rootbeer floats for 50¢ tonight

latest TXT
Celebrate the end of the month @ ur neighborhood Sonic with a 50 CENT
Regular Root Beer Float January 31st from 5pm-9pm. Plz mention txt when


SONIC gift card

special K has received his SONIC gift card for commenting on this

several things worth noting:

* i paid $1 for shipping on the gift card, but the postage was $1.39.
when i bought it, i thought $1 seemed "excessive" (or "profitable for
SONIC" -- your choice).

* if you register the card, you "earn a free SONIC treat" (that's what
the little blue sticker at the top says. i remember doing this before
with my SONIC card -- i think you get a cream slush).  {2/1/11 edit: special K was  given a coupon good for medium tots for doing this, not a cream slush.}

* it took about a week to get the card with their cheapest shipping.

* the back of the card envelope says:

and that last item is news to me. it makes the SONIC play obvious ... buy
everything with your card, reload as necessary ... and guard that sucker
with your life.


chili cheese tots 99c today

latest TXT
Today @ ur neighborhood Sonic Drive-In 99 cent Regular Chili Cheese Tots
from 5-9pm. Plz mention txt when ordering.



here's a crappy cell phone shot of the receipt i got at the SONIC last
week ... it's worth a free route 44 drink on the next visit ... my
experience has been that the NV ones do not have a code-write-in blank
and the CA ones do (i don't think i've ever received one in CO or WY).
you're supposed to call within 14 days of getting them, although i'm
fairly certain i've waited longer than that in the past.

the surveys themselves are interesting. sometimes they go into an
extreme amount of detail -including the ability to leave voice messages-
other times it's just a couple of questions and you're done. (this
particular survey was among the very longest i've ever taken.)
i'm a fan of all surveys (from anyone) and take them at every
opportunity. not only because i get free stuff, but also because most
people blow 'em off. since sampling mathematics comes into play here,
that means my bizarre proclivities get disproportionally represented
through the population ... and the world goes more to my liking as a

roughly speaking i'd say i get receipt surveys about 1/4 of the time i
go to SONIC ... but it may be less than that and i'm focusing only the
times i do and not when i don't. i'll get a better idea as i track here
on the 'blog.


still in the game

today will be the first day i haven't gone to SONIC since starting this
'blog ... but, as hard as it is to believe, it doesn't mean i'm not
still in the larger game of life.

special K and i are trying robocoke today. that review will be showing
up on the archipelago in the next couple of days ... because, let's face
it, robocoke isn't SONIC, and has no business here.


junior candy sundaes for 50c *tonight*

the latest SONIC TXT offer (and first for this 'blog).


Drive in to ur neighborhood Sonic for a 50 Cent Junior Candy Sundae
January 20th from 8pm-10pm. Plz mention txt when ordering.

vanilla cone

SONIC #5942

flew to MRY early this PM and on my way to san jose stopped by gonzales
for lunch with my brother.

i wanted to stop by the gilroy SONIC as i headed north, but my brother
and i gabbed long enough that i knew i'd end up missing happy hour (for
the first time since starting this 'blog!).

i've had several less-than-ideal experiences many times at this
particular SONIC (being ignored at the drive-thru, wrong orders, food
never showing up at the stalls) -not to mention i'm not a fan of paying
full-on retail when discounts are available anyway ... for damn sure i wasn't gonna given 'em money.

my remedy?  i tore out my free vanilla cone† coupon from my las vegas entertainment book and tried it.

no problem.

the order taker was lucid and fast. the coupon was accepted without
question or hesitation. the final product was the best *looking*
vanilla cone i've ever had at a SONIC (much to my satisfaction, they
always taste *exactly* the same -- which is to say, super-creamy and

the cone also healed a minor wound left from last night ... when i get a
wacky pack, i like to finish with a vanilla dish, but i skipped it
yesterday because i was getting a bit close to the edge of my calorie

and as if things weren't good enough already, i got a survey receipt. a
freebie route 44 will be mine in the not-too-distant future ... most
welcome since i'll be taking a long drive back home in a couple weeks.

gilroy SONIC has moved up one level in my mind -- then again, they
needed to.

†SONIC's phrase, not mine.

entertainment book SONIC coupons

the excellent 2011 las vegas entertainment book has two pages of SONIC coupons.
page A19 has four coupons:
BOGO extra-long chili cheese coney
BOGO SONIC breakfast burrito
free(!) vanilla cone

page D27 has three coupons:
BOGO SONIC breakfast burrito
BOGO extra-long chili cheese coney

the A page coupons don't have store names on their backs. although the
upper part of the page mentions NV SONICs by address, i'm guessing if
you tore them out there's a good chance they'd be accepted anywhere.
the backs of the D page coupons mention henderson, las vegas, N las
vegas and pahrump SONICs by address and would probably have to be used
at those locations.

(sadly neither the denver, nor san jose entertainment books have SONIC coupons in them ... although there are SONICs in those areas.)


wacky pack wednesday

chicken strips, apple slices, strawberry slush, "this big!" card game;
SONIC #2438

makes this a pretty big food day for me ... i try to keep my daily caloric intake to about 1500 calories, which typically means one medium-sized meal and a couple of small snacks ... however, i'm traveling tomorrow and wanted to use a comp slip for simon ... that meal was about 850 calories, the wacky pack, according to the super-great SONIC nutrition calculator was 491 calories (with 88% of my vitamin C!) ... combine that with the hour i spent on the stair machine and i still come out okay.

