The Untold Truth Of Sonic's Breakfast

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When it comes to fast food, no chain does it quite like Sonic. While many have their specialties — for instance, Taco Bell serves a version of TexMex, Chick-Fil-A dishes out chicken, and Long John Silver's is known for its seafood — Sonic Drive-In seems to do it all, giving customers the classic American fare they're after. They also have an unbelievable breakfast menu, replete with burritos, sandwiches, and even French toast.

Though the chain's sales were falling for a period of time, the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a blessing in disguise for Sonic Drive-In, as their revenue increased by $1 billion over 2020, according to Business Insider. Now, Sonic feels they "may have identified the formula" for a successful fast food business, as COO Eddie Saroch told QSR. We can't help but think their breakfast may have been a part of their stellar sales, though we can't say that for sure.

Although its future remains unknown, we do know about their past and present, as well as their breakfast, and we're here to share that with you. This is the untold truth of Sonic's breakfast.

Sonic's breakfast is served all day

If you love to eat breakfast for dinner or you're craving it even later, then rest assured that Sonic is the fast food restaurant for you. That's no small thing, since not every fast food joint serves breakfast as part of their all-day menu, but Sonic Drive-In certainly does.

In short, its breakfast is available whenever its store is open. Unfortunately, that isn't strictly 24/7, as locations do close down and let their employees go home. Still, as long as your local Sonic has people on skates bringing hotdogs to cars, it will also have those same people on skates delivering a breakfast burrito to you, too.

Make sure you check your local hours before visiting as you would with any other restaurant since Sonic hours are not universal. Just because you can get a Cherry Limeade and French Toast Sticks at 6 a.m. at home does not mean you'll be able to when you're visiting your cousin on the other coast.

You can make Sonic's hot coffee at home

Sonic offers a few different coffee options, though, if you're hoping for a cappuccino or latte, you'll have to visit a different fast food restaurant for that. However, if you want a basic option like their Original Cold Brew Iced Coffee or French Vanilla Cold Brew Iced Coffee, Sonic is your place.

They also serve Green Mountain brand coffee. And since we've established that you can't get Sonic whenever you want, if Sonic coffee is what you're craving before they're open, then you can rejoice in knowing that you can make that on your own at home. We understand it may not feel the same as ordering it at the restaurant (who doesn't love being served, especially by someone in roller skates?), but it will technically be the same type of coffee.

Green Mountain Coffee is available for sale at major retailers, including Target and Walmart. All told, Green Mountain Coffee is pretty ubiquitous, so you might even be able to find it at a gas station or local grocery store.

You can customize your Sonic breakfast

Sonic is all about customization, to the point where the chain prides itself on it. As their chief development/strategy officer John Budd told Business Insider, "The Sonic brand has always been about personalization and customization."

Ultimately, Sonic wants you to be happy with what you order, so it allows you to choose your ingredients to ensure ultimate satisfaction. Take its Bacon Breakfast Toaster. As noted on the Sonic website, the sandwich "is crafted with melted cheese, crispy bacon, and fluffy eggs all stacked up on two thick slices of Texas Toast," but you can remove or exchange any of those items. If you would prefer to eat it sans cheese, for instance, can banish that ingredient from your meal. If you are hoping for more meat or some vegetables, you could add things like sausage, onions, jalapeños, or tomatoes.

On top of it all, since it has its menus available all day, Sonic's sauces are available all day, too. If you want mayonnaise on your breakfast sandwich, then mayonnaise is what you'll get. If you want syrup, brave eater, then you can have that, too. And don't worry about ordering online. You can customize your order there just the same.

This Sonic breakfast combo is one of the highest calorie menu items

Sonic is in fact a fast food restaurant, so we shouldn't be surprised to learn that there are lots of calories in its menu items. Even so, it's sometimes shocking to find out just how many calories are in some of these foods.

If you're a fan of the Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito Combo, be aware that it really packs in the calories. There aren't many items on Sonic's menu that contain more calories than this one. With it, you'll get a flour tortilla containing bacon, cheese sauce, eggs, sausage, shredded cheese, and tater tots. Along with it comes a drink and yet more tater tots. Should you forgo any item omissions and order the entire combo, you're looking at a 3440-calorie meal. 

As far as breakfast items go, there isn't another menu item with more calories. Amongst the full menu, only a couple outweigh it, including the Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger Combo, which has 3790 calories in the combo.

