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How 26-Year-Old Taylor Cain Took Over the Family Business with SONIC Drive-In

By Raj Prashad

SONIC Drive-In has always held a special place in Taylor Cain’s heart. Her parents opened their first franchised location in Nevada in 1999 and growing up, it felt more like a family business than one of the nation’s most recognized brands, today boasting more than 3,500 locations and millions of fans across the country.

“We really have such a tie to all of the people that we employ and work with,” Cain said. “We call them our SONIC family because they really are like family.”

Ultimately, that’s what encouraged Cain and her brothers to continue their family’s legacy when their father suddenly passed away in 2016.

“The first six months obviously were difficult, dealing with the loss of my dad and the grief with that. SONIC corporate was and has been incredibly helpful being there for us,” Cain said. “It was challenging but rewarding to know that the time and effort we put in to learn everything was really just going right back into the business.”

At just 26 years old, Cain, along with younger brothers Ian, who works on the financial side of the company and Quinn, who is on the construction team building a new SONIC, have taken over operations of the family business.

“I think the two biggest things I’ve learned are it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react. And that really getting involved in this business is very rewarding,” Cain said. “Our business was built thanks to the incredible people working day in and day out in our drive-ins.”

Cain and her brothers own five drive-ins in Nevada, with a new one expected to open later this year and a commitment to open a seventh.

“There is so much opportunity to be had with the SONIC brand,” Cain said. “We are very, very grateful that SONIC trusted us and the people that we’ve worked with for 20-plus years to be able to carry on their brand name. While it was tragic the way that our parents passed, we’re very blessed to have the opportunity to continue on with what they started. It was never a question of, ‘Are we going to do this?’ it was more of a, ‘How are we going to do this?’ And every day, wherever we go, we want to be the best advocates in Nevada for the SONIC brand.”

To learn more about franchising opportunities with SONIC Drive-In, go to