Sonic Drive-In, more typically referred to as Sonic, is undoubtedly an American drive-in fast-food restaurant chain based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. By August 31, 2016, 3,557 restaurants were in 45 U.S. states. This Year, it was actually ranked 10th in QSR Magazine’s rankings of your top 50 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands in the nation. Noted for its consumption of carhops on roller skates, the company annually hosts a contest to ascertain the top skating carhop in its system. It also hosts, with Dr Pepper, an inside competition between drive-in employees.
Although Sonic has operated because the early 1950s, Sonic Corp. incorporated in Delaware in 1990. It provides its corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City; the headquarters building features sonic hours inside an adjacent building. Its stock trades on NASDAQ together with the symbol SONC. Company restaurants are owned and operated by Sonic Restaurants, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary. Total 2011 revenues were around $546 million with net income of $19 million.
Sonic’s menu consists of hamburgers and French fries, as well as onion rings, corn dogs, chili dogs and breakfast toaster sandwiches. Drink options include carbonated drinks, slushes, and milkshakes. Customers can combine various drinks and flavors to produce 1000s of possible drink combinations. Ice cream desserts include sundaes and banana splits.
At the standard Sonic Drive-In, a customer drives in a covered drive-in stall, orders using an intercom speaker system, and has the food delivered by way of a carhop. Most drive-ins also have patio seating, and a lot of have drive-thru lanes.
Following The Second World War, Sonic founder Troy N. Smith Sr. returned to his hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma, where he became employed as a milkman. He chosen to work delivering bread because bread had not been as heavy as milk. Soon afterwards, Smith purchased the Cottage Cafe, a little diner in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Before long, he sold it and opened a rapid food restaurant, Troy’s Pan Filled with Chicken, on the fringe of town. In 1953, Smith went in with a company partner to buy a five-acre parcel of land who had a log house and a walk-up root beer stand, already named the best Hat. Both the men continued using the operation from the root beer stand and converted the log house into a steak restaurant. After understanding that the stand was averaging $700 every week in the sale of root beer, hamburgers, and sausages, Smith decided to pay attention to the greater number of-profitable root beer stand. Also, he bought out his business partner.
Originally, Top Hat customers would park their automobiles anywhere in the gravel parking area and walk up to place their orders. However, on a trip to Louisiana, Smith saw a drive-because used speakers for ordering. He suspected he could increase his sales by managing the parking and achieving the shoppers order from speakers at their cars, with carhops delivering the meals towards the cars. Smith borrowed several automobiles coming from a friend who owned a second hand-car lot to determine a layout for controlled parking. Also, he had some so-called “jukebox boys” may be found in and wire an intercom system inside the car park. Sales immediately tripled. Charles Woodrow Pappe, an entrepreneur, chanced upon the Shawnee drive-in and was impressed. He and Smith negotiated the 1st franchise location in Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1956, according to nothing but a handshake. By 1958, two more drive-ins were built, in Enid and Stillwater.
Upon learning the Top Hat name was already trademarked, Smith and Pappe changed the name to Sonic in 1959. The newest name dealt with their existing slogan, “Service together with the Speed of Sound”. After the name change, the 1st Sonic sign was installed with the Stillwater Top-Hat Drive-In; this is the 1st of three Sonics that might eventually appear in Stillwater. The original Sonic to handle the 1st sign was demolished and renovated in May 2015. Although Smith and Pappe were being inspired to help open new franchise locations, no real royalty plan was in place. The pair decided to have their paper company charge an added penny for each and every Sonic-label hamburger bag it sold. The proceeds would then be split between Smith and Pappe. The initial franchise contracts under this plan were drawn up, but still no joint marketing plan, standardized menu, or detailed operating requirements were in position.
Sonic’s founders formed Sonic Supply as a supply and distribution division in the 1960s. Under Smith, longtime franchise holders Marvin Jirous and Matt Kinslow were hired to run the division. In 1973, Sonic Supply was restructured like a franchise company that was briefly named Sonic Systems of America, which provided franchisees with equipment, building plans, and basic operational instructions. Because the company grew in to a regionally known operation throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the drive-ins were mainly in small towns in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Missouri, and Arkansas. In 1967, the season Pappe died, there have been 41 drive-ins. By 1972, this number had risen to 165, and by 1978, 1,000.
In 1977, the business established the Sonic School for manager training. Franchisees operated most of the drive-ins and sometimes made the store manager an enterprise partner, even to this day.
