Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain?

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Bonk
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2013/10/16 13:42:30 (permalink)

Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain?

So I admit I like Sonic on occasion. A lot have popped up in the Cincinnati area, and I've visited several.
 
My question is: Does anyone else think their burgers are wildly inconsistent in flavor? I've found this to be true even over multiple trips at the same store. 
 
Obviously I like their burgers or I wouldn't go there, but I've found they range from pretty good to excellent seemingly at random. 
#1

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    Tampico
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 13:47:31 (permalink)
    I was there today and I agree 100%. Stay away from the onion rings. 
    #2
    jman
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 14:46:02 (permalink)
    Tampico

      Stay away from the onion rings. 

     
    Why?
    #3
    felix4067
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 18:51:59 (permalink)
    I've always had great luck with the onion rings. As to the burgers, I generally don't get one. Usually we're there for onion rings and beverages.
    #4
    edwmax
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 19:13:43 (permalink)
    I eat a one yearssss ago,   pleasant curb hops; ordering was easy; and the food decent.    ... A few months ago I visited another one thinking of a quick order and meal but the only person there was the cook.  You ordered at the driveup mic; then picked up your order at the walkup (curb hop) window.  After a quick look around I went else where.
    post edited by edwmax - 2013/10/17 05:59:08
    #5
    Louis
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 19:44:17 (permalink)
    It all depends on who is doing the cooking.  How long have they been there?  Have they had any training?  Do they care about their job?  Are they paid enough to care?  Were they hired only because their employer could find no one better?  These are question you should always ask yourself when you order food from a fast food franchise--or any restaurant for that matter?
     
    Sonic is no different.  As with any chain store restaurant, each store is subject to the whims of chance when it hires someone.  The employee may be good at his job--or may be a dud, someone who has no business being there in the first place.  There is no way to know.  The customer is the guinea pig who rolls the dice and takes a chance with his stomach.
     
    post edited by Louis - 2013/10/16 19:45:21
    #6
    mhill95
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/16 22:50:20 (permalink)
    We had a whole group  10-12 Sonic locations close.... on our
    Coast here.
     
    mike
    #7
    Bonk
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/17 00:50:38 (permalink)
    Louis

    It all depends on who is doing the cooking.  How long have they been there?  Have they had any training?  Do they care about their job?  Are they paid enough to care?  Were they hired only because their employer could find no one better?  These are question you should always ask yourself when you order food from a fast food franchise--or any restaurant for that matter?

    Sonic is no different.  As with any chain store restaurant, each store is subject to the whims of chance when it hires someone.  The employee may be good at his job--or may be a dud, someone who has no business being there in the first place.  There is no way to know.  The customer is the guinea pig who rolls the dice and takes a chance with his stomach.


     
    Agreed, sure, but that same factor is in play at all chains and I don't see level of inconsistency at others. Say Culver's, for example, since we're in the Midwest. A Culver's burger is equally good in Chicago or Cincinnati every time.
     


    #8
    Louis
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/18 21:43:20 (permalink)
    I suspect, Bonk, that is a reflection of management training.  Some organizations are more tightly run and better organized than others.  Culver's seems to reflect this.  Some franchises just hire a bunch of people and wing it organizationally with a song and a prayer.  Other chains are highly disciplined; those employees who can't cut it are let go; the employee fits into the organization or he does not.
     
    #9
    mayor al
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/19 12:07:38 (permalink)
    Several Sonics in this area have closed over the past couple of years. Closest one to me now is in Scottsburg IN at exit 29 of I-65.
      I am like Felix... a hiway 44 slush or aide in cherry/lime or strawberry lemon, and a large Onion Ring will keep me going for quite a few miles.
      I don't care for their burgers.
     