SONIC drive-in (and superbSONIC 'blog) glossary

phrases you will hear at SONIC and/or on this 'blog:

800 number: if i ever say this, i'm actually referring to the customer service number -- even though it starts with 866.  although the headquarters of SONIC are in oklahoma city, the call center is housed in atlanta, GA.

BOGO: Buy One Get One free.

cheyenne SONIC: the SONIC drive-in on 7390 W cheyenne avenue in las vegas.

croisSONIC: SONIC's term for their breakfast sandwich.  somewhat similar to mcdonald's egg mcmuffin.

customer service number: 1-866-OK-SONIC (1-866-657-6642).  staffed 24 hours a day.

debris: the tag i use for information that is trivial in nature about SONIC.  good as trivia fodder or for amusement only.

double-day: going to SONIC twice on the same calendar day.

drink: the phrase i use to collectively describe slushes and soft drinks (but not shakes).  these are the beverages that qualify for half-off at happy hour.

drive-thru: the lane you use to pick up your food at the SONIC restaurant window -- as opposed to pulling into a stall.

driving the nautilus: some SONICs are set up in such a way that you have to completely circle the restaurant to be able to go through the drive-thru ... essentially what you do is slowly spiral your car to the center.  gilroy, CA; woodland park, CO and st. george, UT are all examples of this type of design.

durango SONICthe SONIC drive-in located at 7245 S durango drive in las vegas.

edgewater SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 2463 sheridan boulevard in edgewater, CO.

FAN TRAK: a phrase sometimes used by SONIC insiders when referring to a survey receipt.  if you exchange a survey receipt for a free route 44 you may see the phrase "FAN TRAK" printed on the new receipt given with your drink.

flamingo SONICthe SONIC drive-in located at 4260 W flamingo road in las vegas.  store #4960.  my preferred SONIC because it's: 24 hour, near the strip, has an interesting view of the palms across the street and has exceptionally good staff.

general info: the tag i use to describe information i believe to be of broad interest about SONIC.

gilroy SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 6921 cameron boulevard in gilroy, CA.  my most hated SONIC because the staff aren't very sharp and they are always baffled by my TXT discounts.

happy hour: mildly misnomered phrase for the hours when drinks are half price.  2:00 - 4:00 PM in most parts of the country, 2:00 - 5:00 PM in las vegas, NV.

ice tea: the phrase i've always used for what SONIC calls "iced tea."

iced tea: the phrase SONIC uses for what i call "ice tea."  i only use this phrase when i'm describing the drink from the official SONIC point-of-view.

lake mead SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 6301 West Lake Mead Boulevard in las vegas.

landing: the term i use to describe the patio at a SONIC where you can order and eat at picnic tables -- as opposed to sitting in your car at a stall.

LTO: SONIC's abbreviation for "limited time only," used in TXT messages.

my SONIC card: a card that can be loaded for your SONIC purchases.  you get freebies for registering the card and for re-loads.  any problem you have with an existing card will be sent through the 800 number and end up on the desks of the my SONIC card contractor, heritage solutions.

nellis SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 377 N nellis boulevard in las vegas.

pahrump SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 350 S highway 160; pahrump, NV.

quadruple-day (or quadruple): going to SONIC four times in one calendar day.

robo-news: the tag i use for news information generated automatically by google alerts related to SONIC drive-in.  from google's perspective, my settings for this are: news feeds only, most important information only.

route 44: the largest size menu items at SONIC.  applies to drinks, tots and fries.

sahara SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 6455 W sahara avenue in las vegas.  store #2438.

slush: a flavored drink of a semi-frozen consistency, similar to an ICEE or 7-eleven's slurpee.

stall: the spots at SONIC where you can park and order from your car -- as opposed to using the drive-thru.

SONC: the stock ticker symbol for SONIC on the NASDAQ exchange.

SONIC: my shorthand for SONIC drive-in.  SONIC is a sub-entity of "america's brand drive-in properties LLC."  all trademarks, copyrights and propaganda images belong to america's brand drive-in and are used on this 'blog for review, demonstration or look-good purposes only.  SONIC is, in no way, responsible for anything that i post on this 'blog.

SONIC cruisersthe fan club/propaganda arm of SONIC drive-in. joining (for free) off the SONIC web site gives you a newsletter, occasional discounts and a birthday present.

SONIC FM: the music station that plays overhead at the SONIC stalls and landings.  you can request tunes by calling 1-866-SONIC-FM or by text at SONICliveradio.com.

SONIC live radio: a more modern nomer for SONIC FM.

SONIC propaganda: the tag i use when i'm regurgitating information about SONIC that was originally published by SONIC.

SONIC tales: the tag i use when i'm talking about an event or story that happened in relation to SONIC.

SONIC visit: the tag i use to describe when i've gone to a SONIC.

superSONIC experience: the name of the postcard that SONIC might send you after calling their customer service number.  good for "a free sandwich of your choice."

survey: occasionally the bottom of SONIC receipts will give you the chance to call (877-807-2710) for a survey about your SONIC visit.  the list of questions you have to answer can be as short as: "how was the taste of your food?" "how was the speed of service?" and "how was your overall experience?"  or as long as deals about how many people were in your car, the kinds of food you had and the ability to leave a voice message about any problems you might have had.  providing a receipt code and then answering the questions, gives you a confirmation number.  passing this receipt and confirmation number back to SONIC will get you a free route 44 drink.  (note: you don't have to hand this receipt back to the same SONIC that issued it to get your free drink.)

tehachapi SONIC: the SONIC located at 1040 W valley boulevard, tehachapi, CA.  an extremely good SONIC due to outstanding staff and my favorite while traveling.

thanks SONIC: as a result of writing this 'blog, SONIC has sent me gift cards.  i use this tag any time i make a purchase using their generosity.  (thanks, SONIC!)

triple-day (or triple): going to SONIC three times in one calendar day.

tots: tater tots.

