Do YOU tip at Sonics?

As many have probably heard, the entire staff of three locations of Sonics in Ohio quit. The issue was a new corporate owner buying the franchise and changing minimum wage from $8.55 to the “restaurant server” minimum of $4.30 “plus tips.” The response from the company seems somewhat mealy-mouthed (“They’re making the same hourly rate” rather than an unequivocal “we’ve made no changes, period.”) That aside, do people tip when going to Sonics? I’ve never heard of anyone doing so.

I only buy crushed ice at Sonic, and then only when one is near my travel route. (There are ten of them in the county.) At $3 for a 10-pound bag I usually just hand the deliverer a $5.

I think I used to when I used cash. Since they installed the card readers, no.

I generally tell them to keep the change. A few cents worth. They’re not gonna make up the difference on my tip. That’s terrible that they’re cutting their pay. I hope they scream an holler.

No. I don’t usually tip at fast food places.

Yep. Maybe, maybe a buck if the change is 4 cents, and the order is large.

Sonic is not a tipping job.

However, that article made it *quite *clear to me that their wages were NOT being cut below Minimum wage.
*“Whatever hourly rate they were making last week, they are making this week,” a spokesperson for Sonic told CBS MoneyWatch. All Sonic workers in the state earn at least the non-tipped minimum wage, with tips given to car hops at its restaurants coming in addition to that, said the spokesperson, who blamed a disgruntled manager who lost their job in the transition for spreading rumors. *

Sonic ‘food’ is like a salt lick.

I’d tip if they didn’t bring it. If I ever went there, which I don’t. ‘Cause I don’t like the salt lick. Why you lookin’ at me?

Sonic is definitely a tipping job here where my daughter and niece used to work. The cashiers got minimum wage but the carhops got waitstaff wage and relied on those tips. It’s been four years but I’m sure it’s still the same.

I would if I ever used the carhop service. That’s actually one of the reasons I don’t use the carhop service. The other reason is I don’t really like eating in my car. I just use the drive through and don’t tip.

I’ve never been to a Sonic, in part because I don’t see the allure of ordering from your car and having someone bring it out to you. I can see “drive-through” and I can see “sit inside and eat”. What improvement does their system introduce?

Their system doesn’t “introduce” anything. It’s nostalgic. Most carhops went away in the '60s-'70s when drive-throughs became popular.

I haven’t been to Sonic in years- even though there’s one only a couple of miles from me - but when I did go it was because of the carhops.

And I tipped them, just like my dad did in the '60s.

The closest one to me isn’t relatively that close & I have to drive past pretty much every other fast food chain to get to them.
When I’m on the road, I prefer going inside to order (unless bad weather) just to stretch my legs for a minute so I don’t like them then.

The one time I did try to go into one, they didn’t have a counter or any way to even see or summon an employee (like a bell). All they had was a kiosk-type ordering screen that only took plastic. I was going to pay in cash so I walked out. I was later told by someone that you can pay in cash, they will take it when they open the door to give you your food.

I’ve never been to a Sonics, there isn’t one near me and they seem kind of exotic because I’ve never been to one.

I never heard of tipping at Sonic.

Carhops aren’t waiters. They don’t refill drinks or ask if you want something else.

I can’t even reliably get salt & pepper at Sonic. Half the time it isn’t on the tray.

The Sonic by my house has car-hops, drive through, and sit down area. Never could figure out why someone would sit in their car instead of just going inside to eat.

Plus, there are not dedicated carhops and other staff. They switch. Not sure how they would figure out the wages that way.

I only tip for sit-down service, period.

I just love that, when I pick up food at a place like Barracos, there is a place for a tip on the receipt that I have to sign. Yeah, right. I’m going to drag myself out in who knows what kind of weather, take the time to drive there using my gas, and then give them a tip for taking my money? Hah!

Maybe they aren’t wearing pants. Or their clothes are filthy from work. Or there is someone inside they don’t want to interact with. Or they are in the middle of a really good audiobook. Or unloading the kidlet and taking all their associated crap inside is too much of a hassle and the kid is fussy anyway. Or…


Btw, Sonic added a drive thru lane many years ago. It’s often busier than the car stalls.

The one in downtown LR got robbed. They started closing service to the car stalls at 9pm. But kept the drive thru open till midnight.

That lasted several months. I haven’t been by there lately to see if they resumed normal service.

Remember when Sonic hung the tray on your car window? The food wasn’t bagged. It was nice having that serving space instead of the car seat.

There was a shelf on the pole to put the tray afterwards.

They ended that here in Arkansas at least 15 years ago.

I still occasionally see the car hops on roller skates. But, usually they just walk at most Sonics.