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As 2022 Restaurant Chef of the Year, Sonic’s Claudia San Pedro looks to the future

Claudia San Pedro | Photograph by Scott Vo

Bringing a 69-year-old brand to the cutting edge of technology would be the culmination of a career for many restaurant chefs. But Claudia San Pedro, president of the retro Sonic drive-in chain, had a few other things on her meal tray when she took the job. Like managing the $2.3 billion sale of the public company, while allaying the concerns of a community of franchisees who had not hesitated in the past to make their voices heard.

The course she charted allowed the channel to overcome these challenges as it embarked on an even bigger test: a pandemic that only happened once in a century. His steadfast stewardship through these extraordinary times earned San Pedro selection as Restaurant Chef of the Year 2022, the chain’s highest honor in the industry.

The former civil servant will take the stage at the Restaurant Leadership Conference on Tuesday to share her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities currently on the minds of chain executives. San Pedro will be interviewed in a keynote session by Restaurant Business editor Jonathan Maze, who just returned from a visit to the headquarters of Sonic’s parent company, Inspire Brands. In addition to leading Sonic, San Pedro now also heads up the multi-brand franchisor’s limited-service group.

The session will wrap up Tuesday’s general session, which will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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