how old do you have to be to work at sonic

How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Sonic Drive-In?

To get an entry-level job at Sonic Drive-In as a team member, carhop, or cook, you must be at least 16 years old. When you apply at Sonic Drive-In, it’s possible that the location is owned and operated by an independent Sonic Drive-In franchisee instead of at a corporate-owned location. Franchisees are the exclusive employer of their employees and are solely responsible for all employment-related matters. 

The company culture at Sonic Drive-In includes five core values: Respect, Relationships, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Surprise & Delight, and Fun. 

Teen Jobs at Sonic Drive-In and Age Requirements

Team Member  (Hourly)

The Sonic Drive-In Drive-In Restaurant Team Member position is a plethora of food service responsibilities rolled into one. You’ll work Fountain & Frozen, Food Production, Grill, Fryer, Switchboard and, if applicable, Drive-Thru. 

Sonic Drive-In Drive-In is a food service mecca, and the Restaurant Team Member is at the center. Restaurant Team Member duties may include: 

  • Taking orders and making accurate change quickly 
  • Providing food service to our guests with enthusiasm 
  • Packaging all menu items and checking for product quality and consistency 
  • Preparing drinks and ice cream treats 
  • Preparing food orders, cooking on the grill, operating the fry station as needed 
  • Cleaning the drive-in restaurants – including trash disposal, mopping, sweeping, washing dishes, wiping counter-tops, and sanitizing food areas 

You must have the ability to work irregular hours (nights, weekends and holidays),  and be flexible in all situations based on restaurant business needs.

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a team member at Sonic Drive-In. 

Carhop/Server  (Hourly)

As a Sonic Drive-In Carhop, you’re responsible for serving and delivering food safely and efficiently to customers, and at some locations you have the option of doing it on roller skates. Sonic Drive-In Carhop/Skating Carhop server duties may include: 

  • Ensuring that all restaurant menu items meet operational standards 
  • Greeting all guests in a polite and friendly manner with a smile 
  • Making accurate change quickly and efficiently for restaurant guests 
  • Carrying and balancing a tray weighing up to 25 pounds 
  • Serving guests in a timely manner 
  • Clearing trays from guests’ cars 

Depending upon the employment practices of the individual Sonic Drive-In Drive-In restaurant owner, some Sonic Drive-Ins employ Skating Carhop servers. Skating Carhop servers are unique to the Sonic Drive-In restaurant brand and bring a special “surprise and delight” element to the guest experience. Skating Carhop servers must complete the Sonic Drive-In Skating Training Program. Upon successful completion of this program, Skating Carhops perform the above duties while roller skating. 

You should be able to work irregular hours (nights, weekends and holidays), be flexible in all situations based on business needs, successfully complete assigned Sonic Drive-In Skating Training Program (if necessary), roller skate proficiently and frequently on various surfaces when delivering food (if necessary), and have the ability to continuously stand, balance and carry a tray, and sweep (while roller skating, if necessary). 

To work as a carhop/server at Sonic Drive-In, you must be at least 16 years old.

Cook  (Hourly)

As a Sonic Drive-In restaurant Cook, you will oversee the Appetite Satisfaction Department, which involves operating the following stations: Food Production, Grill, Fryer, and other tasks if applicable. Cook tasks in the restaurant may include: 

  • Preparing and cooking food orders to meet product quality standards 
  • Food preparation and portioning 
  • Cooking on the grill 
  • Operating the fry station 
  • Dressing items to order 
  • Packaging all menu items and checking for product quality and consistency 
  • Cleaning includes trash disposal, mopping, sweeping, washing dishes, wiping counter-tops, and sanitizing food areas Sonic Drive-In Restaurant 

You should have the ability to work irregular hours (nights, weekends, and holidays), be flexible in all situations based on business needs, and have a willingness to cross-train on all the stations.

To work as a cook at Sonic Drive-In, you must be at least 16 years old.

Can a 15 Year Old Work at Sonic Drive-In?

No. The minimum age to work at Sonic Drive-In is 16. We have a page on our website specifically for 15-year-olds that you can view for other options.

Can a 16 Year Old Work at Sonic Drive-In? 

Yes. 16-year-olds can work Sonic Drive-In. We do have a page on our website specifically for 16-year-olds that you can view for more options.

