SONIC recognized franchisees and operators at the 2017 SONIC National Convention

SONIC recognized franchisees and operators at the 2017 SONIC National Convention

 

Gary Kinslow, SONIC Franchisee, wins the restaurant chain’s most prestigious award

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2017-Oct-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, presented ten awards to franchisees and operators at the 2017 SONIC National Convention in Denver, Colo. Every year, SONIC recognizes exemplary individuals and franchise groups to honor those who have a proven track record of strong leadership skills and led the brand.

Troy Smith Hall of Fame: Gary Kinslow

Named after SONIC’s founder, induction into the Troy Smith Hall of Fame is SONIC’s most prestigious award, given to a franchisee who has worked with SONIC for a notable amount of time while making a significant contribution to the brand in terms of leadership, growth and positive influence. This year, SONIC presented the Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award to Gary Kinslow, second generation SONIC franchisee and leader of Kinslow SONIC Group. Based in Prague, Okla., Kinslow SONIC Group owns and operates 40 SONIC Drive-Ins in Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi. In 1969, Kinslow started his career at SONIC as a cook for his father when he was just 14 years old. Now, Kinslow leads his team to provide guests with a remarkable SONIC experience every day.

“Gary has lived and breathed SONIC his entire life and has vast knowledge of the brand,” said Clifford Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO. “He truly captures the spirit of Troy Smith and the inspiring entrepreneurial spirit of SONIC’s founder.”

Chain Leader Award: Steve Gonzalez

The SONIC Chain Leader Award was presented to Steve Gonzalez, director of the Warren Group in recognition of his success in exerting both leadership skills and a positive influence on his organization and the SONIC brand. Based in Lubbock, Texas, and operating 24 drive-ins, Gonzalez focuses on retaining good people and building a solid infrastructure through his strong leadership.

Turnaround Operator Award: Norm Kaufman

Norm Kaufman, SONIC franchisee and leader of Brand Ventures, LLC was presented with the SONIC Turnaround Operator Award. This award honors an individual or group responsible for turning around operations, sales and profit performance of one or more SONIC Drive-Ins. Based in St. Louis, Mo., Kaufman focused on two areas: guest service and people development. The group has built strong, long-lasting relationships with their employees, demonstrating Kaufman’s belief that developing great people can help turnaround any aspect of business.

Great People Award: Buddy McClain

SONIC presented Buddy McClain, franchisee and leader of McClain, Vaughn and Partners franchise group, with the SONIC Great People Award. This award is given to an individual or group who has made the recruitment, training, development and retention of people a top priority and strategy for growth. Based in Jackson, Miss., McClain developed an innovative management program and is reaping rewards in his 100 drive-in locations across Mississippi, Texas and Florida.

Operational Excellence Awards: Eddie Frey and Jeff Simmons

The SONIC Operational Excellence Award was presented to Eddie Frey, operating partner for the D.L. Rogers Group, and to Jeff Simmons, general manager for the Jimmy Hodges franchise group. This honor is awarded to individuals responsible for supervision of less than five drive-ins with a proven track record of upgrading talent and growing sales and profits. Based in Elizabeth City, N.C., Frey started his career with SONIC as a manager trainee in 2003, and worked his way up to operating partner at three drive-ins located in Hartsville, S.C., Fayetteville, N.C., and Elizabeth City, N.C.Simmons, based in Mandeville, La., started his career with SONIC in 2011 in the kitchen and is now a general manager. Both Frey and Simmons make it a priority to attract guests, build loyalty and make a positive difference in their local communities.

Multi-Unit Leader Awards: Justin Chandler and Dora Simonds

Justin Chandler, director of operations for MHR Group, and Dora Simonds, director of operations for the Rubyhill Group are recipients of the Multi-Unit Leader Award. This honor is awarded to individuals responsible for supervising more than five drive-ins with a proven track record of upgrading talent, delivering outstanding guest service and growing financial performance of their drive-ins. Based in Dallas, Texas, Chandler oversees 16 drive-ins in the MHR Group and is known for his leadership and drive to constantly look for ways to improve in every aspect of the business, from people development to achieving great results. Simonds is the director of operations for 11 drive-ins in the Rubyhill Group across Denver, Colo. In 2000, Simonds started her career at SONIC as a cook and has grown to become a strong leader with a proven track record of developing talent while growing sales and profits.

Newcomer Award: Cinos, LLC

The Newcomer Award was presented to Cinos, LLC located on Long Island, N.Y. Cinos, LLC owns and operates three SONIC Drive-Ins in the state ofNew York. This award is given to an individual or franchise group new to the SONIC brand who delivers the SONIC promise to guests every day while achieving strong sales and profits.

Mason Development Award: Mason, Harrison, Ratliff, LLC (MHR)

The Mason Development Award was presented to MHR, a SONIC franchise group led by partners Ralph Mason, Chuck Harrison and Reeder Ratliff, who own and operate 288 drive-ins across 13 states with their partners. MHR has made outstanding contributions to the development of new drive-ins as we remodeled, rebuilt and relocated existing drive-ins. Based in Oklahoma City, Okla., and founded in 1974, MHR is one of SONIC’s largest franchise groups and credits its longtime success to their partners and operators, some of whom have been with the group for more than 30 years.

About SONIC®, America’s Drive-In®

SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving approximately 3 million customers every day. Nearly 94 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 64 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated $8.5 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit LimeadesforLearning.com.

