The quick-service market is saturated. It’s hardly a news flash, but it drives home the point that for a company to thrive in the space it must rise above the noise generated by a smorgasbord of competitors. When it comes to capturing market share, it’s less about who yells the loudest (think employees being sent street-side to wave sale signs at passing motorists) and more about which brands’ personalities leave a lasting impression on customers and make them want to come back for an experience unlike others.
Enter the skating Carhop, a SONIC Drive-In tradition and top-of-mind association with consumers. SONIC is unabashedly quirky–and in a good way. Customers enjoy the unique drive-in format, the popular line of plush kids’ meal toys shaped like Tots–and most importantly, the ability for its employees to have fun at work. You may be reading this at a desk or on a mobile device. Think of how much more fun you’d be having if you were reading while on a pair of skates.
The skating Carhop position is considered a brand treasure at SONIC. In order to celebrate it and promote it internally, the company hosts an annual competition each year to crown the top skating Carhop in the country. In addition to an online entry method, SONIC hosts regional submission events across the country to help Carhops get entered and give them an opportunity to shine. Last Saturday, one of those events took place in Phoenix. Amid the crowd of Carhop entrants, we spotted something not seen every day, a skating Tot–or “skater” Tot. It wasn’t there to wave down passing motorists, but simply to bring a little more joy to the crowd in classic, quirky SONIC fashion.
*Crossposted from the Crossroads blog.