For the first time, Sonic Drive-In let customers tip carhops via the brand’s app this year. Now, it’s taking the capability system-wide.
“This has been an initiative we've been working on for a while to allow customers who have requested ad nauseum the ability to leave their carhops a tip in the app,” Lori Abou Habib, Sonic’s chief marketing officer, said during a virtual event.
To date, Sonic has brought in nearly $12 million in tips, the company said. This capability follows Sonic’s development over the past year of a web-based ordering platform.
“We’re very excited about how that platform will unfold and recognize those carhops who are out there hustling every day,” Abou Habib said.
It’s not the only initiative in Sonic’s mix as the brand braces for the future.
On the menu development front, Sonic has a lineup of items it hopes will entice guests: the Bacon on Bacon Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger, Double Stuf Oreo Waffle Cone and Blast, Garlic Butter Bacon Burger, Mocha Crunch Blast and the Patty Melt.
The Garlic Butter Bacon Burger, in particular, is a meal that will be back available in stores from November 1 through December 26 at a price of $4.99.
“This year, Sonic has been dedicated to enhancing our burgers by making them meltier and juicier, and we hope our guests enjoy the upgrades we made to the popular Garlic Butter Bacon Burger,” said Sonic’ executive chef, Scott Uehlein. “Our culinary team took on this exciting challenge by doubling up the cheesiness and adding even more creamy garlic butter. To top it all off, the Garlic Butter Bacon Burger is stacked on a toasted bakery bun that SONIC guests will love as they satisfy their garlic butter craving.”
Meanwhile, the Bacon on Bacon brings an array of flavors to customers’ taste palates.
“There's a tangy smoke sauce on there that's sort of a hybrid between the ketchup and barbecue, so it's got that sweet, savory, smoky balance,” Uehlein said.
On the retail side, Sonic is focused on bringing classic flavors to customers’ homes through protein powders, Jell-O, pudding, freezer bars, and ready-to-go drink mixes. These are new products that can bring the same Cherry Limeade and Ocean Water flavors back to life.
“It's really a way for us to be able to bring those flavors to our consumers in different ways and formats when they can't maybe get to Sonic and get one of these great drinks,” Abou Habib said. “They can take it with them, or even pack it in their lunch.”