The franchisor is Sonic Franchising LLC, which is a subsidiary of Inspire Brands, Inc. Company licenses the operation of Sonic restaurants. Sonic Drive-Ins offers various favorite drive-in classics: cheeseburgers, various chicken dishes such as sandwiches and boneless wings, different hot dogs including the 6-inch premium beef hot dogs, footlong quarter-pound coneys, homemade tater tots and onion rings, a full breakfast menu.
Sonic restaurants are famous for a wide array of ice cream treats, signature cherry lemonades and other specialty fountain drinks, famous slushes and its candy mix-in “SONIC Blast'' treats. Usually, Sonic Drive-Ins serve a full menu all day and open from 6 a.m. to at least 11 p.m.
There are two types of franchises:
- A traditional Sonic restaurant. Generally, a free-standing, one-story building offers in-car service and is surrounded by parking stalls covered by canopies for 8 to 24 cars. Many restaurants have drive-thru service and patio seating, optionally there can be an enclosed patio or indoor seating. This type also includes co-branded restaurants at the convenience stores and travel plazas, or other facilities.
- A non-traditional Sonic restaurant. This type of restaurant is located in public facilities like military bases, universities, governmental institutions, sports and entertainment venues, shopping centers, airports, train stations, etc. This type also includes co-branded restaurants at convenience stores that do not have parking stalls.
At least one franchisee's employee must complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 Career Development Programs before opening. Before opening, the franchisor strongly recommends completing Stage 1 and Stage 2 Career Development Programs to the franchisees, their operator, and at least one other employee. Before the restaurant opening, it is requested that all management employees be ServSafe certified.
The franchisor requires that all Sonic Drive-In employees complete a comprehensive, restaurant-based food safety program Sonic Safe. Sonic Management Seminar (SMS) training required to attend for at least one full-time manager. The franchisor will contribute a partnership with another “A-Team” franchisee to participate in the pre-opening and opening, for a franchisee’s first three Sonic Drive-Ins. From time to time the franchisor will offer management training.
The franchisor will periodically mailings which will communicate system initiatives, operational recommendations, and other general information about the operation of the Sonic restaurant. The franchisor will provide access to other resources and assistance that it may develop and offer from time to time.
Territory Granted: Within six months after the License Agreement date, the franchisor will grant the right to operate a Sonic restaurant in a specific location or in a specific location subject to Sonic's approval of the specific location.
In the “protected area” which is defined in a franchisee’s License Agreement, and based on four different criteria (defined in the FDD), the franchisor grants not own or operate a Sonic restaurant and will not franchise any other person to own or operate a Sonic restaurant. Excuse for a Sonic restaurant licensed before the License Agreement date. The franchisor will determine the protected area for the non-traditional Sonic by selecting from two options (defined in the FDD) for the non-traditional License Agreement.
Obligations and Restrictions: Personal supervision of the daily operation of the Sonic restaurant by the franchisee is not required by the franchisor. At least one full-time employee (typically the manager) must complete the Stage Career Development Program and any other training program that the franchisor sometimes may offer. Only Sonic-approved items and goods can be offered by franchisees at the restaurant. All menu items and goods required by the franchisor must be offered.
Term of Agreement and Renewal: The initial term of the Franchise Agreement is 20 years for a traditional Sonic. For a non-traditional Sonic, the term is 10 years. If requirements are met, for a traditional Sonic renewal is one additional 10-year term, one additional five-year term for a non-traditional.
Financial Assistance: To new franchisees, the franchisor does not offer, directly or indirectly, any financing arrangements, including financing to waive notice, confess judgment or waive a defense against Sonic or its assignees. The franchisor does not have any past or present practice or intent to sell, assign or discount any note, contract or other instrument executed by its franchisees. The franchisor does not receive any direct or indirect payments for placing or arranging any financing for its franchisees. In the past, the franchisor accepted promissory notes from its franchisees for arrears to Sonic and Sonic subsidiaries. This practice can be continued on an individual basis.