If you're looking to make the Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito Combo a little less calorie-dense, you can order the burrito without the combo. You can also cut down on calories by removing the extra tater tots and the large drink, and perhaps taking out some of the meat. By adding some vegetables, you can even add some nutrients. We're not saying it'll be healthy, per se, but maybe a bit healthier.

You can get rewards by ordering breakfast on the app

Great news, Sonic lovers. The chain has an app, and it's one that's full of rewards for repeat customers. Inside said app are special promotions that you can't find anywhere else. Sometimes there's a buy-one get-one-free favorite entrée reward for using Order Ahead, and there is just about always a deal for ½ Price Drinks and Slushes, known as "Happy Hour."

The app also gives information on Sonic's menu items, including new additions, and shows the nutritional information of your breakfast order. And when you use the Order Ahead feature, you can get your breakfast before anybody else in line, while also redeeming rewards for discounts and specials. To make the app even more convenient, you can pay right in the app without fumbling around for cash or your card.

There isn't much Sonic fans can't do on the app, at least when it comes to snagging breakfast or any other meal at the chain, and it's certainly guaranteed to maximize convenience. For anyone who frequents Sonic for breakfast, downloading the app may be worth it to save some money and time.

It's been named one of the best breakfast franchise opportunities

Have you ever considered franchising your own Sonic Drive-In restaurant? If you have, you should know that it's considered one of the best opportunities for a breakfast franchise in 2022 by 1851 Franchise. The publication noted that Sonic's model is nearly immune to the issues brought on by worldwide pandemics like the one brought on by COVID-19, wherein many restaurants have had to shutter most or even all of their operations. Sonic's success in the fact of that is in part because of the chain's myriad breakfast options. Who knew breakfast was so powerful?

Unfortunately, the truth is that owning a Sonic franchise is not easy, nor cheap. It requires a serious financial investment, one that means you've got to be wealthy, to begin with, or have some pretty good funding resources. Per the chain, you need to have at least $500,000 in liquid capital and must be worth at least $1 million to get started. If you want to open more than one location, your finances need to be even more impressive.

It's pretty obvious that the chain is quite serious about these financial requirements, since it does not offer financing. So, if you want to open a Sonic Drive-In and take on some of those breakfast riches, you've got to be really rich yourself.

Sonic breakfast will be available in Hawaii soon

If you live in Hawaii and you've never tried Sonic's breakfast, good news: you're going to get the chance soon. A few years back, the restaurant announced plans to open new franchise locations throughout the islands, and now it's actually happening. Per Hawaii News Now, Sonic is building its newest restaurant on Hookele Street in Kahului, Maui. It's due to open in the middle of 2022.

Not everyone is so pleased with the fast food chain's appearance in their neighborhood, though. As one community member, Duke Sparks, told the outlet, "Being a local here, of course it makes me sad to see our beautiful island Maui change so drastically ... Show us the same love that you show corporations." He added that he hopes his friends and neighbors will still support local businesses even with the appearance of a big-name franchise like Sonic in their midst.

If trends in American eating haven't changed much over the past few years, fears like those expressed by Sparks may be quelled. Most people prefer eating at local restaurants or smaller chains over large chains, per Business Insider.

Sonic's breakfast is successful

We're not the only people who find Sonic's breakfast delicious. According to Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson, breakfast accounts for 12-13% of the chain's overall sales. Although that's lower than the rest of Sonic's sales, it's still more than what's earned by its competitors, as Hudson told Food Business News.

Why does Sonic's breakfast work so well, financially speaking? Hudson has a theory. "It is because 4% to 5% of those sales [...] are drinks," he said. "So this has made our breakfast work for a long time."

Sonic isn't only successful in selling breakfast, though. The chain as a whole is slowly taking over the fast food market in the United States. Per Tiger TV, Sonic is now standing where a McDonald's used to take up space in the Louisiana State University student union. Few seem to mind the change. "I'm pretty happy with it," one student told the outlet. "They've got a lot more options as far as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just a lot more variety."

We think Hudson agrees when it comes to the value of this variety. As he noted, "We've had happy hour for 20 years, as an example [...] And yet, at the same time, with things like this premium chicken sandwich, (we) kind of head off the casual dining hit as well [...] We're playing both areas, and we get both."