TXT message (or TXT offer): sent to and from your cell phone, these are offers that appear to be unique to the las vegas area.  TXT details are here.  standard rates apply.

vanilla dish: the phrase the SONIC menu board uses to describe a serving of vanilla ice cream with no cone.

wacky pack: a collection of food with the underlying intent of being a kid's meal.  you get a the choice of: a corn dog, jr. hamburger, chicken strips or a grilled cheese sandwich; and a banana, apple slices, tots or fries; and milk, juice or a drink; and a toy.

wacky pack wednesday: in las vegas, NV, wacky packs are on sale for $1.49 from 5:00 - 8:00 PM on wednesdays.  a 30 cent surcharge applies to grilled cheese or chicken strip choices.  on my SONIC numbers in the right margin, i only count a wacky pack once as an entire unit -- i don't also tally all the contents.

warm springs SONIC: the SONIC drive-in located at 2082 E warm springs road in las vegas, NV.

WNA upscale disposable products: manufacturers of SONIC's plastic cups.

{if you find this interesting, you may want to check out my maximizing your SONIC experience page}

diving deeper into SONIC TXT codes ...

... there's something odd about the way they work ... i'll poke on it a bit and report back.


superSONIC experience postcard

got this in today's mail ... good for a "free sandwich of your choice"
... i get these every now and then when i call the customer support
lines ... although i'm not certain, this was probably for me asking
about the TXT offers.

what i'd *like* to use this for is a breakfast burrito (which i've never
had), but they won't accept it for that; instead i'll either use it for
a croisSONIC (which i've also never had) or a double SONIC burger.

(but really i'd rather have a free slush.)

happy hour

medium lemon-berry slush, SONIC #5517

just BARELY made it. after hustling to the drive thru of the SONIC on
the way to my spa, there was a car full of degenerates ordering with
multiple windows down in front of me. and it's 4:58 PM.

with happy hour ending at 5:00, i back through the drive-thru and pull
into a stall. i'm not a fan of the stalls because i am then sociologically obligated
to tip -- eating into my precious 50% discount. but GODDAMMIT ...

"welcome to SONIC, how may i help you?"

"is it still happy hour?"

 not really an answer to the question i was asked, but that hasn't seemed to bother nearly all the people i've asked questions to in the past month ... so i'll just go with that answer .... AND ANYWAY, PRESSING ISSUES ARE AT HAND.

long pause. if she pauses any longer, it won't be happy hour any more.



Press Release: Special K Nabs SONIC Gift Card on SuperbSONIC ‘Blog

In a move considered suspicious by many, the enduring Internet presence known only as “Special K” was granted a $20 Sonic Drive-in gift card for being the first to comment on superbSONIC.blogspot.com (superbSONIC).  New to the Web, superbSONIC is a fan-blog relating to the personal proclivities of the disappointingly prolific writer “b1-66er.”

B1-66er explains what happened like this, “Right from the start I knew the first person to comment on the ‘blog was getting a $20 gift card and I told no one that this was the case.  The fact that my pal, Special K, got the award was pure coincidence.”

Or is it?  B1-66er and Special K been writing partners together on many 24 Hour Enterprises (24HoursOfTV.com) events and have occasional co-postings on ktxt.blogspot.com.

When asked about the situation, b1-66er seemed to become mildly agitated.  “Listen, he didn’t know about it, okay?  It could have been anyone.  But the truth is there’s only about three people who produce any original writing on the Web and Special K happens to be one of them.”  When pressed harder, b1-66er added, “No, I don’t care about how good he writes.  Here’s an idea to try on: you shut up now.”

When asked what he’d say to a winner of a $20 Sonic Drive-in gift card, Special K shouted, “Kol kach!” a phrase that, when translated from the K’s fluent German roughly means, “You should be a-lovin’ your SONIC gift card!”

B1-66er refuses to state whether more Sonic Drive-in gift cards are in store for the future and offers only the cryptic: “What do you think?  When was the last time you commented on a ‘blog and got a gift card?”

Everyone at Polterzeitgeist Productions extends a hearty congratulations to Special K, noting that all the taxes associated with the prize remain his responsibility.