How Much Does Sonic Drive-In Pay Part-Time Workers?

The hourly earnings for employees at Sonic Drive-In vary because of state and city minimum wage laws. However, we can give you a general idea of what the hourly pay is for each position.

Team Member (Hourly)

As a team member at Sonic Drive-In, you will be making somewhere between minimum wage and $12 per hour. If this is your first job, then you will most likely start at minimum wage. 

The average hourly rate for a Sonic Drive-In team member is $9.

Carhop/Server (Hourly)

The rate of pay for carhops is between server minimum wage and minimum wage. How carhops are paid definitely depends on the location, and if it is owned by a corporation or a franchisee. You will most likely start at a server wage plus tips, but again, the pay of this position wildly varies.

The average hourly rate for a Sonic Drive-In carhop is $7 + tips. 

Cook  (Hourly)

The pay range for cooks at Sonic Drive-In is between minimum wage and $13 an hour. If you have previous experience working in a kitchen, then you can negotiate a higher wage.

The average hourly rate for cooks at Sonic Drive-In is $9 an hour.

How Much Experience Do You Need to Work at Sonic Drive-In?

Sonic Drive-In is an entry-level friendly company, and they do hire teen workers. You can apply for a position without any experience and get hired. However, if you do have some work experience, it could get you a higher hourly pay rate and move you faster into supervisory and management positions.

What Should You Wear to a Job Interview at Sonic Drive-In?

When you show up for your interview at Sonic Drive-In, you will want to be dressed in business casual attire. Consider something like a buttoned-down shirt with nice slacks or jeans and dress shoes. 

Sonic Drive-In Interview Questions

The possible questions in a job interview are endless, and it always depends on the interviewer. But, there are some common questions that they do often ask. 

Why do you want to work at Sonic Drive-In?

Why are they asking?  

Fast food restaurants rely on entry-level teen workers. They make an excellent first job for young people to get work experience, and there are a lot in the market to choose from. If they ask you this question, they want to know what makes Sonic stand out over other options like McDonalds, Subway, or Wendy’s.

What’s the ideal answer?

There is no wrong answer to this question. Whatever your reason is for applying at Sonic, tell them! Maybe you have a friend that works there or you love to roller skate. Whatever your reason is for applying at Sonic, just be specific and honest with your answer.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Why are they asking?  

If they ask you this question, they are trying to find out what job skills you can bring to the position, and what you need to work on. Applicants are usually able to communicate their strengths, but when it comes to weaknesses, some think it’s best to say they don’t have any or can’t think of any. Don’t do this. That’s not what they want to hear.

What’s the ideal answer?

The hiring manager wants to know that you can accept feedback and develop your own skills. Give one or two strengths with examples to go with them. Then list one or two weaknesses, and describe how you’re working on them.

A good answer for a weakness would be something like, “I’ve noticed that my time management skills aren’t the best, so I’ve been working on being more productive and efficient with my time.”

Why should we hire you?

Why are they asking?  

If a manager asks you this question, they are trying to get you to sell yourself. They are wanting to find out how well you can communicate, while being positive and professional. You may not have any previous work experience, but you can still have relevant job skills like verbal and written communication, time-management, money-handling, etc...

What’s the ideal answer?

Know your strengths. If you get asked this question, tell them how you will benefit their business. They want to hear that you have good verbal communication skills, have a friendly and upbeat demeanor, and can give good customer service. 

Tell them that you are a reliable worker who will show up to work on time for every scheduled shift. And, if you are interested in a long-term career with the company, definitely let them know. 

Benefits of Working at Sonic Drive-In 

All Sonic Drive-In employees receive an employee discount on meals. However, benefits are for full-time workers only.

Benefits include:

  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Paid Time Off and Sick Days
  • Vacation
  • 401(k)
  • Training & Development Opportunities
  • Flexible Hours

What it’s Like to Work at Sonic Drive-In

How to Apply at Sonic Drive-In

If you are interested in working at Sonic Drive-In, you can apply online or in-person at the location you are interested in. You can find job listings on sites like GlassDoor and Indeed from locally-owned franchises, and there are also job listings on the Sonic Drive-Thru website.

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