For Franchise Information, Call 866-529-4504
For Franchise Information, Call 866-529-4504

What are the Startup Costs?

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 license fee for a traditional Sonic restaurant is $45,000, with a total investment ranging from $1.24 million to $3.53 million (excluding land). The license fee for a non-traditional Sonic restaurant is $22,500, with a total investment ranging from $361,900 to $978,700 (excluding land). The net worth of a partner can be used toward the total net worth/liquidity requirements. The term of a SONIC franchise ranges from 10 to 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal option.

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 100 days 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.

Financial Requirements

Liquidity Net Worth
1 - 2 Units $500,000** $1 Million
3+ Units $1.0 Million $2 Million
Partnerships may be used to qualify.

Your Estimated Initial Investment for a Traditional SONIC Drive-In (please see Franchise Disclosure Document for complete details). Costs listed are both highs and lows based on averages and can vary greatly depending on the market in which development takes place.

Type of Expenditure Estimated Low (USD) Estimated High (USD)
Franchise Fee $45,000 $45,000
Payroll $56,000 $137,500
Training, travel and Living
Expenses while Training
$5,000 $33,500
A-Team Trainers $48,000 $92,000
Advertising Funds $2,000 $5,000
Beginning Inventory $30,000 $140,000
Security Deposits, impact fees for
utilities, utility deposits, business
license and other prepaid
expenses
$2,000 $250,000
Insurance Premiums $10,000 $20,000
Additional Funds
(Three Months)
$5,000 $25,000
Miscellaneous Pre-Opening Costs $5,000 $58,300
Land Variable Variable
Building and Site Work $750,000 2,300,000
Restaurant Equipment $175,000 $260,000
Point of Sale System (POS) and Digital Menu Housings (POPS) $84,200 $136,400
Sonic Sign $25,000 $35,000
TOTAL ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT
(excluding land costs)
$1,242,200 $3,537,700
Optional - Indoor Seating $125,000 $220,000

Your Estimated Initial Investment for a Non-Traditional SONIC Drive-In (please see Franchise Disclosure Document for complete details).  Costs listed are both highs and lows based on averages and can vary greatly depending on the market in which development takes place.

Type of Expenditure Estimated Low ($) Estimated High ($)
Franchise Fee $22,500 $22,500
Payroll $56,000 $137,500
Training, travel and Living
Expenses while Training
$5,000 $33,500
A-Team Trainers $48,000 $92,000
Advertising Funds $2,000 $5,000
Beginning Inventory $30,000 $140,000
Security Deposits, impact fees for
utilities, utility deposits, business
license and other prepaid
expenses
0 $7,500
Insurance Premiums $10,000 $20,000
Additional Funds
(Three Months)
$5,000 $25,000
Miscellaneous Pre-Opening Costs $5,000 $58,300
Real Estate Rent $15,000 $48,000
Improvements 0 $150,000
Equipment $120,000 $185,000
Point of Sale System (POS) and other Technology $43,400 $54,400
TOTAL ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT
$361,900 $978,700

To request a copy of our FDD, please request franchise information by completing the form on this page.

If you want to learn more about the SONIC franchise costs, your specific investment and to understand if you qualify, start a conversation with us by filling out the request information form on this page or calling us at 866-387-1880.

Request Information

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