A SONIC Drive-In Franchise Interview with Slidell’s Chris McMillan
Like many American teenagers, Chris McMillan’s first job was with SONIC Drive-In at the age of 14. Twenty-two years later, he now owns four SONIC franchises in Slidell, La., with his wife Amy — and the husband-and-wife duo isn’t stopping there. The McMillan’s are already looking to expand by acquiring two more locations and building five more within the next three years.
SONIC ownership has been transformative for them as a family and as multi-unit franchisees.
“For me, I love SONIC, says Chris McMillan. It’s been a part of my life for a long time and it’s become a brand that I strongly believe in and trust. So having grown up with SONIC, being a part of it now as a franchise owner is even sweeter. We’re very happy to be able to serve our community and SONIC is really a popular hang-out location in Slidell.”
SONIC, America’s Drive-In®, has been helping entrepreneurs like the McMillans thrive in business since 1953. We are passionate about helping entrepreneurs become meaningful members of their community. This is why, from the moment you sign your franchise agreement, you will have the full support of a brand that truly understands what an entrepreneur needs to flourish. We provide our franchisees guidance with real estate and site selection, comprehensive marketing support, continued menu innovation, ongoing coaching and more.
McMillan adds that the variety SONIC provides throughout its five dayparts is unmatched by competitors. “We have great products and prepare all of our food fresh to order,” McMillan notes. “We grill our tasty burgers and whip up amazing drinks from scratch. Additionally, customer service is No. 1 here. At SONIC, we believe in giving customers what they want, how they want it. So when you have a brand with great products, exceptional customer service and the convenience of not having to get out of your car, nothing else on the planet compares.”
“I’ve owned other food franchises and I wanted to diversify my portfolio with a brand that has something for everyone” notes McMillan. “SONIC’s menu keeps customers coming back all day long. We offer an endless ability for our customers to customize their orders and our order-ahead mobile app takes customization to another level. Moreover, it’s been simply wonderful to finally own the brand that I love. It’s something I’ve worked my whole life for and now that I have it, I want to grow and expand as much as I possibly can. My wife and I don’t ever plan on leaving SONIC, this is our career for the rest of our lives.”
“SONIC has an amazing support program that is through the roof,” McMillan says. “No matter the occasion, they always bring their A-game to ensure franchisees are successful. More importantly, SONIC provides industry-leading support with a personal touch. It never ceases to amaze me that for the brand to be as big as it is, as a franchisee, you are literally one phone call away from conversing with anyone on our corporate team, including Chief Marketing Officer, Lori Abou Habib.”
In addition, McMillan has not only enjoyed the collaborative culture that SONIC has cultivated, but he also enjoys helping other first-time entrepreneurs realize their full potential as well.
“I think SONIC’s a home run no matter how you look at it,” says McMillan. “SONIC is a brand that produces great results if you work at it. As a franchisee, you get what you put into it. To be successful in this business, you need to be motivated and prepared to follow their systems. SONIC will give you all of the necessary tools to succeed, you just have to follow them.”
“The best thing about franchising with SONIC is that its business model is not only simple to understand, but also highly scalable,” he says. “We want to continue growing and SONIC is our long-term plan, so my wife and I want to be as big as our operations allow. We’re excited about what the future holds for SONIC Drive-In.”