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Sonic Drive-In History

Sonic Drive-In is a popular fast food restaurant with over 3,500 locations in the United States. It is best known for its signature order-at-the-car menu items and drive-in service, which allows customers to order food from their car. But how did Sonic Drive-In come to be?

The story begins in 1953, when Troy Smith Sr. opened the first Sonic Drive-In in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Originally called the Top Hat Drive-In, the restaurant served hamburgers, hot dogs, and other fast food items. Smith soon renamed the restaurant Sonic and began to offer carhop service, allowing customers to order food from their car. Sonic quickly became a hit in the community and expanded to other locations throughout Oklahoma.

In the 1960s, Sonic continued to expand, with more locations opening throughout the United States. The restaurant also began to offer its signature menu items, such as tater tots, onion rings, and chili-cheese tots, as well as adding more carhop service. During this time, Sonic also began to focus on its branding. In 1966, the restaurant changed its name to Sonic Drive-In to emphasize the carhop service and added the slogan “Service at the Speed of Sound.”

In the 1970s and 1980s, Sonic continued to expand, eventually becoming the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. The restaurant also began to experiment with new menu items, such as the “Sonic-burger” and the “Sonic-blast,” an ice cream treat.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Sonic began to focus on its drive-in service and added more digital ordering options. Customers could now order from the comfort of their car or at outdoor kiosks. Sonic also began to offer delivery and catering services.

Today, Sonic Drive-In is one of the most popular fast food chains in the United States. The restaurant is known for its signature menu items, carhop service, and digital ordering options. Sonic continues to innovate and expand, with more locations opening up across the country.

From its humble beginnings as the Top Hat Drive-In to a national chain of drive-in restaurants, Sonic Drive-In has come a long way. The restaurant’s success is a testament to its commitment to quality food, customer service, and innovation. Sonic Drive-In is sure to continue to be a popular fast food destination for years to come.

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Sonic Drive-In Info

Year Founded: 1953
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FastFoodDeals is a seasoned fast food enthusiast and writer, bridging the gap between value and flavor. Through his blog, he provides the tastiest deals, reviews, and hacks for all your favorite fast food joints.

Their favorite fast food spot is Taco Bell, with their go-to order being a Bean and Cheese Burrito with sour cream and no onions, a Beef Chalupa with no tomatoes, and a large Baja Blast. And don't forget a side of creamy jalapeno sauce with a few Diablo sauce packets!