    Our local Culver's is proably the cleanest and best run FF stand I have seen anywhere. The owner really cares for his people, his stand, and his community. I really like their Bugers and BPT sandwiches.
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/19 12:48:13 (permalink)
    I'm a fan of the jalapeno burger served at the Sonic in Nelsonville, Ohio. Unfortunately, that's the only Sonic in Ohio that offers this burger.
    #11
    tkitna
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/19 22:50:16 (permalink)
    I've been to a Sonics in Albuquerque NM and then to one in Washington Pa. They were about the same quality wise. I do like their burgers and tots, but I dont go out of my way for them.
    #12
    Root-Beer Man
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/20 19:42:20 (permalink)
    I've been a fan of the SuperSonic Cheeseburger number 2 for years. I will agree that there are inconsistencies in the chain. As has been said above, I chalk it up to training issues, not the chains recipes. I've had some really good burgers there and they are a go to for us when we're on the road traveling. My wife and I really like their jalapeno poppers, too. Those are consistently good. And they have decent sweet tea.
    #13
    WarToad
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/21 10:15:27 (permalink)
    Totally agree.  When I lived in Seattle there was a Sonic a few blocks from me, been there for years.  Really spot on cooking, well executed. Always a good burger.   3 months ago a new Sonic opened up here in Minot and went for the pretzel hotdog...  , got a burger as well.    Not a good experience.
    #14
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/21 10:46:06 (permalink)
    We have a sonics vewry close to my residence.  I went there for their milkshake which is on special at 8:00PM.  I got there at 7:53PM and they refused my order.  I left and sent a email to Sonic.  Their reply was "SORRY"???  I have not been back.
    #15
    ConeyIslandLou
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/23 21:22:35 (permalink)
    It really is interesting the difference the franchisee makes in the quality of a chain's local outfits.  To get off the example of Sonic. lets take Mcdonalds as an example. Our town has two local McDs on opposite ends of town. And each is owned by a different franchise group!  Lets call them McDs A & B. Its pretty weird -  Mcds B did the closing/tear down/rebuild to replace a 1975 building with one of the new ones with less seating and the double drive thru. During that construction, they put up signs saying to effect of 'visit our other locations in..' mentioning McDs in several surrounding towns, but NOT the one right across town! Weird....
     
    Anyways, McDs A is the older location - not really IN town, its located right next to RT 17, which is the main route to the Sullivan County Catskills, plus a main route for the kids who go to school up in upstate NY. So, yes, they are busy pretty much all the time. The people who own that one also own one further down 17 towards the city, PLUS - and here is their permanent ATM machine - they own the three McDs that are in the service areas on the NYS Thruway south of Albany! $$$$$$$  I found this out from the kid of a friend who worked for them, and she also says they own the Carvels/Roy Rogers along the Thruway in the same plazas, also! In spite of this,  the ones I have been to they own, especially our local one, are very good for McDs. The service is good, you see a lot of people working there who have been there quite a while, and even the drive thru is good - they ALWAYS have that 1st window open! (Thats as opposed to the local BK, where that first pay window is NEVER open  even during busy lunch rushes!!) They've had the same managers forever also - always a good sign. McDs B is totally different, I have hardly EVER had a good experience there and quite frankly, have not been there in a couple of years! 
     
    Bonus nice thing at A: They actually have a pump for BBQ Sauce!! 
    #16
    Louis
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/23 23:46:51 (permalink)
    I would say that McDonald's A has competent management, and McDonald's B does not.  Managing a restaurant is not the easiest thing in the world; you either have the knack for it or you don't.  And your A and B example is a living demonstration of this.
     
    #17
    CCJPO
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/10/24 09:39:39 (permalink)
    Sundancer7 -  Not trying to be a butt. But why would you be irritated about not being able to get something at 7:53 when it didn't go on special until 8:00? Would you expect to get something from a restaurant at 8:07 when they close at 8:00. What if you had arrived at 7:45. Would you have expected to get it then? Businesses, as you as a businessman well now, set operating hours - and sales hours for a reason. I know I am being picky. However the person that wants and gets something at 7:53 is the same person that comes by at 7:30 and then complains that "well I got it at 7:53 the last time, why can't I get it this time" I have met those people and perhaps you have come across them as well. The staff has rules they must follow. Don't fault the messenger.
    #18
    senor boogie woogie
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    Re:Sonic -- most inconsistent major chain? 2013/12/06 19:33:53 (permalink)

    There was a Sonic in my college town that I probably went to literally twice in five years.

    I just disliked their stupid setup. Park your car in the elements (this was Mississippi which is basically either hot or cold), order ones food through a speaker, and then just sit in the car like a lump staring at the kitchen door waiting for the food to come out. Seemingly, this place did not have a bathroom in it, and going into their kitchen was very forbidden. It was also fairly slow. I know about the kitchen because I got tired of sitting in my car, wanted my food and go home and entering their indoor area was like an outsider coming into Area 51.

    In the 1990's, a lady was carjacked sitting outside in a Sonic waiting for her food by a couple of teenage boons and was later killed. Another reason against just sitting in an unguarded parking lot of one is vulnerable.

    The other branch store near my house was a straight drive through, which had so many people going through it that it was also slow. It might be just me, but I like going inside a place, using the facilities and waiting for my food at the counter. If you watch the workers, they move faster (usually). If you are away from them, not so much.
    #19
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