The Sonic Drive-In in Thomson has been selected as one of the chain’s top restaurants and will advance to a nationwide competition next month.
The restaurant at 326 East Hill St. was chosen from more than 2,500 Sonic Drive-Ins to participate in the 19th annual Dr Pepper Sonic Games, an employee competition held each year.
The Thomson Sonic crew is one of 12 that will compete in the national finals Sept. 10-11 in San Antonio. In the Olympic-style games, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to individual and team winners, according to a news release.
Brian Locklear, a managing partner of the Thomson Sonic, said this is the first time in his 18 years with Sonic that he has reached the national finals. He is taking six employees with him to the competition.
“It’s people that come in, and they’re on top of their game every single day,” Locklear said. “They’re knowledgeable; they know their stations. They get chosen because they deserve to go. I’ve just got a great crew. I’m very happy and honored to actually be able to make it and go.”
Sonic Drive-Ins began competing in January. Each drive-in had to complete a series of tests for teams and individuals. Quizzes tested expertise in food delivery, drink preparation, service delivery and food preparation, Locklear said.
Mystery shoppers randomly went to restaurants and graded the staffers. The crew had less than 31/2 minutes to complete a curbside order, Locklear said.
Overall scores were tallied in May, and the competition was narrowed to 48 restaurants nationwide.
In July, audits were conducted at the top 48 restaurants. Six employees and their manager also participated in a knowledge bowl.
“We aced our validation audit, and that’s how we made it into the top 12. Hopefully, we’re going to win some gold,” Locklear said.
The Thomson team will also participate in Sonic’s national convention Sept. 12-14 in San Antonio, he said.