Sonic Corp., more often called Sonic (stylized as SONIC), is the operator of an American drive-in fast-food restaurant chain located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that is belonging to Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. Since September 5, 2018, you can find 3,606 sonic menu prices in 45 U.S. states. In 2011, it was ranked 10th in QSR Magazine’s rankings of the top 50 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands in the nation (moving to 13th for 2015 and 2016). Recognized for its utilization of carhops on roller skates, the company annually hosts a competition to discover the top skating carhop in its system.
Although Sonic has operated because the early 1950s, Sonic Corp. incorporated in Delaware in 1990. It has its corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City; the headquarters building features a dine-in Sonic restaurant within an adjacent building. Before its acquisition by Inspire Brands, its stock traded on NASDAQ with the symbol SONC. Company restaurants are owned and operated by Sonic Restaurants, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary. Total 2016 revenues were around $100 million with net income of $18 million.
Jr. Deluxe Burger from Sonic Drive-In.
The Jr. Deluxe Burger, a value menu item
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 sodas, slushes, and milkshakes. Customers can combine various drinks and flavors to generate 1000s of possible drink combinations. Frozen treats desserts include sundaes and floats.
At a standard Sonic Drive-In, a customer drives in to a covered drive-in stall, orders through an intercom speaker system, and it has the food delivered with a carhop. Most drive-ins also provide patio seating, and lots of have drive-thru lanes.
History – Following World War II, sonic restaurant returned to his hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma, where he became employed as a milkman. He decided 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 fast food restaurant, Troy’s Pan Full of Chicken, on the fringe of town. In 1953, Smith went along with an organization partner to get a five-acre parcel of land that had a log house along with a walk-up root beer stand, already named the Top Hat. The two men continued with the operation in the root beer stand and converted the log house in to a steak restaurant. After realizing that the stand was averaging $700 a week inside the sale of root beer, hamburgers, and hot dogs, Smith chose to focus on the more-profitable root beer stand. He also bought out his business partner.
Originally, Top Hat customers would park their automobiles anywhere on the gravel parking lot and walk as much as place their orders. However, on a trip to Louisiana, Smith saw a drive-in this used speakers for ordering. He suspected that he could increase his sales by controlling the parking and achieving the buyers order from speakers at their cars, with carhops delivering the food to the cars. Smith borrowed several automobiles coming from a friend who owned a pre-owned-car lot to determine a layout for controlled parking. Also, he iygumq some so-called “jukebox boys” are available in and wire an intercom system within 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 very first franchise location in Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1956, based upon nothing but a handshake. By 1958, two more drive-ins were built, in Enid and Stillwater.
Sonic Drive-In neon sign at the Oklahoma History Center
Upon learning that the Top Hat name was already trademarked, Smith and Pappe changed the name to Sonic in 1959. The brand new name worked with their existing slogan, “Service using the Speed of Sound”. After the name change, the first Sonic sign was installed on the Stillwater Top-Hat Drive-In; it was the first of three Sonics that could eventually appear in Stillwater. The sonic hours to carry the first sign was demolished and renovated in May 2015. Although Smith and Pappe were being required to help open new franchise locations, no real royalty plan is in place. The pair decided to get their paper company charge an added penny for every Sonic-label hamburger bag it sold. The proceeds would then be split between Smith and Pappe. The first franchise contracts under this plan were drafted, but still no joint marketing plan, standardized menu, or detailed operating requirements were set up.