Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Sonic Sucks as a Food Choice...

I rarely come out and say a restaurant sucks but I think I have to make an exception for Sonic. I keep giving them new chances but I think I'm done trying to 'make it work'.

If you've never been to a Sonic, it's a great idea that doesn't quite work in reality. You can pull up to one of the outdoor spots with a electronic menu and order from the window of your car. A person in roller blades brings your food out to your car.

If you want to be fancy, you can go through the drive-thru or sit on one of the patio tables.

Why does it suck?

First, the service is always terrible. The wait to get your food is always horrendously long. It's not usually the waiter/waitresses fault. They are almost notoriously understaffed at the one by where I work. I had a 30 minute lunch break and Sonic is less than two minutes away. It took 35 minutes to just get my food today (without eating).

Second, the credit card machine NEVER works. You are supposed to be able to pay with your card (debit or credit) but it's never possible. You usually have to send your card with the waiter/waitress into to the building, they'll bring it back in 10 to 15 minutes if they have time. And they NEVER offer to let you put the tip on your debit card so if you have no cash, expect to be digging under your seat for change. I hate that.

Third, the food isn't that good. Every time I get the popcorn chicken something new has been wrong with it. It has been extremely salty (and I like salt), stale, or hot and mushy when I've ordered it. I've heard the milkshakes are good but I'm lactose intolerant. You think if it took 20 minutes to make, it'd be decent. It isn't.

Fourth, it's expensive. For a small popcorn chicken and a regular milkshake, it's $5.19 without tip. I have no idea what that is in pounds, sorry.

Five, you never get condiments on the first try. You can ask for ketchup but expect to ask for it again and again and to WAIT for it.

Six, the waiter will never know what your order is. You'll usually see some confused waiter with a tray of food standing in roller skates, yelling out is, 'Is the Diet Cherry Coke and the Tots yours? Is it Yours?'


So if you get a chance, just say no to Sonic. I suppose if you just wanted a milkshake and you had all the time in the world, it might be okay. I hope the waiter finds you, listen for her to yell...'IS THIS YOURS?' and take CASH.



  1. Hahahaha! You are so funny! AND you are right about Sonic! I am your newest follower!

  2. Not a chain we have in England, thankfully by the sound of it.
    I must confess to feeling a little nervous when I saw the title of this post - I thought it was going to be something horrible about eating hedgehogs (Sonic, hedgehogs? No? It must be me)

  3. Petty---I almost put a disclaimer about not eating

    And Miss Mayhem--Sonic is a nightmare isn't it? And it's so cheerful looking but it covers a bad service.

  4. I agree, Sonic sucks. We first went to a Sonic when we moved from St. Louis to Las Vegas, because of the car hop feature.
    There were really good places with good food, good service and a fun atmosphere in St. Louis that had car hops, which is how fast food restaurants started out before there were drive-thrus.
    The places that had this feature in St.Louis still had their original menus from the fifties, with all fresh whole ingredient foods and no 'mystery' laced with chemicals and additives foods.
    So Sonic was a major disappointment. I'm not even sure what they serve can be categorized as actual food.

  5. I want to like Sonic but the place just blows. I really does. We use to have the Bridgette where I grew up and they had homemade milkshakes and real hamburgers on the grill. I miss that place. It's now a health clinic. Irony.

  6. You totally forgot to mention the crappy, annoying as hell tv ads they run!!!

    And you're extra nice - I don't tip there. They're not doing anything McDonald's wouldn't do if I went through their drive through and it took that long. Then again, maybe I'm just too broke after paying for the food!

  7. I had never seen the ads until about two days ago. They are really bad. And who runs a Sonic ad at 7am? I don't want Sonic at 7am. Well never but if I did want it, it wouldn't be for breakfast.

  8. Wow. I've never heard of a Sonic restaurant before. Sounds like a nightmare!

  9. Never been to a sonic because I'm a UKer. However, if I ever go to America, I will definitely go for a Sonic just for the experience. It sounds comical.

  10. I'm from Los Angeles and never went to a Sonic until I moved to Kern County, CA. I fully agree with you. The employees do not seem to listen to the order and the past two times I tried the place, the food was stale (the hot dog bun: hard and off taste), cold (the fries) and the drink was almost all ice. Considering the choice, I will take Jack in the Box.

  11. It's bad, expensive, slow food, to be eaten in your car. Enough said.

  12. My daughter and I were returning from a Hockey game and decided to stop by a Sonic. The credit card machine took my card and said the transaction was approved and completed yet the waitress said she needed to take my card back to verify. Both our our slushes nhad a horrible after taste (like fish oil or something else fowl). My onion rings tasted like the batter was made from Valina wafer cookies. After a few bites, we both felt ill and we will never go back.

  13. The credit card thing is's not an isolated problem.

    They are just awful.


  14. Sonic Sucks. I googled this web site just to post about how much sonic sucks.. thats says A LOT!!

  15. I hate Sonic, they advertise their food like if it's going to be the best of all time, but when you eat it you find out you've been eating the same shit for the last 10 years. Especially in 2006, that was nasty.

