America’s Drive-In franchise attracts savvy investors as we rapidly expand across the nation
Now is the perfect time to open a SONIC Drive-In franchise in your community. We’re an investment with tremendous momentum — generated by the leadership from our best-in-class franchise support team, a strong menu that maximizes all five dayparts and the unprecedented brand recognition brought about by our popular Two Guys national advertising campaign. Our franchise was built on the success of many multi-unit owners who enjoy the scalability of our concept and choose to stay with SONIC for years and years.
“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. “With SONIC’s unit economics, highly differentiated brand equity and entrepreneurial spirit, we’re on a path toward unprecedented growth. Our franchise represents the American dream for many of our franchisees and we’re excited to continue to expand from coast to coast.”
Here are 3 reasons franchisees love being part of the SONIC franchise family:
1. SONIC Drive-In’s BLADE strategy means there is minimal downtime.
The SONIC menu offers so much variety that our customers keep coming back to experience all of our five balanced and distinct dayparts. Other QSR concepts have just one or two strong dayparts or are pigeonholed by a particular style. But our SONIC menu works to generate larger ROI for franchisees throughout 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 then close out with a strong evening business.
“Our customers have become so loyal over time and I think that goes back to the uniqueness of our menu and our concept. We have those customers who come every morning to get a breakfast burrito, and we have the 99-cent drink stop where they can get a large Vanilla Diet Coke. We have a lot of business people who come in and have a cheeseburger on their lunch break and read their newspaper in their car. We have tons of parents who are picking up their kids from school who stop in to try our drinks. Then we have our dinner rush,” says Greg Rowden, who started working at SONIC as a cook when he was just 15. Greg opened his first location in 1990 and never looked back. He is now the proud owner of early 30 SONIC locations throughout Arkansas and is continually looking for expansion opportunities.
2. SONIC is an integral part of the local community.
SONIC is an iconic brand with a rich heritage. Developing core relationships with our customers and our communities is part of our culture. Our franchisees get involved with local schools and organizations, host fundraisers and give back to the community as much as possible. It’s common to see SONIC-branded signs throughout our small-town locations, from little league parks to soccer complexes. Those close ties make SONIC a strong thread in the fabric of many small towns and help franchisees build a profitable business that evokes a sense of pride in the community.
“We have relationships with our customers. That’s not common in a lot of other quick-service restaurants. They just respond to that and become very passionate about it. I just can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Angela Owen, multi-unit franchisee in Oklahoma.
Like many of our owners, South Carolina multi-unit franchisee Grey Simpson develops partnerships with local schools. “We get involved with the local PTAs; there is actually a waiting list because our fundraising efforts have worked so well. School PTAs will come to one of our locations, and they work as our servers and carhops for the night. They promote the event and announce it, and they get a portion of sales for the evening — as well as 100 percent of the tips.”
3. National media buying power bolsters brand recognition.
When you open a SONIC Drive-In franchise, you tap into the power of one of the most successful and recognizable QSR ad campaigns of all time. Our iconic Two Guys advertising campaign has created instant brand recognition and given unprecedented advertising muscle to SONIC franchisees — it generates excitement in the local community months before opening day.
“Today when you open a store in almost any market, big or small, they know what SONIC is. SONIC has done a lot of work to create that pent-up demand and we’ve benefited from it,” Grey says.