As SONIC (NASDAQ: SONC) develops new franchises across the country as part of an initiative to expand into rural markets, the company has reached an agreement with the Wyandotte Nation, an Oklahoma-based Native American tribe, to open its first SONIC Drive-In in Seneca, Mo.
“The Wyandotte Nation brings an appetite and acumen for operating businesses with high consumer appeal that create new jobs and stimulate business growth. They know the community desires the SONIC experience, and with our unit economics, SONIC is the perfect business opportunity,” said Cliff Hudson, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sonic Corp. “We also feel a personal connection because both SONIC and the Wyandotte Nation have their roots in Oklahoma. Native American tribes represent a very important part of our community here in the heartland, a significant business driver in our region and a contributor to economic activity and job creation nationwide.”
“This marks the first development agreement with a Native American tribe for the SONIC system,” said Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development for Sonic. “We’re excited about the potential to support economic development in the community and hope success with the Wyandotte Nation serves as a model for others.”
The new SONIC Drive-In is slated to be built and open for business at 2314 Cherokee Ave. by fall 2013, adding to a portfolio of small businesses developed by the Wyandotte Nation. These businesses span multiple industries including food service, telecommunications, information technology, precision manufacturing and entertainment.“We have looked at several concepts. What eventually brought us to SONIC was the opportunity to become part of a very recognizable brand,” said Kelly Carpino, chief executive officer of the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma. “The effectiveness of SONIC’s media and promotional strategy along with an amazing product line drew our attention to the SONIC franchise. The decision was solidified by SONIC’s new small building prototype that is a perfect fit for smaller, secondary markets within SONIC’s core market.”