In 1983, the company’s board of directors hired C. Stephen Lynn as president, and, in 1984, Lynn hired J. Clifford Hudson, a legal professional, to head the legal department. Under Lynn, Sonic and its major franchisees began to encourage the creation of local-advertising cooperatives that has been developed with all the leadership of Keith Sutterfield as Advertising Manager and later on as V.P. of advertising through which Sutterfield developed a field structure to work with the franchisees. New franchises began to expand the business into new areas and redevelop markets that had been unsuccessful in the past. These developments, coupled with a significant marketing strategy featuring singer and actor Frankie Avalon, triggered significant growth along with a new image that would make Sonic a nationally recognized name. In 1986, Lynn, with a small grouping of investors, completed a $10-million leveraged buyout and took the organization private. Another year, Sonic moved its offices to leased space at 120 Robert S. Kerr Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City and begun to assume a greater profile in the neighborhood.
Through the mid-1990s, Sonic opened 100-150 new restaurants per year. Beginning in 1998, Sonic began a retrofit program, called “Sonic 2000”, to redesign and update all 1,750 stores in their chain as to what was called a “retro-future” look.
Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2003, Sonic briefly added the Birthday Cake Shake for the menu. As an element of the anniversary celebration, Pickle-O’s made another appearance as a recurring item. Development milestones celebrated within the 2000s add the opening of your 3,000th Sonic Drive-In in Shawnee, Oklahoma, dexgpky14 the 3,500th Sonic Drive-In in the Chicago market (Algonquin, Illinois). In October 2004, President Pattye Moore stepped down to hang out with her family. On June 28, 2005, helped by new menu items and increased advertising exposure, Sonic Corp. reported double-digit increases in net income and revenue within the third quarter that year. On January 5, 2005, the business started to roll out card readers within the drive-in stalls at its 544 company-owned restaurants in the end of January that year. In 2007, the organization opened its first restaurants in the Northeastern U.S., in New Jersey.
During 2009, Sonic partnered with DonorsChoose.org on the collaborative effort, Limeades for Learning, the chain’s first systemwide cause marketing initiative. Public school teachers request needed supplies and materials and Sonic customers vote on how to allocate over $500,000 each autumn. Within the first three years of your program, Sonic and its particular franchisees donated over $2 million and impacted learning for longer than 111,000 students nationwide.
In September 2009, Omar Janjua joined the business as president from the restaurant operating subsidiary, Sonic Restaurants, Inc. (“SRI”) and more recently was appointed as executive vice president of operations for Sonic Industries.
In January 2010, Sonic announced that they would begin switching to cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and chickens killed using controlled-atmosphere stunning methods as an alternative to traditional shackling and water-stunning.
Despite growth into new markets outside the brand’s traditional footprint, the company was hit hard by the recession of 2008-2009. During 2009, the emblem had multiple quarters of declines in same-store sales the very first time in recent memory.[clarification needed] Plans to bring Sonic to Alaska have not go to fruition. On October 26, 2015, Allfoodmenuprices opened its first Rhode Island location in Smithfield, reporting to possess received 500 orders on its opening day.
Sonic reformulated its popular soft-serve frozen treats in order to meet the FDA guidelines that define what constitutes real ice cream and introduced Real Ice Cream on May 17, 2010. Several new hot dog items were also introduced in June 2010 and February 2011.
Craig Miller was hired as chief information officer for Sonic in January 2010. In June 2010, Danielle Vona was hired as chief marketing officer.
In late 2010, Sonic announced it had been ending its 17-year relationship with advertising agency Barkley. A team of specialized agencies were selected to represent the business, and also in early 2011, the San Francisco-based Goodby Silverstein & Partners was named because the new creative agency to the company.
In June 2011, the 1st location underneath the name Sonic Beach was opened in Homestead, Florida. An additional location, opened in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in November 2011, lacks the standard drive-in stalls for its beach-side location. Both locations also include outdoor seating and flatscreen televisions. Another location was opened in Miami Gardens across from Hard Rock Stadium. The fourth location was opened January 2014 in Lauderhill.
Along with the traditional menu items, Sonic Beach also provides several new items including popcorn shrimp, Philly cheesesteaks, and pulled pork sandwiches. Sonic Beach also serves beer and wine.
Sonic ran its first television advertisement in 1977. In the early 1980s, actor Tom Bosley was featured in the company’s commercials. One of many company’s most memorable promotional initiatives, which ran from 1987 to 1993, featured Frankie Avalon. In May 1999, the company began a brand new campaign featuring the character Katie the Carhop.
Sonic was also associated with NASCAR. The organization contracted with Richard Childress Racing at the end of 2000 to become an associate sponsor for Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. After Earnhardt was killed in the last lap of your Daytona 500, the company continued its sponsorship regarding his replacement driver Kevin Harvick, through the end of your 2003 season.
In 2004, the business became more well-known nationally by advertising in television markets numerous miles looking at the nearest franchise.Improvisational actors T. J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz became proven to American television viewers using their “Two Guys” combination of commercials. Similar combination of ads for that company have featured other duos of improvisational performers, including Molly Erdman and Brian Huskey, Katie Rich and Sayjal Joshi, and Emily Wilson and Tim Baltz. During 2010, national auditions were held plus a new series of commercials began airing, many of which featured carhops from Wisconsin and Austin, Texas.
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