In February I wrote a scathing review of the Sonic Beach in Homestead. I was contacted by one of the proprietors and told the following:
One, Sonic took feedback very seriously.
Two, the manager mentioned in my review had been demoted and was undergoing further training, specifically for customer service.
And three, the review had been printed and distributed at a specially-called meeting to the entire staff. The issues brought up in my review were discussed at the meeting.
Although I concentrated on customer service and operations during my last review, I told the proprietor that there were plenty more problems that I did not have the space to discuss, such as orders with missing items or items not being prepared as requested (this is acceptable on occasion, but not consistently). She thanked me for my feedback and assured me that action would be taken to correct all issues. During this conversation I was asked if I would do a follow-up visit after a month or two, once they'd had a chance to make changes.
If the higher-ups went through all that effort to make improvements, the least I could do was give Sonic another chance. What I didn't tell her was that besides my upcoming "scheduled" visit, I would also be making several "undercover" visits to see what, if any, changes had been made.
Adam Hurst, the manager I've seen on duty during my undercover visits, is a delight and a hands-on guy. I've seen him walk around greeting customers, and I've seen him, rag in hand, wiping tables and cleaning up in the kitchen (you can see the kitchen from the drive-through window). I did not introduce myself to him as a contributor to Short Order until a week ago, which means that every time he asked me and my family how we were doing and if we were enjoying our food, he was asking us because he actually cared whether his customers were satisfied. He is the type of manager that every manager should aspire to be.
This is a monumental improvement from the previous manager, Lanton Boyd, who was not only out-of-this-world rude, but seemed to spend his work hours just standing around enjoying his promotion and raise.
I stopped by the restaurant yesterday with my two kids and placed a very large order. We ordered several sandwiches, a grilled chicken wrap, chicken strips, popcorn chicken and shrimp, fries, chili and cheese tater tots, onion rings, and three drinks.
While placing my order, I grilled the cashier about almost every item on the menu as if I had never been to a Sonic. She answered me in a friendly manner and obviously knew her stuff.
Even though we had a large order, the food came out in exactly five minutes, served by friendly Sonic employees on roller skates who made sure we had everything we needed before skating away. There were no items missing from our order and everything was made to our specifications.
As a consumer, I wish that every restaurant took complaints seriously and made a concerted effort to correct any problems. Such accountability benefits not only consumers, but restaurants as well. There are several places that I no longer give my business to because of similar situations. And there is nothing worse than being ignored by a manager when you have taken the time to bring issues to their attention.
I'd like to give kudos to Sonic Beach and congratulate them for being the type of company that respects its customers and strives to make dining at its restaurants a pleasurable experience. I wish more companies would follow suit.
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