SONIC and TXT offers

my call to the customer number last week was passed along to corporate internals ... my question was, essentially "what's the deal with these different TXT numbers?" ... because at one SONIC you're asked to TXT "SONICLV12" to 411427 and at another you're asked to "SONICLV13" to the same number.

i got this response (in its entirety) yesterday:

We only distribute text coupon offers through Sonic Cruisers.  There are local text promotions from our franchisees but we don’t always know when and what those offers are.

ignoring the fact that the letter shows no formal opening and no closing (something i never would have allowed my employees to do in their customer related jobs), the content is interesting ... essentially it implies that the franchisees are allowed to run wild and do whatever they want.

this certainly explains why the CA SONICs seem bewildered when i had them a TXT offer -- it came from a different franchisee.  what it doesn't say is whether or not the various las vegas SONICs are owned by the same people.

since i've already seen three different TXT codes (LV12, 13 and 3[i think]), i'm going to go ahead and run TXTs for LV1 through LV14 and see what happens.  i suspect what i'll see is a dozen offers at once anytime something gets offered, but who knows?

and the response, in and of itself, is impressive.  it means that the customer service number correctly handed off all my information inside, and then people actually got back to me ... all in a business day and a half.  when was the last time that happened to you at any other american fast food chain?  

oh, that's right, it never did.


happy hour

medium lemon-berry slush (with in-n-out shake antenna topper), SONIC


happy hour (and anomaly)

medium lemon-berry slush; don't know the store number (it's not on the
receipt) but it's the one on nellis

i make my order and the server says, "$1.02." alarm bells ring in my
head ... i've ordered this drink 1,000 times in NV during happy hour ...
it's *always* 91 cents.

i ask for the receipt, and sure enough, someone like the instigator is
doing the math programming here. half price on $1.69 should be 85
cents, not 75. AND it kicks me up into the next tax bracket.

i call the manager on the receipt, "roberto la madrid." as with *every*
SONIC manager i've ever spoken to, he's very cordial, apologizes for the
mistake and asks me to bring the receipt back in the future for a

thank you, roberto. thanks, SONIC!


happy hour

medium lemon slush, SONIC #16


quote of the moment

"SONIC's real ice cream is dispensed from a machine, not hand-scooped like other ice creams."

-- jennifer palmer, oklahoman

SONIC hot dogs are not kosher*

unfortunate since i'll only eat hot dogs that are either kosher or halal.

*source: SONIC customer support line

happy hour

medium limeade w/ extra lime wedges, SONIC #2438

(the TXT code here is SONICLV4)

quote of the moment

"There are a lot of reasons to like Sonic Drive-In. First, it's a
drive-in. It can be a lot of work to get out of the car and walk into a

-- jim peoples, phoood.com

car hopping

two nights ago i was in the rio spa, talking to an attendant there.

"what're you up to tonight, b1?"

"after my steam, i'm goin' to SONIC.  it's wacky pack wednesday!"

"that's funny.  you know i used to car hop at SONIC ..."

"really?  what was it like?"

up to this point, it was a normal conversation ... but this was the turning point where the attendant became very animated.  "oh, it was a great job.  i loved it.  the only problem was they used old time four wheel box skates with the brake on the toe ... and i was used to inlines with a brake on the back ... it made it almost impossible for me to stop ... during happy hour, you might have a tray full of route 44s ... that thing was heavy."

"did you ever drop one?"

"no, i came close, but never did ... what  was common, though, was for me to go crashing into a car i was skating up to ... not that that was all bad ... in fact i learned really fast that whenever you did that, people would tip you five bucks.

"i'd slam into a car -WHAM!- and the driver was always, like, 'honey, are you okay?' and tip me a five dollar bill ... especially the women ... you see a woman with a car full of kids?  that's five bucks waiting to happen."

they're working on it ...

this in response to my phone call yesterday.


Dear b1-66er:

Thank you for contacting Sonic Drive-In. We have forwarded your request to the appropriate department. If you have any further inquiries or suggestions in the future, please share them with us. Our goal is to continuously improve the Sonic Drive-In experience and to keep you as regular guest.

Sonic Drive-In
Customer Service Manager


happy hour

medium lemon-berry slush, SONIC #5517

TXT revelations

i'm sitting at the SONIC on durango in las vegas and see that the TXT
code here is SONICLV13 (vs. SONICLV14 at my favorite on flamingo).
this makes SONIC TXT questions abound, of course. i have a call in to
corporate and will report back, dear reader.

SONIC media kit IV -- SONIC's road to success

SONIC’s Road to Success

1953: Troy Smith opens his first Top Hat Drive-In in Shawnee, Okla., featuring an intercom speaker system for ordering and Carhop delivery service.

1956: Charles Pappe partners with Smith and opens the second Top Hat in Woodward, Okla.

1958: Top Hat Drive-Ins operating in Enid, Shawnee, Stillwater and Woodward, Okla.

1959: Due to trademark issues with the Top Hat name, drive-ins are renamed SONIC Drive-In for “Service at the Speed of Sound™.” In June, the Stillwater drive-in is the first to change its name to SONIC.

1963: SONIC celebrates 10 years with 19 drive-ins in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.

1973: SONIC turns 20 and several important events set the stage for the future growth of the company.
  • With 165 drive-ins in operation, 10 principal franchisees form SONIC Systems of America (later to become SONIC Industries).
  • SONIC Systems of America offers each drive-in operator the option to purchase 1,250 shares of stock in the company at $1 per share and SONIC becomes an over-the-counter, publicly traded company.

1977: Prime Time! The first SONIC television commercial airs on network television.

1980: Play Time! The first SONIC National Convention takes place in New Orleans.

1983: SONIC turns 30 with 975 drive-ins.

1986: SONIC’s top management completes a $10 million leveraged buyout of the company.

1991: SONIC completes an initial public offering (IPO) and SONIC stock begins trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol SONC.

1993: SONIC turns 40 with 1,274 drive-ins nationwide.
  • Kimberly Aiken, a former Columbia, S.C. Carhop, is crowned Miss America.
1994: SONIC 2000, a five-year re-imaging strategy begins:
  • The new “retro-future” SONIC logo is introduced.
  • For the first time, the entire system adopts a consistent menu and appearance with store-level retrofits.
  • The Fountain Favorites® and Frozen Favorites® menu is introduced to expand daypart sales and crew members flaunt new uniforms.
1997: First SONIC television commercial airs on cable television on ESPN.

