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2021 Franchise 500 Rank
#28 Ranked #4 last year
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Initial investment
$1.2M - $3.5M
Units as of 2020
3,525 0.9% over 3 years

Company Overview

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.

About Sonic Drive-In

Industry
Food
Related Categories
Hamburgers
Founded
1953
Parent Company
Inspire Brands
Leadership
Claudia San Pedro, President

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
1959 (62 years)
# of employees at HQ
900
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.

# of Units
3,525 (as of 2020)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
300 Johnny Bench Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

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
$45,000
Initial Investment
$1,242,200 - $3,537,700
Net Worth Requirement
$1,000,000 - $2,000,000
Cash Requirement
$500,000 - $1,000,000
Royalty Fee
2-5%
Ad Royalty Fee
0.9%
Term of Agreement
20 years
Is franchise term renewable?
Yes

Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing
Sonic Drive-In has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

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
400 hours
Classroom Training
24 hours
Additional Training
At existing franchise location
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Newsletter
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Marketing Planning & Support
Social Media
SEO
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App

Operations

Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
No
Can this franchise be run part time?
No
# of employees required to run
25
Are exclusive territories available?
Yes

Franchise 500 Ranking History

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

Additional Rankings

Curious to know where Sonic Drive-In ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.

Ranked #28

Franchise 500 Ranking

Ranked #2 in Hamburgers

Top Food Franchises

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Disclaimer
The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021