Drive Incremental Sales with Drinks

McDonald’s signs boast about the incredible number of hamburgers—now many billions—it’s served over the years. But with the customer clamor for specialty beverages growing louder, the fast food icon may one day brag about the number of peppermint mochas sold.

When McDonald’s launched the McCafé line in 2009, it was both a warning signal to Starbucks and a resounding affirmation that specialty beverage menus would be a fixture at quick serves all over the country.

And signs are pointing to beverages becoming even more important to menus in coming years.

SONIC Bolsters Corporate Leadership Lineup

SONIC welcomes four new members to its Oklahoma City corporate leadership group in a series of talent acquisitions designed to bolster the strategy and growth of the brand.

  • Clas Petersson, vice president of product and packaging
  • Bob Franke, senior vice president of field services – east region
  • Larry Archibald, vice president of brand systems
  • Tanishia Beacham, vice president of field marketing


To Kickstart Growth, Sonic Will Highlight Daypart Opportunities

Clifford Hudson, CEO of Sonic, said during the firm's investor meeting on January 4 that the company will roll out a new marketing campaign in the spring highlighting the concept’s five daypart opportunities.

Hudson said the company is improving its creative strategy "to create a better alignment, as we would have historically … in a prerecession environment, for a multiple daypart strategy."

Restaurants Respond to Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, many Americans will make resolutions, often involving diets and healthy eating. Technomic has found that an increasing number of restaurants are able to meet these consumers' needs by creating dishes that are low in fat, calories, and sugar, and by proudly describing these healthful properties.

In fact, use of the word "healthy" within menu descriptions has increased by 86 percent over the past year.

Sonic Drive-In Serves Up Solar Energy

Sonic Drive-In franchise owners, Jess and Andrea Wetsel, continued their commitment to renewable energy production with the announcement today of two additional solar powered, canopy-mounted systems at their Tigard and Hillsboro restaurants.

Recession Creates Two Kinds of Consumers

A May 2011 survey predicted a long-term shift in consumer attitudes, with restaurant patrons falling into two camps: free spenders and controlled spenders. The latter group of consumers outnumber the former three to one, but experts say quick serves will have to figure out how to satisfy each consumer base in order to succeed in the long run.

A Sonic Rebound

Sonic chairman and CEO Clifford Hudson knows the numbers, and although he may cringe, he certainly does not cower from the realities or the challenge.

After 22 consecutive years of same-store sales growth, Sonic’s systemwide sales numbers declined in both fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The falling figures sobered Sonic’s successful streak and invincible attitude, reminding the corporate office and the system at large that growth was not guaranteed.

Sonic Rocks Summertime Hot Dogs and Shakes

It's summer, it's hot, and Sonic is celebrating with flavorful new menu items in July and August. Just in time for National Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month, Sonic is offering for a limited time the Baja Dog and a line of Sundae Shakes. 

Sonic’s new Sundae Shakes are available in three sippable flavors – Turtle, Strawberry Dream, and Classic Hot Fudge. The treats are all served in Sonic’s new metallic-looking cup, specially designed to resemble the classic metallic cups from vintage soda fountains and ice cream parlors.

The Good, Bad About Mobile Marketing

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.  

The good news? Mobile is hot! According to marketing services firm Listrak, there are more than 270 million mobile phones in use in the U.S. and 100 billion text messages are sent or received every month, making mobile the most popular way to communicate.

Google attributes $1 billion in revenue to mobile ads and consumer usage of mobile coupons is forecasted to exceed 300 million globally by 2014, according to Juniper Research.