SONIC Drive-In Continues Northeast Expansion with Agreement for Five New Drive-Ins in the Rochester, NY Market

SONIC Drive-In Continues Northeast Expansion with Agreement for Five New Drive-Ins in the Rochester, NY Market

Once the best-kept secret of super-fans in the South and Central Plains, SONIC Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) now delights guests in 43 states and is quickly expanding in the Northeast United States to meet demand. Today, Sonic Corp. announced it has reached an agreement for franchise development of five new drive-ins in the Rochester, NY market over the next four years.

With five existing drive-ins located in New York, the new agreement means the SONIC presence is set to double in the Empire State, and the company has plans for additional expansion.

“In certain parts of the country – particularly the South and Central Plains – SONIC has long had a passionate and loyal following, and now, the secret is clearly out,” said Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development for Sonic Corp. “Through a combination of word-of-mouth and increased national advertising, we’ve created demand for the SONIC experience from coast to coast, and we see tremendous opportunity to expand in the Northeast, in particular. Our franchisee’s team understands our brand and offers the right experience and community relationships to drive our expansion in upstate New York.”

The franchise group is led by Fran DeSimone, who brings valuable experience in both quick-service and fast-casual restaurants. DeSimone’s experience includes leadership roles with the Panera Bread, Burger King and Taco Bell brands. Through a separate business partnership, DeSimone also currently serves as the franchisee for a leading fast-casual brand in the Rochester market.

“We have deep ties to the Rochester community, and we’ve been hearing for years that local residents want a SONIC,” said Fran DeSimone, president of the local SONIC franchise. “From the drive-in experience and skating carhops to unique menu items like Footlong Coneys and Real Ice Cream Shakes, there’s simply nothing like it in this market – or anywhere for that matter.”

As SONIC expands into new markets like the Northeast, it is partnering with franchisees to test new drive-in prototypes that meet the unique needs of their markets. As an example, the new Rochester drive-ins will feature an enclosed dining area, which will allow guests to experience SONIC in multiple ways – either in their cars or seated at a table. The dining area is designed for year-round use, as it can be opened as a patio for guests to enjoy warmer weather.

To support additional franchise development expansion in the Northeast and beyond, Sonic Corp. will participate in the International Franchise Expo at the Javits Center in New York from June 20-22. Individuals interested in pursuing a Sonic Franchise are encouraged to stop by booth #851 or visit for more information. Many franchise opportunities are still available.