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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sonic's Extra Hour Denied By Aurora City Council

Neighbors who live near the relatively new 24 hour Wal-Mart store on Kirk (Farnsworth) and Butterfield (Rt. 56) on Aurora's northeast corner seem to be taking out their frustrations on the Sonic restaurant within the development.

To be consistent with a national strategy to keep Sonic restaurants open until midnight, the Aurora facility, which is also new, asked to extend its previously agreed 11pm closing by one hour.

Two residents of a nearby subdivision reportedly claimed all kinds of problems that would result from the extra hour, but there is no substantiation these problems are coming from Sonic. It appears more likely these problems are associated generally with the Wal-Mart, which is open 24 hours.

Aurora City Council voted 8-4 to deny Sonic's reasonable request. Alderman Rick Lawrence, Alderman Bob O'Connor, Alderman Richard Irvin and Alderman Stephanie Kifowit voted for the extra hour and Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner reportedly said he thought Sonic has done a great job in dealing with any issues and they deserve an opportunity to be considered.

A side-effect of the vote may be for Sonic to reconsider plans for a second Sonic restaurant in the Rt. 59 corridor in Aurora.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sonic has been a welcome addition to the Aurora business community. Allowing them to stay open an extra hour, in front of a 24 hour Walmart, seemed the correct thing to do. Another excellent pro-business decision by Alderman Kifowit.

Anonymous said...

Uh what decision was that? She wanted to table it for two weeks to explore more options. That is a decision? That is what is called circling the wagons. Lawrence actually made that point that they might as well cast the vote now because the material facts would not change and he correctly read that many council members had their minds made up.

Personally I think for a change peters had it right.

And Kifowit remains a uninformed. Her comments regarding "corporate" are childish remarks made frequently by ignorant franchisees who fail to understand the nature of franchising.

Often they think they own a business only to find out that they invested their own funds to merely operate the franchisors business and are the modern equivalent of share croppers.

Hence the level of frustration often expressed by franchisees regarding their corporate overseers.

Interesting that you find this pro-business. As a businessman I do not find anything commendable about a city council that would seek to alter agreements that were negotiated between three parties just 6 months ago. As a businessman it gives me no comfort to think that ordinances and agreements may be so easily altered. What I do want is a fair likelihood that any agreement made by the city will stand unless there is substantive changes that merit consideration. When I sing an agreement I want it to express a level of certainty, at least to the 90% confidence limits. It is ridiculous to invest and enter into a 20 year agreement on a business and a mere 6 months later petition to alter the very business plan you agreed to.

In this case the franchisee and the franchisor both agreed to the restriction imposed by the city.

Clearly the Franchisor would love to see the hours of operation expanded because they earn their 4.0% royalty and 5.9% advertising fee on every gross dollar. In their case the franchisee does not have the track record nor any logical reason to presume that the additional hours proposed would even cover his variable costs, especially when you are entering into the winter months of a drive up concept. For all the zee knows the city may be saving him money. And good lick attempting to reduce your hours if they prove unprofitable. The zor can and will normally seek remedy for the lost royalty and adverting payments as a result of that decision.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Schuler the one patting herself on the back for landing the first Sonic in Chicagoland not to mention her own ward? Now that it's here, she votes against Sonic's extra hour. And then Walmart next door is open 24x7. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Thats because Schuler is a low class idiot. She had absolutely nothing to do with getting the Sonic, that was the developer.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Whitey didn't think Sonic was good enough for his Ward 5, sent them away. He wanted a white tablecloth restaraunt!! Hows that working out for you/us Whitey?? Why should we (taxpayers) have to keep paying for the buffoonary of the City Council.

Westside Warrior

Anonymous said...

Why help Batavia that is who benefits from Sonic. The city sold out the East Aurora schools with the outlet mall and then Walmart/Kirkland farms. I am glad to see Sonic get it stuck to them after-all they benefit Batavia

Anonymous said...

10;13 - please get this right. Sonic is not getting stuck it is the franchisees who are getting stuck.

If that Sonic location goes under, Sonic does not lose a dime, in fact they can and will hold the franchisee responsible for the royalty and advertising fees due it for the duration of the franchisee agreement (20 years) with an inflation rider.

So I believe your ill wil; is directed at the franchisees not the franchisor.

I mention this only because so many people get into an agreement they do not understand when it comes to franchising. I literally hear about this every day of the year form people who foolishly poured their life saving into a franchise agreement that they did not understand.

Regards...

Anonymous said...

Sonic is moving into the Famous Dave's building on Ogden in Naperville.

Anonymous said...

Who cares. One is enough. Its low class crap food.

Anonymous said...

I agree. More junk for the fatties to eat, and buy their kids for breakfast on the way to school...

Anonymous said...

This was a really foolish decision by the city council, but at least they are consistent in making foolish decisions.

Anonymous said...

Aurora, & weiner boy show once again just how anti business they are unless of course you PAY them off!

Pay to play alive and well.

If sonic wanted the extra hour all they had to do was contribute to tommy boy's campaign.

Nuf said

Anonymous said...

