Sonic, a fast food chain that differentiates itself by delivering garbage directly to your parked car, plans to expand into every last empty lot in the United States of America.
The company has announced plans to build 1,000 new restaurants in the next ten years, increasing the total number of places that Americans can have a pretzel-swathed rat meat dog handed through their car window by a garishly clad unhappy employee by about 30%.
Where are these new locations? Where aren't they?
In past months, Sonic announced franchise development agreements bringing: five new drive ins to the Rochester, New York, market over the next four years; 15 new drive ins to San Diego County and the greater Los Angeles area over the next six years; 13 new drive ins to small towns across the country in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas; and 14 new drive ins in the greater Seattle market by 2018. In addition, Sonic opened its first location in North Dakota in 2013, pushing Sonic's state tally to 44, and reached an agreement with the Wyandotte Nation, an Oklahoma-based Native American tribe, to open its first Sonic Drive-In in Seneca, Missouri. Sonic Drive-In started this year strong by announcing a bold growth target of 300 drive-ins in California by 2020.
From sea to shining sea, Americans may park their SUVs in strip mall parking lots and have a paper sack full of chili-and-cheese-covered rehydrated potato nuggets handed to them, without ever being forced to extend their arms past the imaginary vertical line that extends upwards along the path of the driver's side window. It is not immodest to suggest that if Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would, at last, be satisfied.
Sonic must somehow overcome the fact that everywhere is already a Burger King.