Sonic now boasts more than 1 million possible beverage permutations at its drive-in restaurants, a key part of promoting its offerings to the afternoon snacking crowd, a group that represented nearly half of 10.4 billion snack visits to fast-food joints last year. Sonic's non-alcoholic happy hour offers half-priced drinks from 2 to 4 p.m., and the promotion has won a steady, loyal crowd of high school students and stay-at-home moms since launching in 2007, the chain said.

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