Would you tip at Sonic? Moreover, should you tip at Sonic?
Whatever your answer, Sonic wants you to at least think about showing its workers a little extra love. The burger chain known for its crispy tots and Cherry Limeade has rolled out an option to tip via its mobile app, reports Restaurant Business. The feature is already in use at more than 2,000 locations, but roughly 1,500 remaining Sonics without the feature will have it soon, Sonic executives say.
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Though tipping at a fast-food restaurant might have once been an eyebrow-raiser, Sonic customers have already forked over $12.2 million in tips. Sonic uses a throwback, carhop model where employees bring customers' orders to their vehicles, but the chain's app also allows tipping for pickup only.
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Tipping etiquette is particularly in flux these days. At counter-service restaurants, tipping jars and tipping screens that pop up before you swipe your credit card have become increasingly common. Helping drive the trend: The restaurant industry has been slammed by a labor shortage that critics say stems directly from low wages, and several prominent chains have tried to entice workers by boosting their starting pay far beyond federal minimum wage, which has stagnated at $7.25.
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As for Sonic, it's mum on how the tips are being distributed, but says customer demand was the driving force behind the new tipping feature.
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