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Sonic CEO: We're not at peak burger

Despite the proliferation of fast-food restaurants and burger joints, there is still room for growth for those with the right game plan, Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson told CNBC on Monday.

In other words, the nation hasn't hit peak burger yet.

"If you do have real ice cream shakes and nice beef on your hamburgers, and so on, if the product has a fresher element … there is still space to move with customers that are looking for that," Hudson said in an interview with "Squawk on the Street."

It's also about having the right menu mix, he added, noting that hamburgers are only 17 percent of Sonic's sales. Drinks account for 30 percent, ice cream is 10 percent and chicken is now pushing 10 percent of its sales.

"We're getting good diversification on our menu and diversification across day parts," he said.

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The nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants on Monday announced its first ever double-digit quarterly sales gains as a public company. System-wide same store sales increased approximately 11.5 percent for its second fiscal quarter, which ended Feb. 28.

An employee delivers food at a Sonic drive-in restaurant in Normal, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee delivers food at a Sonic drive-in restaurant in Normal, Illinois.

Hudson said Sonic's success was due to a combination good business strategy, low gas prices and taking business from McDonald's.

"A tiny share from them is a big share for us," he said. "They're the 800 pound gorilla, so when they're sales go negative there's a lot of gain for the rest of us."

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Sonic is also about authenticity, he added.

"All our food is made to order. We don't make any of the food until the customer orders it," he said. "The customer knows that they can customize every single order and I think that makes a lot of difference."

The restaurant chain is starting to expand in the Northeast, with locations in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Hudson said. It also recently announced has it has started doing business in its 45th state, Rhode Island.