As SONIC (NASDAQ: SONC) continues franchise development across the country, the company has its sights set on a particular market segment that’s showing major demand: small towns throughout the Central United States. In recent months, SONIC has opened drive-ins in Shattuck, Okla., and Valliant, Okla., and signed 13 franchise development commitments in other small towns, including: Iowa, La.; Cherokee, Okla.; Medford, Okla.; Verdigris, Okla.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Boyd, Texas; Cotulla, Texas; DeQuincy, La.; Dilley, Texas; Nixon, Texas; Shallowater, Texas; Stockdale, Texas; and Three Rivers, Texas.
“New SONIC Drive-In development continues to be an important priority for the company, and our strategy is creating strong momentum,” said Cliff Hudson, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sonic Corp. “In addition to bringing SONIC to new major markets, we’ve identified an opportunity to bring SONIC to small towns, particularly in our core markets in the heart of the country. The redesign of our prototype building offers a number of benefits, including reduced building costs and land requirements, making it easier for these local owner-operators to open a drive-in and see a greater return on their investment. In addition, our increase in funding for national advertising creates increased consumer demand and positions our franchisees for successful new drive-in openings.”
“Many of these small town economies are thriving due to local energy plays, and civic leaders, residents and workers are craving new restaurant options. We’ve met a number of entrepreneurs who know their local communities, see the opportunity and recognize that SONIC is the perfect franchise to seize it,” said Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development for Sonic Corp. “We’re in a unique position to meet their needs, and we’re flexible in working with our franchise partners. For example, we’ve worked with them to reduce the building footprint, reduce the number of drive-in stalls and add a drive-thru, without sacrificing sales capacity and the SONIC experience our customers expect and love.”