who does something you don’t know how to do, and follow them around,” he says. “Most people are willing to take the time if you ask them.”

To read the Multi-Unit Franchisee article in its entirety, click here.

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’s 2015 Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award Goes to Long-Time Louisiana Franchisee

Ted Kergan receives SONIC’s most prestigious award

OKLAHOMA CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)– SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, presented the Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award to franchisee Ted Kergan of Lafayette, La.-based Kergan Brothers Inc. at the 2015 SONIC Convention in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this month. Named after SONIC’s founder, the Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award is SONIC’s most prestigious award, and is given to a franchisee that has worked with SONIC for a noteworthy duration and has made a significant contribution in terms of leadership, growth, positive influence and brand image.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151001005115/en/

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Pictured Left to Right: Cliff Hudson, Ann Kergan and Ted Kergan (Photo: Business Wire)

“Ted is well-respected among his franchisee peers in SONIC and he is a source of great leadership and inspiration to his fellow franchisees, colleagues and partners,” said Clifford Hudson, CEO of Sonic Corp. “Ted’s character and integrity define him, and his generous spirit, development of others and successfully confronting adversity captures the spirit of a Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award recipient. He has helped develop the brand over the years and helped make it what it is today.”

Kergan Brothers, Inc. owns and operates 54 SONIC Drive-Ins in the Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Acadiana and New Orleans markets in Louisiana. Kergan works with his team to continually push toward the goal of providing his guests with an amazing SONIC experience.

“To be recognized for this prestigious award is very humbling and emotional for me because I am now placed in the same category with fellow franchisees who have taught me a lot about the business,” said Ted Kergan, chief executive officer of Kergan Brothers, Inc. “Troy Smith was among my SONIC mentors and I am delighted to receive the award named for a man I both respected and admired.”

Kergan gives back to the SONIC brand by serving in numerous capacities including membership on the executive committee of SONIC’s franchisee advisory council. Kergan and his team give back to the communities by working with more than 250 schools across the state of Louisiana and volunteering with non-profit organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and American Cancer Society.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In

SONIC, America’s Drive-In, is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over the past 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151001005115/en/

for SONIC Drive-In
Madison LaRoche, 512-542-2842
madison.laroche@cohnwolfe.com

Source: SONIC Drive-In

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