1999: The 2,000th SONIC Drive-In opens in Oklahoma City.

2000: SONIC enters the digital world with its own URL: www.SONICdrivein.com.

2001: SONIC’s 10th year as a publicly held company
  • SONIC Carhop named one of Teen People magazine’s “Top 10 Jobs That Rock.”
2002: SONIC is repeatedly recognized in several leading publications:
  • Forbes magazine (October 2002)-SONIC is one of three companies named to the “200 Best Small Companies in America” list for the ninth consecutive year.
  • BusinessWeek magazine (June 2002)-SONIC is named to the “Hot Growth Companies” list.
  • 2,533 SONIC Drive-Ins coast to coast

  • Average unit sales are $906,000

2003: Party Time! SONIC IS 50!
  • SONIC initiates a yearlong 50th Birthday Celebration.
  • SONIC sets out to find the Ultimate SONIC Fan in America with the help of its managers and crew members. SONIC received nearly 1,000 nominations, and selected Beverly Harris of Frisco, Texas, as the Ultimate SONIC Fan. Harris earned a trip to Hawaii for the 2003 Annual SONIC Convention.
  • 2,706 SONIC Drive-Ins coast to coast
  • Average unit sales are $907,000
  • SONIC moves into new corporate headquarters in Bricktown, a culturally rich area of downtown Oklahoma City. The new address is 300 Johnny Bench Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

2004: Awards and acclaim for SONIC
  • SONIC Chairman and CEO Cliff Hudson named top quick-service restaurantexecutive of the year by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association for its annual Silver Plate Awards. A committee consisting of the editors of food service industry publications and last year's winners of the Silver Plate awards selected the winners.
  • SONIC television and radio spots featuring the “Two SONIC Guys” win top honors:
    • National ADDYs - Silver
    • Radio Mercury Award
  • 2,885 SONIC Drive-Ins coast to coast
  • Average unit sales are $964,000
  • SONIC listed No. 6 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® list, the most comprehensive ratings list of franchises in the world.

2005: The 3000th SONIC Drive-In opens in SONIC’s hometown of Shawnee, Okla.
  • SONIC named No. 28 in Forbes Magazine’s The 100 Best Mid-Cap Stocks based on its market capitalization.
  • SONIC listed as No. 95 on Forbes’ 200 Best Small Companies list for the 12th consecutive year.
  • 3,039 SONIC Drive-Ins coast to coast
  • Average unit sales are more than $1 million
  • 19 consecutive years of higher same-store sales
  • SONIC listed No. 1 in the hamburger category of Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® list.

2006: SONIC becomes Your Ultimate Drink Stop!®
  • Luck of the Straw, a promotion celebrating SONIC as the Ultimate Drink Stop sends 15 finalists to Las Vegas; SONIC fan Sutton Cavalier wins $168,894 – the same number of drink combinations now possible at SONIC.
  • Kelly Pickler, a former Carhop at an Albemarle, North Carolina Drive-In is a contestant on American Idol and quickly becomes a fan favorite.
  • Forbes names SONIC to its 200 Best Small Companies List. This is SONIC's 13th consecutive appearance, the longest tenure of any company on the list.
  • Entrepreneur names SONIC to its Franchise 500 list for the fifth straight year, and ranks SONIC as the best franchise in its category for the second straight year.

2007: Wake up with a SONIC Boom!
  • SONIC launched its new premium roast coffees featuring real espresso-based drinks, including iced and hot lattes as well as a frozen-blended Java Chiller and a Sonic Boom – an extra shot of espresso customers may add to any drink flavor.
  • SONIC retrofitted more than 600 partner and franchise drive-ins.
  • More than 3,300 SONIC Drive-Ins across 34 states.
  • Entrepreneur names SONIC® as the No. 1 franchise in the burger category on Entrepreneur's 2006 Franchise® 500 list, the most comprehensive ratings list of franchises in the world. SONIC's overall ranking rises to No. 8 on the Franchise 500® list.

2008: SONIC offers an Everyday Value Menu
  • SONIC launched its Everyday Value Menu to offer guests more affordable options. The menu included primarily new products and new sizing on traditional favorites.
  • SONIC opens its first drive-ins in Chicagoland, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Paul, and Seattle.
  • The 3500th drive-in opens in Chicagoland (Algonquin, Ill.).
  • SONIC's overall ranking rises yet again to No. 6 on Entrepreneur's 2008 Franchise® 500 list.
  • SONIC ranks number 10 in QSR magazine’s The QSR 50 for systemwide sales for the second year in a row. In addition, SONIC captures the number 4 spot for the second year in a row in the Burger Segment of The QSR 50.
  • R&I’s Top 400 Restaurant Chains listed SONIC at No. 13 based on annual sales, number of units and average unit volume (AUV).

2009: SONIC launches Limeades for Learning®
  • Through a new program, Limeades for Learning®, SONIC and its franchise partners have donated more than $638,000 to public school classrooms in local communities across the country.
  • SONIC opened its first drive-in in the states of Massachusetts, New York and Maryland as well as the first location in the San Diego-area. New drive-ins continue to open in Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Detroit, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.
  • SONIC held its second Free Float Night to say thank you to customers and kick off the summer. More than 5 million free floats were given out to customers.
  • SONIC expands menu options for more health conscious consumers. New items include fresh apple slices with fat-free caramel dipping sauce and a new Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich prepared fresh with a wheat bun made with whole grain.
  • SONIC's overall ranking rises to No. 4 spot on Entrepreneur's 2009 Franchise® 500.

