The Strategist

The C.E.O. Of Sonic Plans To Follow McDonald’s Footprint


04/01/2015 - 15:49



McDonald being the role model, the C.E.O. of Sonic informs that, the company plans to go for antibiotic free chicken. Though, the needs of the millenials are to be taken into account.



Forbes- 01 April 2015- Sonic Corporation seems to be riding the tide of food industry amid the grappling competition of redefining food services to cater to the changing taste culture and the purchase habits of the mass. It has recently announced its sales gain percentage being the highest ever; it was system-wide increase of 11.5% across the same store in the first quarter whereas an increase of 8.5% was recorded in the following quarter. In an Oklahoma based restaurant which is situated in a drive-in junction, Sonic has managed to increase the rate of drive-in guests, succeeded in facilitating quick response and ensured a faster consumer service. During the recession of 2009, it adapted to the “recessionary tendencies” and turned the table to a positive effect by 2011. Moreover, the recent launch of a wide variety of chicken options which makes up almost 10% of the revenue and the “sugary drinks” making the other 30% whereas the ice cream menu adding up to another 10% is a testimony to the company’s ability to recognise market trend and to adapt quickly to it in order to optimise the maximum benefit. The C.E.O. of Sonic and also the Chairman, Cliff Hudson has been working with the company for past thirty years. In the course of his journey he has witnessed the growth of Sonic from generating $880 Million to $4 Billion revenue. According to him the whole range of chicken options that is available at the Sonic shop today is a result of four years’ accumulated experience, and analysis of customers’ needs and likes. Consequently, chicken snacks, grilled sandwich of chicken breast and “boneless chicken wings” amongst other were later additions. In an interview, when asked about if he has any plans for burrowing the idea from McDonald of antibiotic free chicken, he replied: “McDonald’s is raising the bar for the industry and that’s a good thing they are doing so because they have the buying power that the rest of us do not have with vendors. So they can really help shift what is occurring with vendors and make it an industry standard. Stepping up, like they have, can only help the industry.” Moreover, the option is still open and under consideration yet he adds that obtaining a certificate for antibiotic free chicken is not something that can be done in a day. Mr. Cliff Hudson says the upcoming challenges in the food industry would be to cater to the millennial crowd, which at present escapes the grasp of most food manufacturing units. It is this upcoming millenials who as the employees and the customers have always surprising expectations. In near future, they will be the major buyers. Therefore, it is a challenging high time that this “customer base” needs to be analysed. As for the above mentioned crowd, “They want customization and authenticity, and don’t want to pull something off a warming bin that wasn’t made for them. These are shifting dynamics in population demographics that will play a major role in customer and employee preferences–and real challenges for our industry in the coming years.” References: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nancygagliardi/2015/03/11/sonic-ceo-mcdonalds-raising-the-bar-for-the-industry/?ss=global-agriculture