sonic drive in

What is Sonic Drive-in

You probably have had a chance of eating their food or at least you have heard about them on social media. If you keep on travelling from ton town-to-town chances are you have driven into one of their outlets on while on the road. They have been there since 1953.


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What more do you know about them? Are you the kind of person who just walks into an eating joint, makes your order, and walks away without wanting to know more about the restaurant? If you are not, you need to read along and know the Sonic drive-in details.

The Sonic drive-in is a fast food restaurant chain, which was founded by Troy Smith in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is a chain owned by the inspire brands who are also associated with the Arbys and buffalo wild wing. They offer food to their customers while they are in their cars.

Many drives ins have been existence. In classic movies, we see the way they were many. People would walk in and order their favourite foods. At time passed, they vanished from people’s eyes. What is so special about Sonic drive-ins is that they have been able to hold on till now.

Origin of sonic drive in

While other fast food joints trace their roots from a passionate chef or qualified hotelier, when it comes to sonic, it traces its root to a veteran world war II fighter. It is a concept born by troy smith. That is after the end of the war, he had to look for a new idea of how to make a living.

He started by delivering milk and bread to people. From his savings, he bought a burger stand, a root beer stand, and a hot dog one. he would deliver milk and bread in the morning then come and continue serving at his stands in the evening.

As time goes by, it came to his attention that the root beer stand was making more money than the burger and hot dog stands.  That is because, at that time, the root beer was the brew to have. Many people were looking for beer as a way of entertaining themselves after the day’s work.

He closed the hotdog and hamburger stand and made a decision to concentrate on the root beer stand. While concentrating on it, he started serving fast food and drinks in the same stand. That saw the beginning of the expansion. He started expanding within and out of Oklahoma.

The name “Sonic”

You probably don’t know, but sonic was not originally known so. The root beer stand was known as the “top hat.” It was until when his lawyer came to know that the name is being used by another company while registering. They were left without a name until they came up with the sonic.

It was after sitting down and thinking that they should name their business from there slogan “service at the speed of sound”. They settled with the name sonic and rebranded even the other branches that had the previous top hat name.

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Over the years, they have been striving to be the best. With the classic setting, they have been improving on their menu to make sure they cope with the competition they have become popular with over 3600 outlets by the year 2018. They are in over 45 US states serving over 3 million customers every day.

Why Sonics Remain to be Unique and People’s Favorite

They must be doing things right to remain in business for that long, right? Yes, with over 60 years of experience in the industry and the stiff competition, they have managed to stay on top of the game. They do so through the following;

  • Maintaining originality

They never change their concept, which is of being a drive-in. that makes them unique. When you are dining their food, you feel the classic look yet eat modern food. That has seen many people driving into the driveways to have a taste of their classic look.

While others came and vanish into thin air, sonic stays and fight with the giants to have their share of the customers. With over 3 million people seeking their services every day, it is clear they still remain to be peoples favourite.

  • The food and drinks

When you drive into their drive in, you will have a chance of looking at their menu for what to eat. They have a lot for you to choose from. From French fries, burgers, onion rings and chicken dishes. You will come out happy and full due to what they are serving.

Their drinks are out of this world. I donor know what they think when they are making the concoctions. Their original drinks were lemonade, milkshakes, and tea. Over the years, they have been coming up with new drinks by combining different drinks. They are called slashes.

They are known to make the slashes. With over 130 thousand types of slashes, it is clear they are the craziest when it comes to mixing and coming up with the concoctions. They even give their workers a chance to mix and come up it there on concoctions to be added in the menu.

People love foods and drinks. When they are hungry, they want something sweet and delicious to feed their stomachs. With a refreshing drink, they will come for more and more each time. The drinks are the main reasons why people come into their drive in. their signature drink remains to be cherry limeade.

  • The way they serve

While other drives in have you walk out of the car to order and get your food, in their drive in, don’t. You drive and park your car, make your order through an intercom and have your food brought by one of their skating waiter or server.

The waiters in Sonic weres skates. They help them to deliver food in the customer’s car on the driveways. Did you know that the servers buy their own skates? Bet you didn’t know that. They have to incur the cost of buying and maintaining the skate.