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SONIC media kit III -- fact sheet

Fact Sheet

HISTORY SONIC, America’s Drive-In (NASDAQ/NM: SONC) started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to SONIC in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the SONIC name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. As the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, SONIC has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast and approximately 3 million customers every day. With more drink combinations than any other quick-service restaurant – more than 168,000 – SONIC is Your Ultimate Drink Stop®. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit SONIC at www.sonicdrivein.com. Through Limeades for Learning®, SONIC and its franchise partners have donated more than $1.3 million to public school classrooms in local communities across the country. Visit www.limeadesforlearning.com to learn more about SONIC’s commitment to education.

OF DRIVE-INS Sonic has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast.

HEADQUARTERS 300 Johnny Bench Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

SALES $1,093,000 average unit sales (2009 fiscal year)

CARHOPS Personal Carhop service is one of many reasons customers enjoy visiting SONIC. Frequently seen spinning by on roller skates, smiling Carhops
personally deliver orders right to customers’ cars. What’s more, Carhops check back to ensure a quality experience. Each customer receives a mint
with a drink, dessert or meal purchase – a tradition started by company founder Troy Smith Sr. to remind customers they are worth a mint at SONIC.

MENU SONIC's award-winning menu offers a variety of unique menu items made after you order. Unique menu items include TOASTER®
Sandwiches (made with thick Texas toast), Footlong Quarter Pound Coneys,
handmade Onion Rings, Tater Tots and a plethora of drink and dessert choices, such as Cherry Limeades. SONIC has more than 168,000 drink combinations, making it Your Ultimate Drink Stop!®

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SONIC media kit II -- company overview

Company Overview

In 1953, the prototype of the first SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) opened in Shawnee, Okla. Back then, SONIC revolutionized the ordering process by using curbside speakers that allowed customers to place food orders without ever leaving their cars. This technology spawned the slogan “Service at the Speed of Sound,” which translates to one word: SONIC.

SONIC Drive-In's founder Troy Smith, Sr. originally named the hamburger and root beer stand
Top Hat Drive-In, and aptly changed the name to SONIC Drive-In in 1959. Throughout its more than 50-year history SONIC has enjoyed one of the highest customer frequency rates in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Sonic Corp., an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company, is the nation’s largest chain of drive-in fast-food restaurants with more than 3,500 drive-ins located coast to coast. Specializing in fresh, made-to-order meals, SONIC is best known for its signature menu items and personal, friendly Carhop service. Unique menu items include TOASTER® sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick Texas toast), Footlong Quarter Pound Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), fresh hamburgers, handmade Onion Rings, Tater Tots and a plethora of drink and dessert choices, such as Cherry Limeades. In 2003, SONIC introduced the nation to SONIC Breakfast featuring its signature BREAKFAST TOASTER® sandwiches. In 2009, SONIC expanded its commitment to education and partnered with DonorsChoose.org to launch a cause branding program to support public school teachers and their students. Through Limeades for Learning, SONIC and its franchise partners have donated more than $1.3 million to public school classrooms in local communities across the country.

Cliff Hudson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sonic Corp., leads the SONIC brand with average unit sales of $1.09 million. Under his leadership, the company continues to expand, delivering unique items to SONIC customers throughout the country.
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SONIC media kit I -- applause & acclaim

{these media kit pieces are available as download from the SONIC web site ... i wanted them in here for search engine fodder, and for my future reference ... all this would be (c) america's drive-in properties, but they won't care since media kits are for propaganda dissemination by their very nature ... formatting and graphics have changed due to cut/paste anomalies ... i won't be cleaning those up.}


Applause & Acclaim

SONIC, America’s Drive-In, offers customers award-winning menu items and unparalleled customer service. As a result of its successes, leading business publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur continually recognize SONIC as one of America’s top companies. Additionally, SONIC repeatedly receives accolades from restaurant industry publications and associations for outstanding service, menu variety and quality of food.

QSR Magazine (August 2010)
  • QSR Magazine ranks SONIC at No. 10 in the magazine’s Top 50 QSR list based on systemwide sales. In addition, SONIC is ranked No. 4 in the Burger category.

Cause Marketing Forum Silver Halo Award (June 2010)
  • SONIC’s Limeades for Learning® cause branding program earned a Silver Halo Award for Best Video at the Cause Marketing Forum June 3, 2010 in Chicago, Ill. The Cause Marketing Forum distributes Halo Awards to causes and companies who do their part to address a societal need and promote positive change.

Nation’s Restaurant News (January 2010)
  • SONIC’s Limeades for Learning® cause branding program is listed as No. 7 among the Top 10 scoring television advertisements for 2009 among all restaurant brands.

QSR Magazine (January 2010)
  • SONIC’s Limeades for Learning® cause branding program among one of the magazine’s Best of 2009: Charitable Giving programs.

Ladies’ Home Journal Do Good Stamp (December 2009)
  • SONIC was honored as one of the inaugural list of brands to receive the Ladies’ Home Journal Do GoodTM Stamp . The Ladies’ Home Journal awards the Do Good Stamp to corporations that are committed to doing good and that are an inspiration. SONIC was honored for Improving Education through its national cause branding program, Limeades for Learning.

