Sonic Drive in Franchise Fee 2024

At Sonic, we’re not just another fast-food chain. We bring something special to the table with our unique drive-in concept, serving up delicious meals to over 3 million customers daily across 3,500 locations nationwide.

With 60 years of history, Sonic is more than just a brand – it’s an American icon, built on a foundation of exceptional customer service and strong community ties. Join us and be part of something truly special in the world of quick-service restaurants.

Invest in a SONICDrive-In Burger Franchise

Success Stories and Franchise Growth: Sonic Drive-In’s history of growth and franchisee success is notable. Founded in 1953, the brand has grown significantly, showcasing the potential for franchisees.

A franchise owner in Kansas started as a carhop and eventually owned multiple Sonic locations, demonstrating the growth and success achievable within the franchise system. This story can inspire potential franchisees by showing real-life examples of career progression and ownership within the Sonic system​​.

Understanding SONIC Franchise Startup Costs

Investing in a SONIC® franchise means becoming part of a robust and expanding brand. We’re seeking enthusiastic entrepreneurs, ideally with experience in multi-unit franchising or business ownership, coupled with solid financial standing.

Throughout the startup journey, we provide extensive support to franchisees, ensuring their sustained success within our brand.

Here’s a breakdown of startup costs:

  • Franchise Fee: $45,000 for a single unit.
  • Total Estimated Investment: Ranges from $865,000 to $3.64 million (excluding land).
  • Net Worth and Liquidity: We consider the net worth of partners to meet the total requirements.
  • Franchise Term: Traditional SONIC franchises run for 20 years, with an option for a 10-year renewal.

Partner with SONIC and embark on a rewarding journey in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Site Selection and Startup Timeline for SONIC Franchise

Securing a SONIC site typically takes six to eight months. Once the site selection process is finalized and construction of your SONIC restaurant commences, it usually takes an average of 12 months to open your location, though this duration may vary depending on the region.

At SONIC’s corporate office, we provide comprehensive support to our franchisees, offering valuable resources such as demographic data and detailed site analytics. These resources are aimed at streamlining the site selection and construction process, ultimately maximizing profitability for franchisees.

Financial Requirements for Franchise Ownership:

LiquidityNet Worth
1 – 2 Units$500,000**
3+ Units$1.0 Million

Please refer to the Franchise Disclosure Document for comprehensive details regarding your estimated initial investment.

sonic drive in franchise fee
Type of ExpenditureEstimated Low (USD)Estimated High (USD)
Franchise Fee$45,000$45,000
Training, travel and Living Expenses while Training$5,000$33,500
A-Team Trainers$44,000$92,000
Advertising Funds$2,000$5,000
Beginning Inventory$30,000$140,000
Security Deposits, impact fees for utilities, utility deposits, business license and other prepaid expenses$42,000$179,000
Insurance Premiums$10,000$20,000
Additional Funds (Three Months)$5,000$10,000
Miscellaneous Pre-Opening Costs$5,000$58,300
Building and Site Work$480,000$2,396,000
Restaurant Equipment$5,000$350,000
Point of Sale System (POS) and Digital Menu Housings (POPS)$124,000$140,000
Sonic Sign$12,000$35,000
TOTAL ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT (plus land costs)$865,000$3,641,300
Optional – Indoor Seating$125,000$275,000

To obtain a copy of our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), kindly request franchise information by completing the form available on this page. We will promptly provide you with the necessary details and documentation to assist you in your franchise journey. Thank you for your interest in joining the SONIC family. We look forward to partnering with you.

Qualifications for Prospective SONIC Franchisees

To become a SONIC franchisee, we seek individuals who possess the following qualifications:

  1. Restaurant Background: At least one operating partner should have a background in the restaurant industry.
  2. Multi-Unit Experience: Preferably, candidates should have experience in managing multiple units.
  3. Leadership Skills: Ability to develop, lead, and inspire a management team is essential.
  4. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Strong entrepreneurial skills are highly valued.
  5. Community Engagement: Active involvement in the local community is encouraged.
  6. Retail Sales Aptitude: Understanding of retail sales is advantageous.

While SONIC Drive-In franchise opportunities are not currently available at America’s Best Franchises, we recommend exploring further to discover franchise opportunities in your area.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a SONIC franchisee and embark on a rewarding journey in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Global Expansion:

Sonic’s international presence, like franchise locations in Bangladesh and California, showcases its global appeal and potential for international market penetration. This can attract potential franchisees interested in bringing Sonic to new markets outside the United States​​.

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