You sent me an email today asking me to join your SONIC Insight Council. Here’s the email you sent me:
I thought, OK, I’d be glad to share my opinion with SONIC. So, I clicked the link and this is what I got:
And this perfectly illustrates my opinion of the SONIC in Bryan, Ohio.
In 1994, my family and I moved to San Antonio, Texas. This was where we first ate at a SONIC. We quickly grew to love eating at SONIC and were thrilled when one was opened in Bryan, Ohio, five miles from our home. My sons can still remember how excited I was when I learned that a SONIC was coming to Podunk City, AKA Bryan, Ohio!
I still remember how crowded the Bryan store parking lot was as people tried SONIC food for the first time. Today, the store is pretty much a vacant parking lot. Part of the reason for this is your unwillingness to build dining rooms at stores in the north. We have winter here, and most of us are unwilling to sit in a parking lot with our car motor running so we can eat lunch. Add inside seating and I think it will improve customer numbers.
As customers and sales have dwindled, the store has developed some bad habits. For example, one night we wanted to get milkshakes, so we drove to Bryan only to find out that there were no milkshakes available at SONIC because the store ran out of milk. At the time, I said to my wife, are you fucking kidding me? There’s a Walmart and a Chief grocery store a few thousand feet away. Can’t they go buy milk? Evidently not. We bought nothing and went to Dairy Queen.
I love SONIC onion rings. At first, the onion rings were deliciously awesome, but over time, as the store settled into lower volume sales, they tried to improve their food cost by not changing the fry oil at the proper time. Because of this, the onion rings had an off taste, ruining the once awesome flavor of the best onion rings in town. Having managed restaurants for several fast food chains, I can taste (and smell) old fry oil from a mile away.
Over the years, we’ve had smashed hamburgers, milk shakes not completely mixed, no whipped cream, no maraschino cherry, no straws or napkins, and credit card fraud. Yes, credit card fraud; a problem that necessitated me calling the SONIC corporate office so I could get the problem resolved. And twice we’ve been given food that belonged to someone else, only discovering this once we arrived home.
There was a day when the Gerencser family loved eating at SONIC. Not anymore. The management and staff at the Bryan SONIC are polite and helpful people. Generally, we are served promptly and every time I’ve called the manager they have taken care of us. However, after a while I got tired of calling and we stopped eating at the local SONIC.
I am a registered SONIC customer. I even get text messages from SONIC urging me to eat or drink this or that food. But, SONIC never comes to mind these days when I ask, where do you want to eat? So let me leave you with this graphic:
Maybe we’ll be back if you give us a reason to do so. We remember the days when SONIC was the first name on our lips when I asked, where do you want to eat tonight?
We are not hard to please. Good customer service and properly prepared food will win us over. The ball is in your court, SONIC. If you want us back, you know where we live.
The Gerencser family
PS. If you are going to send me email with a link in it that you want me to click, it’d be nice if clicking the link didn’t return a 404 response, page not found. Everyone makes mistakes, but this is one mistake that should NEVER be made. Click the link to make sure it works before you send it out via an email broadcast to thousands of customers. Two seconds…and no unhappy customers.