What are the Startup Costs for SONIC?
Franchisees can invest in a strong, growing brand
What does it take to become a SONIC® franchisee? We are looking for passionate business owners, preferably those who have multi-unit franchise or business experience, as well as strong liquidity and net worth. We work closely with franchisees throughout the startup process to ensure their lifelong success with the brand.
The franchise fee for a single unit is $45,000, with a total estimated SONIC franchise cost ranging from $1.07 million to $2.36 million (excluding land). The net worth of a partner can be used toward the total net worth/liquidity requirements, which helps to ease costs. The term of a traditional SONIC franchise is 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal.
The average unit volume for our restaurants in fiscal year 2016 was $1.28 million. Because SONIC maximizes all five dayparts through its BLADE (breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner and evening) strategy, the ROI for a SONIC Drive-In can be more than a typical QSR.
It typically takes six to eight months to get a SONIC site secured. Once the site selection is complete and construction and build-out of your SONIC restaurant begins, it takes an average of 12 months to open your SONIC location, depending on the area.
SONIC’s corporate office has a full support team and services available to franchisees, such as helpful demographic data and in-depth site analytics, to make the entire site selection and construction process as smooth and profitable as possible for franchisees.
Please refer to the chart below to review the financial requirements needed for owning a SONIC franchise.
|1 - 2 Units||$500,000.00||$1 Million|
|3 - 4 Units||$1.5 Million||$2 Million|
|5+ Units||$2 Million||$2 Million+|
|**$500k per store, 5+ 2 million. Partnerships may be used to qualify.|
|Type of Expenditure||Estimated Low (USD)||Estimated High (USD)||Method of Payment||When Due||To Whom Payment is to be Made|
|Franchise Fee||45000||45000||Lump Sum||At Signing of License Agreement||Sonic|
|Payroll||56000||127000||As Incurred||During Training and Pre-Opening||Your Employees|
|Training, travel and Living
Expenses while Training
|5000||33500||As Incurred||During Training||Hotels, Restaurants and Airlines|
|A-Team Trainers||44000||92000||As Incurred||During Pre-Opening and Post-Opening||Suppliers|
|Advertising Funds||2000||5000||As Incurred||Pre-Opening Period||Suppliers|
|Beginning Invertory||30000||140000||Lump Sum||Prior to Opening||Suppliers|
|Security Deposits, impact fees for
utilities, utility deposits, business
license and other prepaid
|42000||179000||Lump Sum||Prior to Opening||Suppliers|
|Insurance Premiums||10000||20000||Lump Sum||Prior to Opening||Suppliers|
|5000||10000||As Incurred||Prior to Opening and Monthly||Suppliers|
|Land 8||Variable||Variable||See Note 8||See Note 8||See Note 8|
|Building and Site Work||480000||1119000||See Note 8||See Note 8||See Note 8|
System ("POS") and Digital Menu Housings ("POPS") 9
|335000||528000||See Note 9||See Note 9||Suppliers|
|Sonic Sign10||19000||63000||See Note 10||See Note 10||Suppliers|
|TOTAL ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT
(plus land costs) 11
|Optional - Indoor Seating||100000||150000||See Note 11||See Note 11||Suppliers|
See the full Franchise Disclosure Document for all footnotes. To request a copy of our FDD, please request franchise information by completing the form on this page.
Franchisee experience needed
- Restaurant background required by at least one operating partner and multi-unit experience preferred
- Ability to develop, lead and inspire a management team
- Strong entrepreneurial skills
- Active in community
- Retail sales
If you are curious about learning more about the SONIC franchise costs, your specific investment and to understand if you qualify, start up a conversation with us by filling out the request information form on this page or calling us at 866-714-0907.