Oklahoma Gazette (August 2009)
  • SONIC was awarded “Best of OKC” honors for Dinner on a Budget and Happy Hour by in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Gazette.

Nation’s Restaurant News (June 2009)
  • The magazine’s Top 100 report ranked SONIC at No. 13 for Top 100 chains ranked by U.S. Systemwide Foodservice Sales.

WebMD.com (March 2009)
  • In a recent WebMD.com article, SONIC’s regular fries were recognized as having the lowest calories, lowest fat grams, lowest percentage of calories from fat and lowest total amount of “bad fats” as well as second lowest in sodium.

The Times – Shreveport, La. (March 2009)
  • SONIC was a 2009 Reader’s Choice Awards winner for Best Fast Food place and Best Happy Hour in Shreveport, La., The Times.

AllBusiness AllStar Franchises List (February 2009)
  • SONIC made the first annual AllBusiness AllStar Franchise Top 300 list for 2009. The ranking is a unique approach that assesses the strengths of franchising companies, including criteria such as Web visibility and the latest financial strength scores from Dun & Bradstreet. The editors at AllBusiness.com and experts choose the Top 300.

The New Tribune – Tacoma, Wash. (February 2009)
  • SONIC was the preferred restaurant over Burgerville in The News Tribune’s Online Poll of readers. More than 1,200 readers voted.

Chicago Tribune (January 2009)
  • The SuperSONIC Cheeseburger received an A- grand in a Chicago Tribune article ranking five new burger chains and their signature burgers. The Tribune described the taste test as “A nice sweetness to the buns…the cheese has successfully melted into the patty’s crevices and created an amalgam of beefy wonderfulness…well-balanced and well-flavored on the whole…not as greasy as similar burgers.”

Entrepreneur magazine (January 2009)
  • SONIC's overall ranking rises to No. 4 spot on Entrepreneur's 2009 Franchise® 500. 

Amarillo Sunday News-Globe (October 2008)
  • SONIC was awarded the Best Happy Hour by the Amarillo Sunday News-Globe.

QSR Magazine (August 2008)
  • SONIC ranks number 10 in QSR magazine’s The QSR 50 for systemwide sales for the second year in a row. In addition, SONIC captures the number 4 spot for the second year in a row in the Burger Segment of The QSR 50.

Restaurants & Institutions (July 2008)
  • R&I’s Top 400 Restaurant Chains listed SONIC at No. 13 based on annual sales, number of units and average unit volume (AUV).

Entrepreneur (January 2008)
  • SONIC's overall ranking rises yet again to No. 6 on Entrepreneur's 2007 Franchise® 500 list.

Forbes (October 2006)
  • Forbes names SONIC® as the No. 104 on its 200 Best Small Companies List.
This is the 13th consecutive appearance, giving SONIC® the longest standing tenure on list.

QSR Magazine (June 2006)
  • Franchisees rank SONIC No. 1 in QSR's Annual Brand Satisfaction Survey for creating an inclusive, collaborative environment. The survey measures franchisees among the largest 150 chains tracked by Restaurant Research and asks franchisee operators to rate their own restaurant concepts around nine key brand components – sales and profit prospects, menu, promotional line-up, advertising, operations, system condition, concept management and franchisee support.

Entrepreneur (December 2005)
  • SONIC listed as the No. 1 franchise in the burger category on Entrepreneur’s 2006
Franchise 500® list, the most comprehensive ratings list of franchises in the world. SONIC’s overall ranking is No. 13 on the Franchise 500 list.

International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (February 2004)
  • SONIC Chairman and CEO Cliff Hudson named top quick-service restaurant executive
of the year by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association for its annual
Silver Plate Awards. A committee consisting of editors of foodservice-industry
publications and last year's winners of the Silver Plate awards selected the winners.

# # #

my SONIC prejudices

my favorite drink: lemon-berry slush

my favorite SONIC: 4260 W flamingo road; las vegas, NV
super-friendly.  very fast.  sharp employees.  always well aware of any given promotion.  great manager.  24 hour.  at night you can watch the neon at the palms casino across the street. close enough to the rio that i can go there during breaks in the world series.

my most hated SONIC: 6921 Cameron Boulevard; gilroy, CA
these guys wouldn't know how to hang onto a clue if you put a handle on it.  (once i had a coupon good for a free route 44 sized drink and asked if i could get a smaller one instead ... you already know what the answer was.)  they often are slow to respond to the boards.  the place is right on the edge of america's largest garlic fields, so EVERYTHING tastes like garlic.  AND you have to drive through some kind of crazy nautilus configuration just to get in and out of there.

SONIC pet peeve: when i say, "i'd like a lemon-berry slush and nothing else, please;" but they respond with, "would you like some mozzarella sticks with that?"

biggest SONIC thrill: when they play my song on SONIC FM.

my favorite SONIC promotion ever: 11 cent ice cream cones on new year's day this year.  i ate three.

second favorite SONIC promotion: wacky pack wednesday.  chicken strips, apple slices, a lemon-berry slush (all in very reasonable sizes) and a game for $1.79 is a great deal.  i always look forward to wednesday.

