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Flexible and Creative Menu Sets Sonic Drive-In Franchise Apart and Keeps Customers Coming Back

Innovative limited time menu items and favorites served all day long mean more sales for Sonic Drive-In franchise

sonic drive-in franchise

Customers know they can rely on SONIC Drive-In for their classic favorites, such as a burger, tots and a cherry limeade, as well as be surprised by the creativity and craveability of our limited time offers (LTOs). SONIC® fans know they can experience something new with each and every visit and our franchisees know the SONIC menu isn’t limited to any particular special menu item. At SONIC we max out our menu across all five dayparts. It’s these unique characteristics that set us apart from other QSRs.  

“Customers love us because they don’t have to just do a combo meal. They can order a dessert or a frozen favorite treat. They can order a drink. They can order a snack. They can order any combination in between,” says Senior Vice President of Development Drew Ritger, who adds that the flexibility of SONIC’s menu keep customers coming back again and again, morning or night. “That lends itself to being able to have every daypart contribute in certain ways.”

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, and joining SONIC makes more sense than ever.

SONIC Drive-In’s BLADE menu strategy sets it apart from other QSRs

sonic drive-in franchise

SONIC maximizes dayparts like no other QSR in the industry, preventing an identity that is over-reliant on one particular menu stronghold. We’re not limited to being known for “just burgers” or “just chicken.” Our full menu is offered all day long, and we were offering breakfast all day before it became a “trend.” Our faithful legions of customers know they can order what they want and get it when they want it, whether it’s one of our craveable Slushes or a Chili Cheese Coney.

Roughly 48% of business at SONIC locations comes during lunch and dinner, built around the SONIC combo meals. For the remainder of the day, SONIC keeps carhops hopping through Breakfast, Afternoon, and Evening — the five BLADE dayparts — with diverse offerings of sweets and treats.

“SONIC customers use us more broadly — rather than just breakfast, lunch or dinner,” Drew says. “BLADE gives us a great platform to use our innovation to be able to make each of those dayparts more relevant, which translates into franchisees having more opportunities for sales all day long. The typical QSR relies on a big rush at lunch and dinner and experiences a big lull in the afternoon and late evening. That just doesn’t happen with a SONIC franchise.”

Our product development team gives customers what they want

SONIC continually refines new products in its test kitchen, adding new twists to tried-and-true menu favorites, such as unique flavor combos. We will always offer our classic menu items that have built customer loyalty, but our LTOs are a great way to test the product waters. A recent holiday addition to our ever popular frozen offerings, which together with our fountain drinks make up 40 percent of our sales, are the innovative SONIC Blast Flavor Funnels. Customers know they can head to SONIC for a treat, whether they are on their morning commute, their after-school break or their weekend errand run.

“We are not defined by only burgers, only chicken…only anything. We will customize as to the customer’s needs. We let the customer tell us what they want.  We have very loyal and adventurous customers,” says Vice President of Innovation and Development Scott Uehlein, a chef whose favorite SONIC items are the ultimate chicken sandwich, tots and a cranberry limeade. “I love the fact that at SONIC we develop creative, interesting, delicious, and fascinating food.  From there, we let the customer tell you if it’s an idea or not. We can develop in any category or genre and are not defined by one particular area.”

Learn more about SONIC franchise opportunities

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