Nation’s largest drive-in franchise offers increasing revenue, balanced dayparts and open territory
There’s 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 best-in-class franchise support team, a diverse menu that maximizes all five dayparts and the unprecedented brand recognition generated by our popular Two Guys national advertising campaign.
“If you’re interested in a 21st-century brand with a rich history and track record of success, then you’ve come to the right place,” says CEO Cliff Hudson. “SONIC has one of the most diversified daypart strategies in the industry, allowing our franchisees to reach more customers throughout the entire day. And with SONIC’s unit economics, highly differentiated brand equity and entrepreneurial spirit, we’re on a path toward unprecedented growth.”
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, capitalizing on pent-up demand, and joining SONIC makes more sense than ever.
If you are an experienced operator looking for a strong investment, here are 5 reasons to open a SONIC franchise:
Strong dayparts drive sales and increase ROI
The SONIC menu offers so much variety that our customers keep coming back to experience all of our five balanced and distinct dayparts. Unlike other QSR concepts that rely on one or two strong dayparts, our menu has the potential to generate larger ROI for franchisees during the entire course of our 18-hour day. We start with breakfast, move into lunch, have one of our biggest dayparts in the afternoon selling ice cream and slush drinks, serve dinner and close out with a strong evening business.
“You’ve got 24-hour real estate when you invest in a SONIC franchise,” Cliff says. “Utilizing the real estate, the equipment and the labor as efficiently as possible is great from an investment perspective. It’s a much more efficient operation than the typical QSR that has downtime throughout the day.”
Our innovation ramps up the customer experience
SONIC has embraced innovation from day one, when founder Troy Smith installed speakers in each drive-in stall and continually looked for ways to innovate and improve customer service.
SONIC’s investment in technology is building an interactive environment that will take customization to another level. Mobile ordering and payment will make it easier for our customers to order their SONIC menu favorites, and we can then use that customer data to deliver localized promotions tailored to customers’ buying histories — straight to their mobile devices.
We offer a strong franchise support network
We provide all the support needed to launch a successful SONIC Drive-In. SONIC will assist you at multiple phases of the development process — from real estate site selection to site design. SONIC provides a structured and comprehensive training program to guide franchisees through opening a new drive-in and much more. We are constantly working to evolve our training and support to assist our franchisees in all aspects of their SONIC life.
We also provide SONIC eLearning, so busy franchisees and SONIC staffers can stay on the leading edge of the industry. SONIC provides certified training courses online in topics such as Operations, Food Safety, Customer Service and Management for our new and existing franchisee community.
Our national advertising power is at an unprecedented high
When you open a SONIC franchise, you automatically tap into the media buying power of one of the most successful QSR ad campaigns of all time. Our iconic Two Guys advertising campaign has created instant brand recognition that generates community excitement months before a new SONIC’s opening day. The Two Guys campaign resonates particularly well with millennials — a growing customer base for SONIC — who seek out a dining experience that they control and customize.
SONIC’s record brand recognition boosts media power and gives instant advertising dollar power to new restaurants in new locations.
The drive-in is a business model that transcends generations
At most QSRs, customers stand behind a cold and impersonal counter with other customers and wait their turn, or they approach the drive-thru menu in their car and wait their turn in a monotonous line.
At SONIC, customers park in colorful, canopy-covered spaces and push our signature red button when they are ready to order. A friendly carhop delivers made-to-order food and drinks directly to customers in their cars, which provides the comfort and familiarity of a mobile living room. The SONIC experience, which offers customization, control and choice, positions us as one of the most differentiated concepts in the QSR industry.
“Our locations have anywhere from 16 to 24 parking stalls, so in essence you can be first in line every time you dine out at SONIC,” Cliff says. “That allows us to utilize technology in a way our competition really can’t and is something that will take our business to a completely different level versus our competition.”