  • Their marketing
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They have their own way of bonding with their customers. They use high-end commercials to make people are of their services. Their “happy hour special” slogan has seen people storming in their premises to have the offer.

They also use qualified actors to have in their commercial that influences people into buying their products. They also have the talktosonic website where they have a survey. They use it to know the public views about their experience at sonic drive in.

Through social media, they interact with customers at different levels. They give out their phone number that is 1-866-657-6642 so that customers can contact them when they have queries. They also have mail contact for customers to write them.

  • Their annual carhop competition

Where else will you find this? It sounds quite fair to have the competition, right? After all, their works use skates to deliver food every day. They get a chance to showcase their skills with the winner walking away with $1000 in cash and a paid trip to sonic National Convention.

It is a way of appreciating their workers. To make them sharpen their skills and to reward them for staying with them. They always have an opening where they invite their workers to participate in the competition. That motivates their workers to be the best carhops.

Yes, with the growing competition in the industry, they had to change how they operate. While maintaining the same concept of driveways, they have been able to have sonic drive-ins with different amenities and fittings from others.

In their headquarter, they have a tent kitchen. It is in the name of accommodating change. The tent can accommodate 10 chefs in it. You will get a variety of food made in the kitchen. They also have a Sonic drive-in serving alcohol in Miami beach. That is to serve the customers what they want.

Steps on How the Sonic Drive-in Works

To understand more about the sonic drive in, you need to know how it works. What happens when you drive on their premises? That makes you aware of what to expect. Most of them have the same setup with some few changes here and there. Therefore, the following happens;

  1. Drive in

Off course the customer, initiate the process by driving in. Feel hungry while driving in one of the 45 states that have over 3600 branches. You must be in a nearby neighbourhood and decide to have their dish. Look for the branch near you and drive to have your dish.

You will meet others probably with hungry drivers and passages like you are. You will have to wait for your turn on the driveway or if you opt to sit, sit in a patio seating. Wait until it is your turn or if you are lucky, drive in to find no one is in front of you.

  1. Order
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You must initiate the process by driving and order some food. It is advisable to look at their menu online before you go for the meals. That is because, like any other fast food joints, they have all kind of fast foods. What does that mean?

That means if you are the kind of person who is cautious of what you consume, you need to look before and make a conscious decision on what to have. Some of their foods have a lot of calories while other has less. You can only know that by looking online before you make your visit.

At their premises, you have ample time to look at the menu and decide what to have. Once you have made the decision use the intercom speaker system near you to make the order. With the system, the sonic drives in workers are able to here and prepare your order.

  1. Delivery

Depending on what you order, your food will be made by the chef. They then give it to the carhops on skates to deliver your food. You don’t have to walk from your car to take your order. That is where the convenience comes in. Once you are done, driveway and enjoy your dish.

  1. Special exceptions

Like mentioned earlier, there are special sonic drives in that have sits for you to sit. For those, you will find a section with driveways and others with sits for customers to sit. If you choose to sit and have your dish on their premises. Go ahead and seat to enjoy your dish.

What to remember while at sonic drive in

  • You initiate the process

Yes, at Sonic, the customer is the boss. He or she gets to initiate the whole process. You feel hungry, drive into their premises, and make your order. All they do is obey your command and deliver your order at the comfort of your car.

  • Get the best from them

You have a variety to choose from. While the food is what you can get in any fast food, the drink isn’t. with over 130 thousand chooses to choose from, take time, and experiment on the different drinks that they offer. Make your taste bud go for a wild spree with the different flavours.

  • Don’t forget to give your feedback

They appreciate your feedback with a free drink. Go ahead and take the survey once you drive out of their premises. With the information you give them, they change for the better. You will be doing yourself a favour of having a free drink and improved services the next time you visit them.

The fast food industry is a competitive one. the sonic drive in continues to be the people’s favourite. With so many years of experience, it is clear they have grown to be the best while still maintaining their original concept of a driveway. Their uniqueness will make you want to dine with them always.