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2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#42 Ranked #38 last year
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Initial investment
$717K - $3.5M
Units as of 2022
3,552 1% over 3 years

With more than 3,400 locations and millions of customers served, Sonic Drive-In may be one of America’s most iconic drive-in fast-food restaurants.

If you own a Sonic Drive-In franchise, you’ll be able to say that your restaurant serves everything from foot-long chili cheese dogs to juicy burgers to famous milkshakes. The extensive menu may make it one of the best franchised fast food restaurants. Its drive-in concept is widely known, even to customers who haven’t tried Sonic Drive-In. To these customers who have yet to try Sonic Drive-In, your location could serve as their first Sonic Drive-In experience!

Why You May Want to Start a Sonic Drive-In Franchise

With a proven business model, owning a Sonic Drive-In franchise may mean that you have a real opportunity to succeed as a franchisee. The franchise is proud to support franchisees, giving you the satisfaction of owning a family-friendly restaurant while maintaining a heightened business sense.

The franchise reviews individual stores’ sales performance to optimize efficiency. They strive to make their advertising appealing and colorful. Furthermore, with a menu that follows the B.L.A.D.E. (Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner, Evening) model, Sonic Drive-In can serve its customers all day long. With the franchise likely already having established everything you may need, you're ready to go with exposure to nationwide brand recognition and executive insight.

Even though the ideal Sonic Drive-In candidate has experience running other restaurant franchises, this shouldn’t dissuade candidates from opening a location. What is most important for a candidate is that they have a strong go-getter attitude. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit will likely fit right in with the Sonic Drive-In family.

What Might Make a Sonic Drive-In Franchise a Good Choice?

To be part of the Sonic Drive-In team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also prepare yourself for ongoing fees that may include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.

Sonic Drive-In has been a high-ranker in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in the past several decades. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

How to Open a Sonic Drive-In Franchise

To open a Sonic Drive-In franchise, the first step is to request information. Once you’ve filled out the form, a franchise sales and department team member may conduct an informal interview. This will serve as your opportunity to express your intentions and financial qualifications.

If they think you’ll fit in well with the Sonic Drive-In franchise team, they’ll send you their Franchise Disclosure Document. This document contains more information about the brand for you to take into consideration. You will then have an in-person meeting with the franchise development team. Team members will look at franchise opportunities in your area and tell you what you need to do to physically open a location.

If you qualify, you’ll go to the Sonic Drive-In headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. You will meet Sonic Drive-In’s stakeholders and representatives from various departments. You may soon be able to be part of the Sonic Drive-In network of franchisees!

Soon, your location will be roller skating food for hungry customers!

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Sonic Drive-In

Related Categories
Parent Company
Inspire Brands
Claudia San Pedro, President
Corporate Address
3 Glenlake Parkway N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30328

Business Overview

Franchising Since
1959 (64 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

# of Units
3,552 (as of 2022)

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Sonic Drive-In franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$717,000 - $3,543,000
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
20 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
440 hours
Classroom Training
16 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Security & Safety Procedures
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?
Take our quick quiz to find your ideal franchise

Interested in ownership opportunities like Sonic Drive-In? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Sonic Drive-In landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company’s legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022