For the second time in recent months, SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ:SONC) today announced expansion plans for the state of California with a franchise agreement slated to bring 10 new drive-ins to the Los Angeles market in the next seven years.
The nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants has signed an agreement with franchise partner Coast to Coast Commercial, LLC to develop these locations. In addition, SONIC is seeking multiple franchise partners in Southern, Central and Northern California as part of a plan for as many as 300 drive-ins in the state by 2020.
The 10 drive-ins will span numerous areas of Los Angeles, with emphasis on Northern Los Angeles County including the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys along with communities near the 210 Corridor. The first two drive-ins are planned to open August 2015. When all the drive-ins are opened, the agreement is expected to result in approximately 500 new jobs, including SONIC’s iconic skating Carhops.
“Coast to Coast has been a valuable franchisee in the Southern California market since 2007, and their commitment for new locations in an area with such high consumer demand for our brand is further progress toward our goal of 300 California locations by 2020,” said Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development for Sonic. “Franchisees have many different restaurant concept options, but the SONIC Drive-In experience offers something special. The light-hearted, family-friendly atmosphere with menu items available only at SONIC and the sense of humor reinforced by our national Two Guys advertising are unique, all equating to a brand that Californians are clamoring for.”
Coast to Coast Commercial, LLC currently owns and operates six other SONIC Drive-Ins in Southern California and is led by chief executive officer Rick Wesselink, a native Southern Californian and residential and commercial real estate developer.
“Every year SONIC steps up its game, from its innovative new products and strong marketing to unparalleled franchisee support and ongoing guidance,” said Clinton Wesselink of Coast to Coast Commercial, LLC. “Beyond that, SONIC is dynamic where other concepts seem outdated, and we are excited for the future development SONIC and Coast to Coast will bring to the Los Angeles area.”
In June 2013, SONIC Drive-In announced a franchise agreement to open 15 new SONIC Drive-Ins in Southern California in the next six years, with five new drive-ins in San Diego County and 10 new drive-ins in the greater West Riverside County area. Today’s announcement brings the signed Southern California additions to 25.
SONIC’s unique menu, friendly Carhops and over one million drink combinations make it among the most differentiated concepts in the restaurant industry. SONIC continues its transition from a regional powerhouse to a national brand, and current national expansion means that franchise opportunities are still available.
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