Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC) has identified Indianapolis as a key market in a major nationwide expansion. The drive-in restaurant chain is planning to open 75 locations in central Indiana over the next decade. Sonic's website says it has existing locations in Bloomington, Lafayette, Avon, Scottsburg, Seymour, Mishawaka, South Bend, Terre Haute and Camby.

The company's Vice President of Public Relations Patrick Lenow tells Inside INdiana Business the number of employees in each store varies, but is usually around 50 full and part-timers.

Lenow says the goal is to have a store within a 10 minute drive for anyone living in the Indianapolis market.

Earlier this month, Sonic announced a nationwide expansion plan, which includes one thousand new locations over the next 10 years.

Sources: Inside INdiana Business, Sonic Corp.

News Release

Originally April 17, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – SONIC Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, is looking for entrepreneurs interested in exploring multi-unit development opportunities in the Indianapolis area. With delicious and innovative food and beverage offerings and over 60 years of success in the restaurant industry, SONIC is primed for growth in the Indianapolis market with potential to develop an additional sixty to seventy-five drive-ins. In May, SONIC Drive-In is inviting interested parties to learn more about SONIC, the franchise’s growth plans and how SONIC can be a part of their future.

Indianapolis native Steve Bailey, senior director of franchise development at SONIC, will be offering prospective franchisees an opportunity to learn more about the SONIC brand and franchise development process during an open house on Monday, May 5, 2014 from 7-9 p.m. at the Wingate By Wyndham Indianapolis Airport hotel at 5797 Rockville Road in Indianapolis. The following day on May 6, Bailey will host one-on-one meetings by appointment only with serious franchisee candidates at the same location.

During the one-on-one meetings, Bailey will discuss SONIC’s unique business model and provide an overview of the franchise program, including areas available for franchise, development timelines and details on the investment associated with becoming a SONIC franchisee. In addition, potential franchisees will have the opportunity to discuss support services available and to address any questions they may have about becoming a SONIC owner/operator in the area. Interested parties can request a meeting on May 6 by emailing Steve.Bailey@sonicdrivein.com.

“I love my hometown and SONIC is already a success here in Indianapolis, but I see so much potential for the brand in this market and the surrounding communities,” said Bailey. “As a franchise-centric brand, SONIC provides a comprehensive level of support to assist our franchisees and position them for success, including support for site selection, construction, training, marketing and operations. With the right franchisee partners, SONIC is poised to make a big impact here.”

Over the past 60 years, SONIC has built a strong brand and business, expanding its presence nationally to serve approximately 3 million customers daily in 44 states. Today, SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America, with nearly 90 percent of locations owned by franchisees. Though the brand started as a drive-in in warm southern states, franchisees in cooler climates are adapting with a new indoor dining prototype allowing guests to come in out of the cold to enjoy their SONIC meal.

“The indoor dining prototype is ideally suited for a market like Indy,” said Bailey. “It still features the nostalgic drive-in that always puts every guest at the front of the line, along with the convenient drive-thru, but the indoor dining room is a little something special, making SONIC more similar to a fast-casual experience.”

SONIC, which specializes in made-to-order fast food, is known for its specialty menu items and personal Carhop service. More than 1 million unique drink combinations make SONIC Your Ultimate Drink Stop! Favorite menu items include TOASTER Sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick Texas Toast), extra-long cheese Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), Tots and a variety of premium desserts, made with SONIC's rich and creamy Real Ice Cream. SONIC's ever-growing menu is full of options to satisfy every taste.

About SONIC, America's Drive-In

SONIC, America's Drive-In, is the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC's 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over the past 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. SONIC received top honors as America's “#1 burger quick service restaurant,” ranking in the top 5 of all brands in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings report. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Sonic Corp.

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