Why a SONIC franchise owner in a small town in Texas is so happy about his decision to invest in America’s Drive-In® franchise
When Chris Penjuani answers the phone, you immediately understand why his new SONIC location in Robstown, Texas, has drawn a large following of regular guests after only six months of operations. Chris is one happy entrepreneur, and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious.
“We have so many people who come to us for breakfast in the morning, and visit again on the way home from work,” he says. “I love to see that. I love learning their names and what they like to eat. I love being able to suggest new things for them to try, and have them try it and love it. This business is all about the customer, and being able to provide our guests with a great experience every day makes me extremely proud.”
Robstown is a small suburb of Corpus Christi, near the Gulf of Mexico, with a population close to 12,000. SONIC thrives in small-town markets like Robstown because our brand has the unique ability to become a part of the communities we serve. This is the very reason Penjuani knew that SONIC would be a great fit in Robstown, and when he reached out to explore franchise ownership with SONIC, he even had a location already scouted.
“On my drive to work every morning, I kept passing this site right across the street from the high school and very close to the major highway. I kept thinking, ‘This is the perfect location for a SONIC,’” Penjuani says. “It’s proven to be an incredible location. Not only do the high-school students make this their hangout after school, we also have incredible traffic coming in at lunch, dinner and evenings because we’re so easy to get to and this community just really loves our food. We’ve been growing since the day we opened.”
SONIC’s ability to offer a full, five-daypart menu that serves an innovative mix of craveable, delicious food items all day long is what attracted Penjuani to the brand as a customer. As a franchise owner, he enjoys being able to share his love for SONIC’s food with his customers.
“I’ve been eating at SONIC for years,” Penjuani says. “In my opinion, and I might be biased, SONIC has the best food in the QSR segment by far. The corporate team does a fantastic job at coming up with innovative products that keep guests excited to come back. It’s very rewarding for me to recommend a new menu item to our guests and have them return and order it again.”
While Penjuani might be one of the newest members of the SONIC franchise family, he joined our brand with significant business experience. In fact, Penjuani still has a day job as co-owner and operator of several gas stations in his hometown — and like any successful entrepreneur he already is thinking about growing his SONIC business beyond his one location.
“I rush to my SONIC location every day after leaving one of my gas stations,” Penjuani says. “I’m just very excited to be there; I love being there. I have been lucky to have such a great team around me from the outset, people I really trust. The support from SONIC corporate has been outstanding, and to be honest, this is way easier and a lot more enjoyable than operating a gas station. Of course I’m hoping to grow and expand into the future.”