“We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands,” Paul Brown, chief executive officer of Inspire Brands, said in a statement. “We’re excited to build on Sonic’s momentum as we leverage our combined expertise and capabilities to better serve guests, further support team members and franchisees, and drive long-term growth.”

In a statement, Sonic execs said its franchisees will remain engaged in planning regarding technology, new products and marketing programs with the support from the team at Inspire, which recognizes the central role franchisees have played in the chain’s development and growth. Ninety-five percent of SONIC’s 3,600-plus drive-ins are owned by local businesspeople.