Sonic plans major Indianapolis expansion, will add up to 75 locations

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INDIANAPOLIS – Drive-in restaurant Sonic plans a major expansion in the Indianapolis area.

According to a news release, the drive-in restaurant chain plans to add up to 75 restaurants over the next decade in central Indiana.

The company touts itself as the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America, serving three million customers every day in 44 states. It specializes in made-to-order fast food, a large drink menu, sandwiches served on Texas Toast, Coneys and Tots. The chain advertises heavily in the Indianapolis market with quirky commercials featuring a pair of Sonic fans.

Sonic grew popular in warm-weather states in the south, but the chain has adapted to cooler weather with a prototype featuring an indoor dining room in addition to drive-in and drive-thru service. Typically, customers order food from their cars and servers bring it to them.

The Indianapolis rollout is part of a larger national campaign to add Sonic restaurants across the country. The chain already has some locations in the Indianapolis area, including restaurants in Avon and Camby.

Sonic is now looking for franchisees to help with the expansion. Those interested in owning a Sonic franchise are invited to an open house on Monday, May 5, 2014, from 7-9 p.m. at the Wingate by Wyndham Indianapolis Airport hotel, 5797 Rockville Rd., Indianapolis. Steve Bailey, senior director of franchise development for Sonic, will lead the meeting.

The following day, Bailey will host one-on-one meetings by appointment only with “serious franchisee candidates.” During those meetings, Bailey will take questions from interested owner-operators and go into further detail on timelines and investment.

Bailey, who’s from the Indianapolis area, says he sees unlimited potential for the Sonic brand in the market.

For more information about franchising, contact him by email at

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