Sonic Drive-In Restaurants

2015 Franchise 500
At a Glance

Products & Services: Burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, breakfast, ice cream, beverages

Number of Locations: 3,518

Total Investment: $1.1M - $1.97M

Founded: 1953

Began Franchising: 1959

About Sonic Drive-In Restaurants

Sonic first opened in 1953 as Top Hat Drive-In in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with Troy Smith Sr. at the helm. He later partnered with Charlie Pappe and they began franchising in 1959 under the Sonic Drive-In name. Sonic's car-hops deliver burger, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, tater tots, onion rings, fries, drinks, desserts and breakfast to customers.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2015 3,127 0 0 391
2014 3,126 0 0 396
2013 3,147 0 0 409
2012 3,115 0 0 446
2011 3,117 0 0 455
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the U.S.,Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Central America, Middle East, Mexico.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $1,070,000 - $1,967,000
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 20 years, renewable
Financial Requirements
Net Worth: $1,000,000
Liquid Cash Available: $1,000,000
60% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 25. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed..
Financing Type In-House Third Party
Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 1 week. At franchisee's location: 11 weeks. Additional training available : 1 day to 1 week.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media,
Other marketing support: Social media

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #24 (2015), #26 (2014), #52 (2013), #80 (2012),
Fastest-Growing: #21 (2014),

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