Sonic Drive-In, the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, announced the hiring of John Budd in the newly created role of chief development and strategy officer. In this role, Budd will oversee franchise sales, real estate, and construction—both domestically and internationally. Additionally, in conjunction with the chief executive officer, Budd will lead and assist in further development of key strategic initiatives for the company. He will report directly to Clifford Hudson, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Sonic Corp.
“Over the last few years we have successfully implemented a number of initiatives to build our brand and business,” Hudson says. “These initiatives have resulted in solid same-store sales and profit growth for our company and franchisees and an increased share price for our shareholders. John’s rich background in corporate development and strategy will serve as an asset to the Sonic brand as we continue to grow.”
Budd joins Sonic from the Boston Consulting Group, where he served as a partner and managing director. In that role, he gained relevant experience helping restaurant brands create successful management strategies, drive unit growth, implement long-term menu innovation, and improve same-store sales and profits. Prior to his work with Boston Consulting Group, he held various domestic and international roles of increasing accountability with General Electric.
“While I come from the world of consulting, I have a track record of demonstrated impact. I’m eager to apply my experience and skill set to Sonic’s long-term strategy and growth,” Budd says. “I’m thrilled to be joining the talented leadership team at Sonic at the perfect time. They’ve got a clear vision, a strong brand, and momentum. And now, it’s time to use this momentum to take the brand to new heights.”
Budd graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.