Business Strategies of Sonic

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Business Strategies of Sonic, America’s Drive-in

Sonic, a fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, is the largest drive-in restaurant chain in the nation. With more than 3500 stores across the nation averaging over a million dollars a year in sales per store, this corporation is one of the leaders in the fast food grouping of the restaurant industry. The success the Sonic Corporation enjoys is due largely to their unique style and the various ways they build value for their customer base.

The first Sonic store was opened in Shawnee, OK in 1953 as the Top-Hat Drive-In. The company later changed its name to Sonic in 1959. The restaurant opened originally as a burger and root beer stand and has progressively grown and developed throughout the years into the restaurant chain we know today. Sonic has incorporated several unique business ideas to remain relevant and successful in the fast food industry.

The first way Sonic builds value for its customers is its unique drive-in style ordering system. This allows the restaurant to serve multiple customers at once and reduces the frustration a customer endures from waiting in a long line to receive a meal. Convenience plays a major role in the customer experience. A customer orders from their vehicle under a canopy that protects from weather conditions. The drive-in style allows a customer to feel important and appreciated and makes the experience a personal one. At a majority of the stores, meals are delivered directly to customer vehicles by “car-hops” on roller skates. This sets a fun, lighthearted atmosphere and adds value to the overall customer experience. These aspects of the business not only add value but could be considered distinctive competencies for the corporation.

In my opinion, another competency of this chain is the differentiation of its menu items. They offer a variety of menu items that can be attractive to a variety of customers including drinks, several...
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