Does Your Sonic Carhop Actually Get Your In-App Tip?
A modern-day way of doing business has raised a classic question... If you tip on your order in the Sonic app, does it actually go to the carhop?
For decades, the protocol was the same at Sonic and every other drive-in restaurant in the United States. You order your food, and when it's delivered to the vehicle, you pay the bill and include a small tip to whoever lugged it out to the car. That's just how it's supposed to work, but what about the app?
I may prefer fifty-year-old cars and thirty-year-old motorcycles, but I'm a somewhat modern person. I stream everything in the house, pay all my bills on my phone, and more recently adopted the idea of ordering food through an app... granted, it was more or less a thrifty decision rather than a modern decision.
When I'm craving a cherry-vanilla-diet dr pepper or sweet and sour cherry limeade, there's only one place that does it right, Sonic... but, one can't help but notice how much the price of those delicious drinks have changed over the years, and I can't figure out why either.
I can't believe I'm about to mutter these words, but, back in my day, a large cherry limeade was a dollar-fifty with tax, and keeping the change from two dollar bills was customary. Twenty years later and it's nearly doubled, especially in Lawton where tax is a ridiculous 9.5%.
That's not the only problem either... it's 2021, who carries cash anymore?
I admit, when I go home to visit my family and spoil my nephews, I always hit the ATM to have a little cash for when they start asking for everything they see while we hang out. 99.99% of the time, my wallet is empty of anything not plastic. I'd assume most people my age are the same way.
Here's the thing, it's beyond customary to tip your carhop at the Sonic... but if you have no cash, the only option is to offer a "tip" in the app when you order your drinks and foods. That just raises another question though... Does that digital tip reach the carhop? Or does the corporate giant consume those monies as their own?
It's a legitimate question, and I'm sure I'm not the only person that has wondered. I mean, the world of corporations is purpose built to make as much money as possible to feed the trolls of Wall Street, it wouldn't surprise me to learn they either kept those digital tips and/or split some portion of it off for themselves... so I asked a bunch of carhops at the different Lawton Sonic's and got the same answer every time.
When you offer up your tip inside the app, whichever carhop scans your order and brings it out to you earns 100% of that digital tip. It automatically gets added to their paycheck, which is kind of a bummer because there's probably some taxes to be paid on it whereas a cash tip is easier to conceal from the government, but a tip is a tip is a tip.
50 Most Popular Chain Restaurants in America