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Why You Should Open a SONIC Drive-In Franchise in 2017

America’s Drive-In franchise is poised for another banner year of rapid expansion across the United States

If your New Year Resolution is to go into business for yourself, 2017 is the perfect time to turn your entrepreneurial ambitions into a reality with the SONIC® Drive-In franchise.

sonic drive-in franchise

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.

“There’s never been a more opportune time to invest in SONIC,” says Cliff Hudson, Chairman and CEO with SONIC Corp. “We have had a great run of positive impact of national media since 2013 so the awareness of our campaign is one of the highest of any brand in the industry.  We are a national brand with a super regional footprint, which means there’s a lot of open space geographically for new store development, as well as greatly reduced risk because of high brand awareness and pent-up demand.”

Below are three reasons why you should open a SONIC franchise in 2017:

Our brand recognition continues to climb, even in communities that we haven’t entered yet!

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 unforgettable 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.

“Since we moved to a national media approach in early 2013, we have steadily increased our share of voice in the marketplace to the point that a franchisee who opens in a new area has a national advertising campaign working for them. SONIC will be the leading advertiser in their community,” says John Budd, Chief Development and Strategy Officer with SONIC Corp.

Our menu is heaven to millennials, the nation’s largest demographic

SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America, offering menu heaven to young and old customers alike — whether they want a juicy burger, a milkshake made with real ice cream or a refreshing cherry limeade. The diversity of SONIC’s menu, which maximizes all five dayparts, sets our brand apart from other QSR concepts, as well as makes it easy for us to win over the largest demographic in the nation: millennials.

Millennials eat out more than their generational predecessors, baby boomers and gen Xers. Fifty-three percent of millennials eat out once a week, according to research from Morgan Stanley. SONIC’s menu adaptability appeals to busy millennials on the go who are spontaneous in their dining habits. Total menu customization and control of the customer experience through the SONIC Drive-In process have always been two keystones of SONIC. For millennials, that’s fantastic.

“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 one of over a million drink combos. 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 keeps customers coming back again and again, morning or night. “That lends itself to being able to have every daypart contribute in certain ways.”

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 parking stalls allow customers to essentially be first in line every time they dine out at SONIC,” Cliff says. “That allows us to utilize technology in a way our competition really can’t. As millennials continue to dominate the U.S. population, this is something that will take our business to a completely different level versus our competition.”

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.