Contact:
Rebeka Mora
512-542-2804
rebeka.mora@cohnwolfe.com

Source: SONIC Drive-In

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Sonic Corp. appoints Jose A. Dueñas as EVP and chief brand officer

Sonic Corp. appoints Jose A. Dueñas as EVP and chief brand officer

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2017-Aug-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today (Aug 9, 2017) announced the appointment of Jose A. Dueñas as executive vice president and chief brand officer.

Dueñas will be responsible for the end-to-end customer experience including marketing and culinary innovation, digital strategy, consumer insights, guest relations, concept development and overall evolution of the SONIC brand for the long term. He joins the brand with more than two decades of marketing and brand senior leadership in the restaurant and consumer packaged goods industries, most recently leading same-store sales growth and profitability for Olive Garden where he served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“I am delighted to welcome Jose to Sonic this month,” said Clifford Hudson, Sonic CEO. “His experience and impressive track record complements our recent appointment of Lori Abou Habib as chief marketing officer. Jose brings broad expertise and talent to Sonic; we are confident his leadership and expertise will support continued growth of our brand.”

In his five years with Olive Garden, Dueñas served as marketing lead with responsibility for brand strategy, food innovation, guest experience design, advertising and communications, digital and social media, market research and guest relations. Under his leadership the brand achieved 11 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, outperforming the industry. Dueñas joined Olive Garden after 15 years of progressively responsible positions at the Kellogg Company in the United States and Mexico.

The company also announced that its Board of Directors has approved the continuation of the Company’s quarterly cash dividend program. Beginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2018, the Company expects to declare a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share of common stock, which represents an increase of 14% from the current quarterly dividend of $0.14 per share. As previously announced, a dividend of $0.14 per share is to be paid to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 9, 2017, with a payment date of August 18, 2017. In addition to the dividend, the Board of Directors has approved an incremental $160 million share repurchase authorization. The new authorization allows for the repurchase of up to $160 million of common stock through the end of fiscal 2018.

Future declaration of quarterly dividends and the establishment of future record and payment dates are subject to the final determination of the company’s board of directors. Share repurchases may be made from time-to-time in the open market or otherwise, including through an accelerated share repurchase program, under the terms of a Rule 10b5-1 plan, in privately negotiated transactions or in round lot or block transactions.

About Sonic

SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving approximately 3 million customers every day. Nearly 94 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 64 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated $8.5 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeadesforlearning.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or underlying, these forward-looking statements are detailed in the company’s annual and quarterly report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact:
Christi Woodworth
405-225-5600
Vice President of Public Relations

Source: Sonic Corp.

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Sonic Corp. issued $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes in private securitization transaction

Sonic Announces Increase to Share Repurchase Program

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced that certain of its subsidiaries have issued $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes (the “2016 Fixed Rate Notes”) in a private securitization transaction. The 2016 Fixed Rate Notes will have an expected life of seven years and bear interest at 4.47% per annum, payable monthly. Guggenheim Securities, LLC acted as sole structuring advisor and active book-running manager for the transaction.

The same Sonic subsidiaries have also entered into a $150 million securitized revolving credit facility of Series 2016-1 Class A-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes (the “2016 Variable Funding Notes” and, together with the 2016 Fixed Rate Notes, the “2016 Notes”). The Company does not currently have any borrowings under the 2016 Variable Funding Notes facility.

The net proceeds from the sale of the 2016 Fixed Rate Notes will be used to repay the approximately $266 million in outstanding Series 2011-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes and the $67 million in outstanding Series 2011-1 Class A-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes, together with related prepayment premium and transaction costs. The remaining net proceeds will be available for further investment in the business and to return to shareholders via share repurchase or dividends. Including the impact of the transaction, net interest expense is projected to be $26 to $27 million for fiscal year 2016.

The subsidiaries that will issue the 2016 Notes are indirect subsidiaries of Sonic Corp. that own substantially all of the Sonic system’s franchising assets and real estate. The servicing and repayment of the 2016 Notes will be made solely from the cash flows derived from these indirect subsidiaries’ assets. Neither Sonic Corp., the ultimate parent of each of the subsidiaries involved in the securitization, nor any other subsidiary ofSonic Corp., will be liable for any obligations under the 2016 Notes.

The 2016 Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. This is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Senior Notes.

Share Repurchase

Sonic also announced that its board of directors approved an incremental $155 million share repurchase authorization. The new authorization allows for up to $155 million of common stock to be repurchased through August 31, 2017. This is in addition to the over $21 million remaining for repurchase under the prior authorization expiring on August 31, 2016. Share repurchases may be made from time-to-time in the open market or otherwise, including through an accelerated share repurchase program, under the terms of a Rule 10b5-1 plan, in privately negotiated transactions or in round lot or block transactions.

“We are very pleased that we were able to leverage the strength of our business to optimize our capital structure,” said Clifford Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The increase in our share repurchase authorization and extension of the program through fiscal 2017 enables us to continue to maximize shareholder value. Since fiscal 2013, we have returned over $370 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

“We continue to build our brand and execute our key initiatives using our multi-layered growth strategy, comprised of same-store sales growth, operating leverage, new unit growth and effective deployment of free cash flow to drive double-digit earnings growth in the near and long term.”

The company continues to expect adjusted earnings per share growth for fiscal 2016 of 20% to 25%. For the fiscal third quarter ended May 31, 2016the company expects system same-store sales growth to be positive, but below the full-year target of 4% to 6% as a result of slower industry traffic and modestly unfavorable weather during the quarter.

About Sonic
SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. To learn more about Sonic Corp.(NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit www.sonicdrivein.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or underlying, these forward-looking statements are detailed in the company’s annual and quarterly report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sonic Corp.
Corey Horsch, 405-225-4800
Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer

Source: Sonic Corp.

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