  16. Hi, I am actually a Sonic employee. The reason why you can't tip on a credit card is because the credit cards go directly into the main deposit electronically and is expected to be there during payout, so even if we added a 10 cent tip on a card, and took the 10 cents out of a register to give to a carhop, it'd come up as someone stole 10 cents. All Sonics are understaffed; you might see 8 cars on the lot but if there are 4 people in those cars that's 32 hungry people vs 3 employees (one's a carhop so that leaves only two people cooking for 32 people). Sorry if the food isn't to your liking; some people really don't care but I make sure all my food goes out hot and fresh, it's like freaking $4.19 for a large popcorn chicken and almost $5 for a double cheese burger... if you're paying that high of a price, you bet your ass I'll make it fresh for you. The wait is Sonic's speciality; it takes 6 minutes for the popcorn to cook, an additional minute to get it bagged and on the tray, and then the carhop has to take it out. We all try the best we can but it's the corporate side that values their money over their customers. If we were better staffed, paided, and treated properly Sonic would do amazing things. Actually, it's the kind hearted customers and the amazing men and women that I work with that enable me to continue working at Sonic (until I transfer my degree). So please be kind, we really do try to make you have an amazing experience, well at I try to.
    - A Sonic Cook

  17. Maybe it's the Sonic's here and I mentioned the poor employees are working hard---but it is still a horrible experience to eat at.

  18. Hi. I'm also a Sonic employee.

    And yes, you're right on the money! I completely agree with you. The food sucks (with the exception of the deserts ... the shakes and cream slushies are awesome!), it's overpriced, and the entire system is all screwy. Let me give you a little example:

    First, the order taker (that's what I am) takes your order over a very crappy radio headset (they look like they were made in the '80s, and the battery only lasts about a half an hour before they have to be changed out. So as you can probably guess, the battery almost always dies right in the middle of an order, and usually during a busy time like Happy Hour), and it's very very hard to hear what the customer says, especially when they order things like a Hi-C, which sometimes sounds like Ice TEA. Once the order goes through, the cooks scramble to get your stuffed cooked (and if it's chicken, onion rings, or corn dogs, it takes forever--it's company policy that that particular stuff remains in the freezer until someone orders it. Thus, the cooks have to stop everything they're doing, run to the back, grab some and prep it (i.e. thaw it out) before they even begin frying it).

    The drink makers have to mix the drinks, which conveniently have more than four ingredients most of the time. That might not seem like a lot, but when you have about nine or ten drinks you have to make all at once, it gets out of hand pretty quick. It's ten times WORSE if it's a shake, or anything else involving ice cream.

    Then the carhop has to weed through twenty tickets and figure out what goes where before they run it out (it's also policy that tickets must be "scanned"--that is, assigned to a particular carhop--in under three minutes, regardless if the order is ready or not. This leads to an influx of tickets that are "ready," but without the food being done, so orders wind up getting lost and stuff gets mixed up while the carhop is running other food out and waiting on the cooks).

    I could go on and on. But as the other employee pointed out, it's mostly corporate. They don't care about the customers, and they sure as hell don't care about the employees. Each store has a General Manager that essentially functions as a corporate lapdog, and they enforce stupid rules that impede service (such as the ridiculous "policies" I've described). The carhops have it the worst, though, because they are accountable for EVERY CENT of every order they "scan." If they are so much as one penny off, they get written up. So you can imagine it doesn't help that they're rollerblading back and forth, caring around a wad of loose cash in their pocket from every transaction they complete.

    So believe me when I tell you, the customer is not the only one who goes through a "horrible experience." I've only been at Sonic for about two months, and I've already put my two weeks in.

    1. OMG its exactly how u say it is. I've worked for sonic for a year as their primary carhop (because we are under staffed) and all summer last year we were obscenely busy and i was the only carhop on the 8-4 shift in a commercial area with a high school and an elementary. so morning drink st0p is a nightmare. Happy hour too and throw in half priced shakes for the night shift!! and SCAN scan scan!! If it wasn't for my years of customer service experience repeat business would be a pipe dream. Roller skates, hell they slowed me down. I lost a bunch of weight and even got passed over for promotion twice because my boss thought my felony record would hold me back. turns out she was wrong but the point is sonic sucks to work for but i give my all when it comes to the customer and do my best to provide a "unique experience" for the customer.

  19. Sonic has to be the worst fast food place in America! 3 times I have gotten home to find my order was not what it was supposed to be. (Order a burger and get a breakfast sandwich.
    Everything is WAY too salty too. And the popcorn chicken has no taste at all. It is just fried, salty flour with a speck of chicken inside.
    Yes, Sonic sucks!

  20. we just got these places in connecticut where i live in the last 2 years, they were super popular at 1st due to being new. They were also playing ads for the place for like 2 years on local TV before they opened up. Lots of anticipation and hype about how it was a better fast food.....

    I gave them two tries. I have to say I'm not a big fast food eater, but when I do have to, I try and stick with Wendy's....Sonic was pretty awful. I had the same experience with the popcorn chicken, it was unreal how much salt was on it.

    The two sonics that came to CT are now I think struggling, its like when we got Krispy Kreme, everyone wanted to try it, then when they realized it was just crappy fast food thats not even as good as the crappy fast food we already one is going anymore.

  21. I found a piece of chewed peppermint gum in my footlong coney. I have called everyone from the assistant manager all the way up to Clifford J.Hudson(President/CEO). Nobody has called back. This is a classic example of poor managment.

  22. Sonic Foods sucks---period. End of story. The worst garbage I have ever eaten in my life. Their commercials on TV are so stupid. If Sonic doesn't like this post then sue me---you will never get a penny out of me. REPEAT----
    S O N I C S U C K S