The Problem With Sonic

17 Nov

I love Sonic. It is, by far, my favorite fast food joint because it caters to my taste buds. Corn dogs. Chili pies. Milkshakes. Jalapeno cheeseburgers. Now that I think about it, I like just about everything on their menu. It’s big yellow sign is a beacon that draws me to the breading, to the grease, and, most of all, to the convenience. No matter how much I like the food, it is really the convenience that attracts me. I can pull up, sit in my car and not have to deal with anyone else. This system works well for an introvert because I can’t, for the life of me, make myself walk into a restaurant and eat by myself. I feel like a loser and imagine myself eating alone until I am 80 years old. For me, Sonic is perfect. Wait, it used to be perfect because there is something currently about Sonic that I don’t understand.

Why does Sonic have a drive-thru window?

It makes not sense whatsoever. The entire Sonic concept is designed around the convenience of customers not getting out of their cars. The nostalgia of years past comes to life as smiling waitresses, sometimes on roller skates, bring your food to you. This is after you push a button and order food from your own personal glowing menu. So, what gives? Why does a drive-in restaurant need a drive-thru window? My initial conclusions are:

1. People are too lazy to put their vehicle in reverse. As far as I can tell, that is the only difference between pulling into a parking spot to order and ordering in a car line. It is the same menu. It is the same person on the intercom. It is the same waiting time. Actually, I think the car line waiting time is longer. I have seen Sonic’s with people waiting in a huge line while parking spaces sat empty.

2. People do not want someone bringing food to them. This is not an original idea because a man I work with brought it to my attention. While contemplating the mystery of the Sonic drive-thru, I mentioned my confusion to him. He said that he always uses the drive-thru because he didn’t want anyone hovering around his car. It invaded his comfort bubble or some nonsense. Is this really the mindset? People don’t want a cute girl on roller skates to bring food because it’s uncomfortable? The person in the drive-thru window has to reach toward your car. And, what about waiters in restaurants? They are hanging around the table all of the time.

3. People are too cheap to tip. I always tip the girl who brings my food. In fact, one of my former students who worked at Sonic said that they made better tips than any restaurant in town. Maybe people use the drive-thru because it is against their religion to tip a fast food worker, and this is their way out of an uncomfortable situation.

I have to admit that this mystery is totally beyond me. I can’t figure out why Sonic’s have drive-thru windows. Apparently, there is a reason because Sonic is spending money putting them in. Obviously, customers have asked for them. If you have any ideas about why this is, then please let me know.

7 Responses to “The Problem With Sonic”


  1. Kudzu « surroundedbyimbeciles - March 18, 2012

    […] in the world. I wrote about the issues of gas pumps; moved on to my pet peeve with Sonic Drive-In; and, continued with the uncomfortable aspects of day spas. Eventually, I altered my attitude and […]

  2. No Idea Whatsoever « surroundedbyimbeciles - June 4, 2012

    […] the days. I would cruise the Main and make my turns at Kroger and Sonic. Speaking of Sonic, I wrote a post about that place a long time ago, and I still haven’t gotten a good answer to my […]

  3. Shock the World | Surrounded By Imbeciles - April 19, 2013

    […] ask her out. She kept hinting, and I kept missing the hints. One afternoon, I was cruising through Sonic Drive-In when she hopped in my car and said something along the lines of “we should do something […]

  4. It Was Unidentified to Me | Surrounded By Imbeciles - December 17, 2013

    […] Chris, my best friend. We were doing the usual stuff. Riding up and down Main Street. Hanging out a Sonic. Doing a little drag racing. It was a typical Friday night. We were heading to his house, which sat […]

  5. A Confession is Brewing | Surrounded By Imbeciles - September 18, 2014

    […] windows, anyway. One of my early blog posts was about the uselessness of a drive-thru window at Sonic, and I will walk into a place a thousand times before pulling up to the window. There is something […]

  6. The Problem With Christmas | Surrounded By Imbeciles - December 15, 2014

    […] There was a diatribe about gas pumps that used to get tons of hits. Then, there was part of the Sonic Drive-In business model. Recently, I went after people who choose to drive big ass […]

  7. The Entrance to Hell Has a Drive-Thru Window | SBI: A Thinning Crowd - July 29, 2015

    […] the early days of this blog, I wrote about the stupidity of having drive-thru windows at Sonic. However, the invention also has problems at other […]

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