SONIC Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) now delights guests in 44 states and is quickly expanding in the Northeast United States to meet ever growing demand. Today, SONIC announced a new agreement for franchise development of eight new drive-ins in the Albany, N.Y., area over the next seven years, with the first restaurant opening in Latham this spring.
SONIC has recently opened drive-ins in upstate New York markets including Watertown, Rochester and Middletown, with other SONIC drive-ins coming soon to Buffalo and Syracuse. With this transaction SONIC has agreements in place in all four major markets in upstate New York for franchisees to develop 27 new drive-ins in the region. In addition to all of this growth, the brand is still offering franchise development opportunities in Binghamton, Ithaca, Utica, Rockland and Westchester Counties.
“Through a combination of word-of-mouth and increased national advertising, we’ve cultivated strong demand for the SONIC experience nationwide, and we see tremendous opportunity to expand in the Northeast, in particular,” said Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development for Sonic. “Public response to our growth in upstate New York has been phenomenal, with drive-ins opening in Watertown and Rochester to lines around the block. We look forward to working with the Fast Eats team to continue to drive success in a market that’s been clamoring for SONIC for years.”
Fast Eats, LLC, led by an experienced service industry team, is already fast at work on their first location in Latham with expected opening in the spring of 2015. Within seven years, Fast Eats expects to open eight drive-in locations in the New York Capital District, including Albany, Latham, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Amsterdam and the surrounding areas.
“The upstate New York market has been abuzz with SONIC news in the last year; they see the great commercials and hear the news about SONIC coming to other upstate New York communities and they can’t wait for an opportunity to try the food and drinks themselves. We are happy to be able to finally provide this service to our Albany neighbors with our new Fast Eats franchisees,” said Franke. “From the drive-in experience and skating Carhops to unique menu items like Real Ice Cream Shakes and premium Chicken Sandwiches, there’s simply nothing like SONIC in this market – or anywhere for that matter.”
As SONIC expands into new markets like the Northeast, it is adapting to colder climates to fit the needs of its guests year-round. Like many of the newly planned upstate New York drive-ins, the new Albany drive-ins will feature indoor dining areas, allowing guests to experience SONIC in multiple ways – either in their cars or seated at a table inside. The dining area is designed for year-round use, making SONIC a great destination any month of the year.
Beyond the indoor dining building format, SONIC offers franchisees flexibility with multiple drive-in formats, including: the traditional drive-in model with 14 to 29 dining stalls and a drive-thru; conversions, renovating existing restaurant buildings to create unique drive-ins; and the mall/airport model, offering customizable footprints to fit a variety of indoor spaces. Always a drive-in at heart, SONIC is ready to work with franchisees to find a building solution to match their needs and the needs of their guests.
Even with all of the SONIC growth news in upstate New York, there are still additional opportunities for new franchisees in multiple markets in the area. Individuals interested in pursuing a SONIC franchise are encouraged to visit sonicfranchises.com for more information. Many franchise opportunities are still available.
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.
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