For more than 60 years, SONIC, America’s Drive-In has built a dominant position in the drive-in restaurant business. We did it by sticking to what made drive-ins so popular in the first place: made-to-order American classics, signature menu items, speedy service from friendly Carhops and heaping helpings of fun and personality.
Today, SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. As a business, we continue to thrive, maintaining strong real sales growth, industry-leading customer frequency and high returns for our stockholders.
Our vision is simple: to become America’s most loved restaurant brand. SONIC® Drive-In’s founder, Troy Smith Sr., strived for that vision and after more than 60 years it remains the same. What once was a small hamburger and root beer stand named Top Hat Drive-In has grown to become America’s drive-in with more than 3,500 locations coast to coast. The original vision inspires our employees to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience while building one of the most loyal customer bases in the business.
In 1953, the prototype of the first SONIC® Drive-In® (NASDAQ: SONC) opened in Shawnee, Okla. Back then, SONIC revolutionized the ordering process by using curbside speakers that allowed customers to place food orders without ever leaving their cars. This technology spawned the slogan “Service at the Speed of Sound™,” which translated to one word: SONIC. Troy Smith Sr. aptly changed the name from Top Hat to SONIC Drive-In in 1959.
With a dynamic history, SONIC surges forward while specializing in fresh, made-to-order meals that you can’t get anywhere else. SONIC’s menu is unique, just like the 3 million customers who order from our drive-ins each day. Nowhere else can you order from a customizable menu featuring Footlong Quarter Pound Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), TOASTER® sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick Texas toast) and handmade Onion Rings that are sliced, breaded and cooked fresh every day in every drive-in. Also, don’t forget to top your meal off with dessert: it’s the SONIC way. Classics like our hand-mixed Shakes are made with Real Ice Cream® and come in a variety of flavors. No trip to SONIC would be complete without a drink featuring our beloved craveable ice. As your Ultimate Drink Stop® with more than 1 million fountain drink and slush combinations, you can’t go wrong.
SONIC recognizes that its success is a result of the support of each and every local community. One of our core values is “relationships as a way of life” and we value the relationship we have with each neighborhood that surrounds a SONIC location.
Our Oklahoma City, Okla. corporate office focuses on supporting youth through education and arts opportunities within the state of Oklahoma, the SONIC system bands together through Limeades for Learning®, a nationwide cause branding initiative, to provide essential and innovative learning materials to public school classrooms across the country in partnership with DonorsChoose.org. Through the award winning initiative, SONIC and our franchise partners have donated more than $5 million to public school classrooms in local communities across the country.
Cliff Hudson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sonic Corp., leads the SONIC brand with average unit sales of $1.24 million. Under his leadership, the company continues to thrive and innovate while remaining committed to the same goal it had at that first location in Shawnee, Okla.: to become America’s most loved restaurant brand.