SONIC food change i'd most like to see: a switch from american to cheddar cheese.

trait i'd like to see become more common among SONIC food preparers: squeeze the lemons and limes in the drinks, instead of just plopping the wedges in there.

biggest SONIC surprise: when the curator gave me a SONIC give card as a present.

best SONIC experience: we stopped at my favorite SONIC on my mom's 75th birthday and they gave her a bouquet of balloons.  i called the SONIC customer service number to say how happy i was and they sent me a postcard for a free burger as a thanks for calling.


wacky pack wednesday and dish

my standard wacky pack: chicken strips (BBQ sauce), apples (caramel sauce), lemon-berry slush, slamwich card game

vanilla dish

SONIC survival guide

  • SONIC has a spectacular web site.  handy for all your SONIC needs, but especially good for finding a store near you and determining the caloric value of everything you consume.
  • always ask for your receipt.  not only does this ensure you're being charged the right amount (if not, you can call the manager on the receipt and score a freebie for your hardship), but many times a customer survey is attached.  when you call in the customer survey, you get a free route 44 (XL - sized) drink.
  • if you have any kind of problem with your order, call the manager first before you try the general customer service number.  it keeps whatever problem you have from escalating.  every manager i've ever talked to has gone out of their way to make things right.
  • the SONIC customer service number is 1-866-OK-SONIC (1-866-657-6642) -- 24 hours a day.  the people on the line there are always super-responsive and super-friendly.  if you're calling because someone has screwed up an order, they'll apologize (like all 800 number people are supposed to), make sure you always say what i say, "it's not your fault."
  • if you TXT "SONICV12" to 411247 (411-AIR also 411-24/7, get it?) you can get special offers from SONIC.  these tend to come out a couple of times per month and may well be aimed at some test market (perhaps vegas only?).  i've brought these TXTs to CA SONICs before -and while they've always been honored- the employees there (including the managers), have been puzzled by them.  past offers have included half-price drinks on new year's eve, 11c ice cream cones on new year's day, 99c mozzarella stix and 99c croisSONICs.
  • SONIC's overhead radio system is called "SONIC FM."  you can call in and request music to 1-866-SONIC-FM (1-866-766-4236).  i think they play off the digital collection they have, and it is somewhat limited -- BUT they'll always play a request if you find something they have and your request is played across all SONICs.  i'm not sure you can request 24 hours a day, but you can always try.  not many people call in, so you shouldn't have to wait more than about three or four songs before they play your request.  thrilling, i know.  sharpies will call a request to SONIC FM before they order.
  • happy hour at most SONICs is from 2:00PM to 4:00PM (5:00PM in vegas).  drinks and slushes are half price, shakes are not.  if you order something slightly out of the ordinary, ocean water (sprite and blue coconut), for example, you may find that the half price discount isn't taken correctly.
  • you can always split a large drink.  when you place your order, ask for an extra cup ... you'll get one at no charge.
  • vegas has been running a "wacky pack wednesday" promotion for quite some time now.  from 5:00PM to 8:00PM on wednesdays, you can get a kids' wacky pack meal for $1.49: 
  1. chicken strips, or jr. burger, or grilled cheese, or corn dog [note: choosing chicken strips, or cheese on your burger, creates a small surcharge]
  2. =and= banana, or apple slices, or tater tots, or fries
  3. =and= 1% milk (black or white), or 100% apple juice, or 100% orange juice, or fruit punch, or soda
  4. =and= a toy
  • no age limit applies to ordering a wacky pack.
  • although a vanilla ice cream cone and a vanilla ice cream dish are supposed to have the same amount of ice cream (both $1), every SONIC employee i've ever talked to has said that the vanilla dish probably has more.
  • if you order a lemon-berry slush -especially a larger size- be sure to ask the order taker to make sure it's well-stirred.  a lemon-berry slush is nothing more that a lemon slush (lemon and slush mix), with strawberry ice cream topping added ... if it's not stirred (and they very often are not) you find your tongue wading through geologic drink sedimentation.
  • one of the few downsides of SONIC is that they use american cheese.  if you're like i am, and think american cheese tastes like car seat wrap, you should either ask for it to be held on any sandwich order OR ask to substitute "shredded cheddar."
  • at some SONICs, you have to ask for the bathroom key.
  • many SONICs in the deep south have indoor seating.
  • it's possible to order a peanut butter shake (or chocolate-peanut butter) at some SONICs, even if it's not on the menu.  if you're interested in one, ask.  if they don't have it, consider making that recommendation to the customer service number.
  • if you want a drink with extra lemon (or extra lime), and you want real fruit to do the job, say "extra lemon wedges" when you order.  if you don't, it's likely you'll be given flavored syrup instead.  you might see a slight up-charge if you do this.
  • all menu items are available all day.
  • it's possible to order a lime-berry slush, even though it's not on the menu.  to be clear with the order taker, make sure you say "'lime-berry' not 'lemon-berry,' please."
  • some SONICs have carhop crossings across the drive-thru (you'll know if there are order stalls to your right).  be careful as you pull forward after getting your food!  it's easy to have your attention diverted to arranging things on a car seat.
  • the largest food service size at SONIC is referred to as "route 44."
  • when you pull into a stall, the food menu and speaker button will be on the driver's side.  the passenger's side will show a full dessert menu (on the back of the next stall's food menu).
  • at most SONICs, you can park in the lot and eat at tables on the landing.  you're not cramped in your car, it's easier to arrange your trash, and SONIC FM is more audible there.
  • SONIC cruisers club can get you extra promotions and a birthday freebie.

{see any crazy terminology on this page that you don't know?  you can probably find it in my SONIC glossary.}