Big Changes Ahead for Sonic Drive-In

The chain will feature more ads, new menu items, and a new layout

Sonic Drive-In, which has 3,549 restaurants in 43 states, is making a few changes.

In order to appeal to a wider national audience, they’re vastly increasing their national TV advertising budget, permanently adding a few new items to the menu, and also changing the layout of future restaurants to make them less expensive to build and operate.

In 2013, 67 percent of Sonic's advertising budget will go toward national cable TV, as opposed to 78 percent last year, according to Burger Business. Their local spending budget has decreased by nearly 10 percent, making sure that more people in more parts of the country see more of their ads.

The new advertising will promote their new Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich, the thousands of drink combinations available, and also the new Premium Chicken Sandwich line, which was introduced in November. For the ads themselves, they’ll be sticking with the "Two Guys" approach (two actors sitting in their car discussing the food), which has proved popular.

And while they plan to continue opening new Sonics, they’ll have a different look than what’s been used in recent years. According to president W. Scott McLain, the new, less-expensive layout is similar to what was used 15 or 20 years ago, with more of an emphasis on drive-thru as opposed to car-hop service. 

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