2:31 - I take it you did not attend the meeting? It seemed to me Weisner was supporting Sonic and rather embarrassed by the Council's decision.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right. Weisner is an idiot just like his stooges Schuler, Peters, and Keith. You watch and next year Sonic will come back and get their extra hour. This way Schuler can say there has been enough time to evaluate their operation (making sure she appeases the people that she screwed when that mess went in over there) and Weisner will have time to squeeze money out of Sonics Franch. owner.

Anonymous said...

I do have to say something here.

Over the years I have started several businesses, the only time I have been solicited to grease a palm was Kane County Health Inspectors and by a union who explained I would not be running cost over runs if I greased the correct palm. Granted I have never done business in the city of Aurora (because of its anti-business sentiment)but I have not been asked to give in any other place I have established businesses by politicians.

Based on that, I find it hard to believe Weisner is all that intimidating. He has to go home, his family is exposed, if he plays that way you can hire this crap out in this town for two grand or in Florida for far less.

Are you sure these schemes actually take place? Why wouldn't businessmen just go elsewhere or go after his family? I never had any trouble in Batavia or St. Charles when I opened businesses there so why would people do business here under such conditions.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Aurora or this administration is anti-business. I think that Aurora has trouble attracting quality businesses–aside from the national chains, etc. For some reason, we have a lot of well-intentioned people that aren't very good at conceptualizing, organizing, planning or running a business. Case in point: a coffee shop/used handbag exchange. A downtown eatery that was run by really nice people–and served canned green beans. Etc, etc, etc...

Anonymous said...

8:30 - we just had a city council refuse to allow a man to build a hotel in Aurora after he purchased a lot on the condition the city zone it for a hotel and then the city asked him to spend more dollars to make it an all brick hotel, which he agreed to, and then they said, naw ya can;t build your hotel.

The same council has repeatedly put moratoriums on opening businesses that do not drive revenue, for example not allowing other upscale auto service shops, car washes, banks, Quick Lubes to open because they are not restaurants that add a lot to the city coffers.

The city now wants to license all businesses, just established another human rights commission, which will evolve into a bunch of regulations about diversity etc...

You do not think that is anti-business?

Anonymous said...

There is something to be said for a city that has the largest tourist attraction outside the Chicago city limits (The outlet mall) and cannot even develop the area around it except for two drug infested hooker motels, an awful greek owned restraunt and a mattress outlet. Its all proof right there that there are incompetent people running Aurora. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Appending my own thoughts to the comments above, what is amazing is with the additional revenue brought in by that mall this city is in such dire financial straights. What happened to the money? That mall has not existed long. What did they do with the money? They should go back to the budget before that mall and eliminate every single new program that was funded by it and repeal every increase.

I doubt most citizens are aware the city subsidizes mortgages, pays to have people depressed about the economy see a counselor, pays for fences, lawn mowing, windows etc.

And my favorite, buying a house, tearing it down, and then gifting it to a constituent...

Anonymous said...

But that house excellent bones, personality and nice horizontals under that nasty siding. It's a diamond in the rough on West Downer. Plus it will plug in that absolutely ghastly vacant lot next to that mansion. That was the best deal ever. Honest!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually I meant Kifowit's other give away, where we gave the lot to the guy because, and in her words, "he is Hispanic".

Anonymous said...

The only thi9ng these politicians, that make the bad decisions, know is raising money for their next run and what you can give them(wink, wink). Remember this kind of crap when the elections come up. Only 20%, approx, of the voters make the decision who wins, because they get out there and vote. Mid-term elections are coming up. Vote and get your family and friends to vote too. Lets start a pattern of replacing all politicians every few years, especially the bad ones. There is no reason why an ASS like Daley,Weisner, Pelosi, Reid, Kednnedy, Durbin, Obama, Schuler. Chapa La via should ever be a shoe-in for any office.

Anonymous said...

11:33 agreed. Now to make your post even more relevant to our city, which members of the council would you like to see replaced and why?

Anonymous said...

9:31

Whitey Peters- good old boy! Brother got city contract for park.

Juany Garza- Weisner hack. Wants to have her "illegal democrats" given rights reserved for citizens.

Abbey Schuler- no common sense, doesn't like businesses that don't give kick backs.

Richard Irvin- barack obama wanna be. Defense attorney who protects his peeps. No different than any other black that gets into a position of power. Tries to make up for 200 years of "opression".

Bob Oconnor- what the hell has he done in all the years on the city council? Votes with the status quo. Doesn't rock the boat.

Sheketa Hart Burns, never saw a kickback she didn't like.

We need to start with these. Some of the others hide in the shadows.

Anonymous said...

Abby (palin) shuler has to be the most incompetent person on that council to date.She knows "nothing" about running a small business all she does is vote the way the "mayor' wants her to vote!Sonic is in front of a "24 hr" walmart you moron!Didnt you get the walmart approved thats your claim to fame?What I really want to know is "who and the hell voted you into office"Was there not another canidate running? The mayor and the city shouls be embarrassed that someone so incompetent is allowed to make decisions that effect other peoples livelyhoods and or businesses good luck aurora with another 2 yrs this shit!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

And what's your claim to fame? Sure isn't spelling or grammar.

Anonymous said...

7:52 - thanks. I do not disagree with anything you wrote. How do you think a challenge to Irvin will fare? And while we are on the subject, what are peeps?