Sonic Drive-in will be expanding throughout Wisconsin, including Milwaukee.
According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, Inspire Brands is looking for franchise partners as the restaurant business expands.
Sonic has two Wisconsin restaurants, one in West Milwaukee and another in Sun Prairie. It previously had other restaurants in the area and around the state, including an Oak Creek location that closed in 2016.
Inspire Brands also owns Arby's, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin', Jimmy John's, and Rusty Taco. The company purchased the Sonic brand in 2018 for $2.3 billion. The Milwaukee Business Journal reports the chain is now looking for franchises who will open multiple Sonic restaurants throughout the state, including the Milwaukee area.
Inspire's senior vice president of franchise development, Grant Benson, told the Milwaukee Business Journal they see Milwaukee and Madison as markets of interest, but will not publicly share how many locations it wants to see.
Benson said people who already operate chain restaurants and have an infrastructure they can build off of would be a good fit for a deal.
According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, the process that starts with vetting a potential franchise owner and leads to opening a new restaurant typically takes over a year. The first new Sonic restaurants in the state would appear in mid-2024. However, restaurants that could open in food courts or other nontraditional locations could open sooner.