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Entrepreneurship Fast Food

Sonic Adds Tipping Option To App, A Rarity In Fast Food

Photo: NYC Russ // Shutterstock

When it comes to when or when not to tip at restaurants, there’s plenty up for discussion. One area where the assumed custom is unclear is whether we tip fast food workers.

This debate has continued to grow during the pandemic, when options like curbside pickup have become more common at chains across the country. Some spots are known for having no-tipping policies, while others don’t make it exactly clear.

Sonic Drive-In just added some clarity when it comes to their restaurants, however, announcing that the option to tip will be available across all of their restaurants.

According to Sonic’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lori Abou Habib, 1,000 Sonic locations already have the ability to tip, which consumers can do at the end of an order on the app or mobile system. Plans are in motion to expand this to the rest of Sonic’s stores (over 3,400) later this year.

Habib mentioned that the decision to add tipping was based purely on consumer feedback. It was “one of the most requested things from Sonic consumers this year,” she mentioned during a virtual event.

Considering how much eaters wanted to tip the Sonic staff, you have to wonder if the rest of fast food might start enable tipping more regularly as well, especially as curbside pickup, a rough equivalent to the drive-in model, continues to grow in popularity.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.