Sonic Calls Emergency Meeting, Can't Serve You Any Dinner

John and his fiancée wanted some fast food for dinner, and went to the drive-thru at their local Sonic. But they didn’t get any food. They didn’t get served at all, because the restaurant suddenly closed for a mysterious meeting that left confused customers to head elsewhere for their dinner.

On 12 July 2011 at approximately 8 PM, my fiancee and I decided we wanted to go to Sonic for dinner. When we arrived at Sonic, we decided we wanted to go through the drive through as apposed to the car side service. We were asked what meals we wanted and I asked the drive through cashier to please give us a minute to decide.

The cashier came back a few minutes later saying the were going to be closing for a meeting. A meeting at 8 PM? During business hours? When there were paying customers waiting to be served on? A meeting like that is something that should be held before or after hours. I asked why they couldn’t serve us and I received no answer.

At this point I decided to leave and go to somewhere else to get dinner. When I got home, I wrote a customer complaint to Sonic Drive In corporate and received, what I thought was, a very unacceptable letter from the “Customer Service Manager”

Dear John:

We are very sorry that your 07/12/2011 visit to the Sonic Drive-In in [redacted] did not live up to expectations and are grateful to you for telling us about it. If people like you did not bring these matters to our attention, we would never be able to fix them. We have forwarded your comments to the appropriate store supervisor for the location that you visited. If you have any further concerns in the future, please share them with us. Our goal is to continuously improve the Sonic Drive-In experience and to keep you as regular guest.

Sincerely,
Sonic Drive-In
Customer Service Manager

As you can see this was pretty much a canned message. Nothing significant will change unless a dialog is open between corporate and the store managers about what is and isn’t appropriate business conduct.

In this case, a phone call to the manager of that actual Sonic might have been more productive–at least that person might have been able to explain to John why the emergency closing was necessary.