The Mammoth Spring Sonic crew recently competed in one of the final phases of the competition at Bigger's Bed and Breakfast in Hardy July 21. Crew members took part in a game show style traveling knowledge bowl, that could advance them to the top 12. This is the group who get to make the trip to Las Vegas for the National Sonic Convention.
Members from Dr. Pepper Sonic Games from Dallas presided over the knowledge bowl, recording responses and calculating scores. The six member team was asked questions relevant to operational procedures that were specific to their position at the drive-in, such as transactions, safety and procedural questions.
Each member had been previously provided with a Star Guide, the instructional manual and review guide for the event which encompassess all aspects of employment at Sonic Drive-In. At the end of the event, points received by each team member are totalled to make a cumulative total for the crew which is then added to points received from prior events.
Prior to the quiz bowl, Mammoth Spring team members have also been scored on a cumulative point value system by customer service and mystery shoppers who visit the drive-in. These scores are combined with validation and scores from an independent safety audit.
When asked what sets Mammoth Spring Sonic apart from all the other Sonics in the nation, manager Terry Johnson said, "Employee retention." Crew member Tiffany Atkisson said, "We work well together as a team." Johnson said the crew had all worked together for two years or longer.
They crew recalled their 2007 trip to Chicago. Member Mindy Ford said, "They rolled out the red carpet for us." Sheldon Wilkening said they got to ride in a stretch Hummer. The consensus was the trip was very fun and a huge honor for the small town drive-in.
By the nervousness of the crew members prior to their knowledge bowl, it was obvious that they were prepared and anxious for the next big trip. In warm- up phase of questioning, the entire team nailed every question with pinpoint accuracy, including the drive-in's mission statement, temperature ranges for food storage and how many mints to give a customer per drink order.
Johnson said the team will learn their results Aug.7. At this time they will also find out if they win a spot in the final 12 at the National Sonic Convention Sept. 20-21 in Las Vegas, Nev.
At the convention, the team will compete in simulated rushes and individual and team activities. The National Champions will be announced in front of Sonic executives and more than 3,000 owners and employees.
Sonic began in Shawnee, Okla., in 1953 as a root beer and hamburger drive-in named Top-Hat Drive in, In 1959, the name was changed to Sonic. Currently, the drive-in has 3.400 establishments nationwide and is America's largest drive-in chain.