Are you craving a different sort of liquid refreshment to wash down your Frito Wrap and Chili Cheese Coney Dog (which is making us hungry just thinking about it)? At one new Florida Sonic Drive-In unit, you’ll be able to add wine or beer to your combo meal. This marks the first unit in the Sonic Drive-In chain to include alcoholic beverages on its menu.
The reported goal of serving alcohol at the new Sonic location – which opened earlier this month in Homestead, just south of Miami – is to generate higher guest traffic and sales during the evening hours. According to Drew Ritger, Senior VP of Business Analysis at Sonic, evening sales at the Homestead location tend to pick up at around 8PM, a little late compared to the average of 7PM nationwide. “We want to increase evening traffic and take advantage of the evening weather in Florida,” Ritger told Restaurant News. “People in Florida have so many months to be outside. It’s part of the lifestyle.”
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The big question: will the new Sonic’s carhops be toting beer and wine to customers waiting in their cars at the drive-in stalls? Of course not – but Sonic’s Homestead location boasts a patio area with room for up to forty customers, plus an adjacent sandy beach area perfect for enjoying that Florida weather.
Sonic has also announced plans to open a second alcohol-serving location on the Fort Lauderdale beach in August. But, unfortunately for those of us on the other coast, Sonic has no plans to take this venture outside of Florida just yet. We’re going to look at it as an experiment in a local market,” said Ritger. “We want to see what it does for the business and [whether] this makes sense.”