Sonic Drive-In customers at about one-third of the Inspire Brands-owned chain’s restaurants are now able to tip their carhops through the Sonic app, the company’s chief marketing officer Lori Abou Habib said during an Inspire Brands virtual media event on Tuesday. Sonic is rolling out this feature to 1,000 restaurants out of their 3,500-restaurant portfolio at first and it will be systemwide at the end of 2021.
Sonic customers have always had the ability to tip their rollerblading servers with cash, but now they’ll have a more digital-friendly and convenient way to do so. According to Habib, the ability to tip servers via the Sonic app has been in the top two customer service requests for a while, and in fact, a Change.org petition was created to demand the virtual tipping, which accrued 33,000 signatures.
The new feature “is going to be welcomed news for our carhops, but also to our guests who have been looking for that functionality," Habib said during the event.
Sonic’s digital platform, known as Integrated Consumer Engagement, allows customers to place orders remotely before they drive into the parking lot. Once they do, the system knows they’ve arrived and the food is delivered to their chosen parking spot. Now, the newly added feature will allow customers to do even more virtually before their food is rolled out to them.
During the event, Inspire Brands added that they’re developing a second location of their new store prototype that debuted in the chain’s hometown, Oklahoma City, which we announced in July, featuring brighter colors, wider car docks, and a covered patio with lawn games. This next store is under development in Texas.
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