Drive-in theaters and restaurants were incredibly popular during some of the United States’ history, and they hold fond memories for many of the people that lived during part of that era. However, nowadays drive-ins are quite uncommon to find and usually not very popular. Except for Sonic, who has the claim to fame as “America’s favorite drive-in”.
This might not be very inaccurate since drive-in attractions are hard to find and Sonic certainly has a great deal of business. But even if you’ve been to Sonic often before you probably don’t know much or at least not everything about this restaurant chain’s history. Here are some things you didn’t know about Sonic drive-in to enrich your knowledge.
Sonic’s founder Troy Smith had a variation of ideas and restaurant attempts before finding the system setup that worked best for profit. He had a number of restaurants like diners, steakhouses, and more; but his root beer stand actually was the one that won in profit margins and started the early origins of Sonic itself.
This was because the root beer stand used an intercom system from cars to kitchen that drove up business and shortened the process for better service. The root beer stand was in Shawnee, Oklahoma and became Smith’s only focus after it started gaining traction.
As with many other early starting franchises, Sonic didn’t begin with that name. Troy wanted to keep the name Top Hat as that was the name for his root beer stand, but Top Hat was already trademarked elsewhere.
Top Hat as a stand had the slogan “Service with the speed of sound”, which happened to perfectly create a path straight to the final name that was decided on for this business venture, Sonic. It captured the speed of service that a drive-in intercom system created, and added a catchy and simple name customers could remember.
Cherry limeade is a staple at Sonic and is actually so popular that the restaurant chain sells enough in a year to fill over a dozen Olympic sized swimming pools. Of course, there are plenty of other popular items on the menu too.
But Sonic’s iconic cherry limeade has been around for so long and become so popularized it sells like crazy compared to the rest of Sonic’s menu items that are quite liked by customers. It also helps that Sonic is popular during warmer weather and a cherry limeade is a nice refreshing cool off.
While the cherry limeade is insanely popular on the menu, Sonic actually has anywhere between over 100,000 to over 600,000 drink combination possibilities with all their flavors, mix ins, and bases. The over 100,000 is admitted by the company, but some have calculated as much as over 600,000.
The coolest thing is that most of these options are off-menu and custom ideas, and a great deal of the favorite combinations were created and submitted by employees particularly in 2011 when the company asked its employees for their favorite off-menu drink choices.
While this isn’t a full rundown of this popular restaurant and its history to becoming such a popular and long-standing staple for so many people in the states, it is definitely some of the most interesting or rare to know about facts and tidbits you can find on this topic.
Sonic drive-in has quite a few claims to fame besides just being one of the few drive-in restaurants left and one of the only chains to continue this tradition too; but its history and growth is quite interesting to learn too. Whether you’re curious about Sonic, already love the experience and food there, have been once or twice, or any other range of knowledge and experience on the matter; hopefully at least a few of these interesting least known facts caught your interest.