Fast food holiday traditions usually have an obvious tie to the season, from Starbucks holiday drinks to elaborately designed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. But Sonic Drive-In has a fan-favorite holiday tradition that has nothing to do with Santa Claus and instead can just keep you warm during the cold months. The chain is bringing back the Fritos Chili Cheese Wraps just in time for the 2021 holidays.
The Fritos Chili Cheese Wraps are self-explanatory. They are flour tortillas packed with crunchy Fritos chips, chili, and melted cheddar cheese. They are available in a smaller Jr. size and a larger Regular size. The Regular size includes larger helpings of what you can get in the Jr. version. Fritos Chili cheese Wraps are now available nationwide for a limited time. The regular size has a suggested price of $2.99, although that could be different based on location, reports The Fast Food Post.
Back in November 2018, Sonic first announced its partnership with the PepsiCo Frito Lay Fritos brand. At that time, the wraps were joined by two other Fritos concoctions. The first was the Fritos Chili Pie, a serving of chili and Fritos, topped with melty cheese. There was also the Fritos Chili Cheese Jr. Burger, which had the Fritos, chili, and cheese all added to a burger. The Fritos Chili Pie was also added back to menus at select Sonic locations in December 22020, Chew Boom reported at the time.
Sonic is a drive-in restaurant owned by Inspire Brands, the same parent company that owns Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings. There are over 3,550 Sonic restaurants in 46 of the 50 U.S. states. Last month, Inspire announced the launch of its first ghost kitchen in Atlanta, reports Restaurant Dive. The location allows customers to order from Sonic, Jimmy John's, Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco, and Dunkin' menus using apps or third-party delivery partners to pick up at a single location. The concept is called Alliance Kitchen.
Stephanie Sentell, senior vice president of restaurant operations and innovation at Inspire, told CNBC the project has helped the company find new ways to work more efficiently. "We have a lot of experience and resources within Inspire and took a look at how we could operate this facility by driving more labor efficiencies – unlocking a lot of innovation throughout that process," she said. "We've set up a model where the entire kitchen is conjoined – we have essentially a shared workflow work process, which is driving a lot of that labor efficiency."
Alliance Kitchen has workstations for each of Inspire's brands. There is also a lounge for drivers working for third-party apps to wait while the food for customers is prepared. They also get access to free Wi-Fi and free Dunkin' coffee while waiting. Inspire also isn't the only brand doing this as digital orders continue climbing. Wendy's reached a deal with Reef Kitchens, while Chipotle opened a digital-only restaurant in New York. Chick-fil-A also has partnerships with Kitchen United and DoorDash Kitchens.