Industry News | May 9, 2013

Sonic Bolsters Franchise Team with New Hires

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Sonic announced the expansion of its franchise development team with two additions to its management team: Bob Franke, senior vice president of franchise sales and international development, and Thomas Kessler, senior director of franchise sales. The move reinforces Sonic’s commitment to bringing the Sonic experience to new franchisees and consumers domestically and beyond the U.S. borders.

“New Sonic Drive-In development is a key part of our multi-layered growth strategy,” says Cliff Hudson, chairman and chief executive officer of Sonic Corp. “With our unit economics, strong brand, and highly differentiated experience, we’re seeing significant development interest from current and new franchisees. By strengthening the team with seasoned pros like Bob and Thom, we’re well-positioned to accelerate our growth.”

Transitioning from his role as senior vice president of franchise services for Sonic, Franke brings more than 35 years of franchise experience to his newly created position on the franchise development team, which includes leadership of all aspects of franchise sales and transactions for U.S. and international development. Franke’s career in the restaurant industry began at McDonald’s Corporation, where he worked his way from crew member to managing director of McDonald’s Europe and Latin America. He continued his career in senior management positions with companies such as Mrs. Fields Famous Brands and Epcon Franchising, the largest franchised home builder in the U.S. 

Kessler joins Sonic Corp. from Cartwright Companies/Global GS3, where he worked as a global business advisor. Prior to his work with Cartwright Companies, Kessler served as the vice president of sales for RE/MAX International, where he led the company in sales for 10 years. With more than 20 years of sales experience, Kessler looks forward to bringing the same work ethic and relationship-building skills to enhance and grow the Sonic brand.

Franke and Kessler will partner with restaurant industry and franchise veteran, Mike Gallagher, who joined the Sonic Corp. team in April 2012 and serves as vice president of development and franchising. Together, they lead a team of people driving a renewed franchising effort at Sonic.