SONIC Drive-In CEO Named to Nation’s Restaurant News’ Power List

Iconic SONIC franchise CEO is highlighted on prestigious annual list of Top 50 most influential people in foodservice

Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) has named SONIC® CEO Cliff Hudson to The Power List 2018, its prestigious annual list of the 50 most influential people in foodservice.

Billed as “the definitive list of industry leaders who are not only setting trends today, but also shaping them for tomorrow,” the leading restaurant industry publication made a fine choice by selecting our CEO.

NRN describes Hudson as  “The Menu Innovator,” and the publication praised his exemplary track record leading the iconic SONIC brand as chief executive officer since 1995.

“J. Clifford Hudson has led Oklahoma City-based quick-service chain SONIC Drive-In as its CEO for the past 22 years,” NRN  reports. “During that time SONIC has grown to more than 3,500 units and led the way in soft-drink innovation — a customization play that Hudson cites as a factor in drawing a disproportionate number of millennial customers. SONIC also has carried out culinary innovations during Hudson’s tenure, including the introduction of hot dogs. Last year, SONIC took a bold move by testing a premium “blended burger,” made with 25 percent to 30 percent mushrooms blended with ground beef.”

The magazine correctly points out that Hudson is known for, “expanding the long-standing quick-service burger chain and bringing it into the 21st century,” and his inclusive and collaborative approach is one of the key reasons why our brand is rapidly growing across the country.

“Hudson has quietly created a leadership team that is unusually diverse for the industry, with most of his senior officials either women or ethnic minorities,” NRN reports. “SONIC is also testing order ahead.”

We encourage you to click here to read the full article on why Hudson has been recognized as one of this year’s most influential people in the foodservice industry.

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 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.

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