what is the point of going to SONIC drive thru?*

driving through at SONIC (as opposed to stopping at the stalls) has one major advantage: you don't have to tip the cashier (and you absolutely should tip a carhop), thus reducing your total expenditure.

it's possible you might get faster service driving through than at a stall.  HOWEVER, when there's been a queue in the drive-thru (and i felt i was in some weird kind of a hurry), pulling into a stall gave me service at least as fast as the third car back from the cashier window.

if i'm eating on the patio, i have a mild preference for ordering at the drive-thru, then parking and carrying my food to the landing.  not only does this keep the tip in my pocket, it also guarantees my food will be in small portable packets ... when ordering on the landing, it's not that unusual for my food to kinda stream in waves from the inside and my personal preference is for my food to be a little more "immediate" than that.

{there are two times that i'll just order from the landing for sure: one is if i know i'll be making a request on SONIC FM, the other is if i go to flamingo SONIC and know matt is working the landing.}

if you just want to eat-and-run, the biggest disadvantage of using the drive-thru is securing your food and drinks before driving off.  if you have a big order, or are just by yourself, it's often easier to pull into a stall, giving you the chance to stage your food before driving off (or, to the HUGE dismay of the japanese, preparing to eat as you drive in your car).

there's a larger psychological argument here, though ... consider that most american fast food companies have drive-thrus, but nearly none have stalls ... why not take advantage of what the others don't have?

*i've seen this question come up as a search hit against this site several times in the last few days ... i'm going to occasionally include search hit posts to up this site's ranking.

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PLEASE don't drink your slush as you type.