The Promotional Marketing Association (PMA), in partnership with Brandweek magazine, recently awarded Sonic Drive-In and Coca-Cola a Silver Reggie Award in the Business-to-Business category for their F.B.I. program. Reggies are awarded each year to the best promotions in the country. The F.B.I. program—or Fun Building Initiatives—was a year-long effort used to create a fun, rewarding work environment, thus reducing turnover and increasing total sales and profits.
The program was recognized for reaching those goals as Sonic’s food and drink sales increased from the year prior and the turnover level remained below the industry average of 250 percent. “Our employees and the service they provide are very important components of our business,” said Mark Farmer, director of field human resources at Sonic Industries, Inc. “With programs like F.B.I., we reward crew members for doing a good job, while enhancing customer service and sales.” Each quarter, components of the program were rolled out to the crew. Each component rewarded employees for understanding operational issues; scoring well on mystery shops; exceptional customer service and suggestive selling.
Nearly 90 percent of Sonic’s drive-ins participated in the program and winning employees shared $138,000 in cash prizes. “This program gave everybody, from supervisors to crew members, incentive and rewards for building sales and profits,” said Chris Linton-Smith, customer marketing manager, Coca-Cola USA Fountain.
Sonic, which specializes in made-to-order fast food, is known for its specialty menu items and quality customer service. Popular menu items include Extra-Long Cheese Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), handfresh-made Onion Rings, Tater Tots and a variety of Frozen and Fountain Favorites such as Banana Splits and Cherry Limeades.