Sonic owners share a journey to success

In 1973, he was a high school junior who would cruise the Lexington Sonic parking lot with his buddies, eating burgers and waving to friends.

Nearly four decades later, Jerry Stanfill, 56, cruises the same Lexington Sonic, checking food quality, employee appearance, speed of service and other restaurant details. The Church Street restaurant is one of 16 Sonics in three states, Stanfill co-owns with his first wife, Beverly. They also co-own three other Sonics in Tennessee and Missouri.

The Stanfills continue to work together to expand and renovate their fast-food restaurant chain. The company plans to demolish the Lexington eatery later this year then rebuild it in Sonic’s new style. He and Beverly also want to expand into the Clarksville area, after delaying those projects for at least two years because of the economy. Jerry said overseeing his franchise today “is just as fun today” as it was 39 years ago, despite the long hours, three recessions, a period of major inflation and other troubles.

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