It was a moment attendees at the 2019 SONIC National Convention had been waiting for. The 12 final teams competing in the 25th annual SONIC Games made their way to the stage, and more than 3,000 franchisees, operators and drive-in team members roared with approval. Team members clapped, cheered and some were even brought to tears of joy as SONIC executives handed out individual medals before shifting their attention to award the team title.
After nine months of hard work, the drive-in at 9102 Highway 20 in Summertown, Tennessee, was awarded the elusive gold medal for their efforts in SONIC’s annual premier training program.
“We are very proud of the hard work, professionalism and teamwork our team exhibited throughout this year’s competition and are excited that it has brought us the championship title,” said Justin Morton, managing partner at the Summertown SONIC Drive-In. “Each of our team members are invaluable to providing our Summertown guests with a pleasant and positive SONIC experience. We are grateful for the opportunity to be recognized for our dedication to excellence as a team.”
More than 3,000 drive-ins participated in the competition beginning in January. Over the following months, drive-ins earned points through a variety of team challenges, including digital training modules, quizzes, learning activities and secret shopper events. As the field was narrowed to a ‘Final 12’, the remaining drive-ins received an all-expense-paid trip to the SONIC National Convention in Austin, Texas, to compete against each other in the final phase of the Games.
“Through the past 25 years, Dr Pepper SONIC Games has developed into a highly competitive showcase of the commitment and passion of our drive-in teams nationwide,” said Kevin Knutson, Senior Director of Operations Services at SONIC Drive-In. “The Summertown team is an impressive group that delivered an exceptional performance through each task and training obstacle, exemplifying what it takes to be named the best SONIC Drive-In in the nation.”
SONIC also awarded silver and bronze medals to the drive-in teams from 7519 Mountain Grove Drive in Knoxville and 1865 N. Zaragosa Road in El Paso, respectively.
In addition, SONIC recognized each of the top three team members in their respective roles with individual gold, silver and bronze medals for their outstanding performance in the competition.
“Since the training program’s inception in 1994, Dr Pepper has been a proud sponsor of SONIC’s unique performance improvement and training program that motivates drive-ins across the country,” said Blaine Wood, Director of Sales for Dr Pepper. “Today we are happy to celebrate the Summertown team for winning the championship title, as well as the silver and bronze winners and all the individual medalists, for their proven commitment to providing excellent guest service.”