OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SONIC Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) received top honors in the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings report by market research organization Temkin Group, beating out all other burger chains and tying for seventh place among 246 national brands. As an industry, fast food chains performed well, though SONIC is the only burger quick-service restaurant to break into the top 12 list.
“We are extremely pleased to be recognized for our emphasis on customer experience and to be listed in the top 12 among some of the most beloved brands out there,” said Omar Janjua, executive vice president of operations. “We know customer experience is a significant contributor to overall value for our guests – just as important as new menu items, fair prices and convenient locations. From our executive team to each local Carhop, we make a deliberate system-wide effort to create the best customer experiences possible, and this study shows that our efforts are working.”
Temkin Group evaluated 246 U.S. companies spanning 19 industries for this year’s report, analyzing feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers. Each company was evaluated against three elements of experience: functional (how well do experiences meet customers’ needs?), accessible (how easy is it for customers to do what they want to do?) and emotional (how do customers feel about the experiences?). The report showed an increase in positive consumer experiences across all rated companies compared to the past two years, and grocery and fast food companies dominated the top of the ratings.
SONIC achieves the functional element through the drive-in format, which allows guests to order and eat at their leisure from a private drive-in stall without the pressure associated with the traditional drive-thru model. SONIC also excels on the accessible element, allowing guests to customize each order to their exact needs as food is cooked to order. Customers are in control as they dine on the patio, move quickly through the drive-thru or dine at a more leisurely pace in their cars. Serious SONIC fans have even been known to order from a secret SONIC menu that includes such customized favorites as Extreme Tots (tater tots with chili, jalapenos, onions and ranch dressing) and the Dr. Van Lime (Dr. Pepper with lime and vanilla), along with a total of 1,063,953 different fountain drink and slush combinations. Finally, the emotional element connects back to SONIC’s 60-year heritage, the nostalgia of the drive-in and Carhop and the brand’s involvement in local communities.
Within the fast food industry, Temkin Group evaluated a selection of successful brands, including all major burger chains as well as popular coffee and sandwich brands. SONIC emerged as the highest-ranked burger brand and out-ranked all fast food brands but Chick-Fil-A. SONIC was also the highest-ranked burger chain in 2012, when it tied overall for 10th place.
Temkin Group is a leading customer experience research and consulting firm led by Bruce Temkin. Prior to forming Temkin Group, Bruce Temkin was a vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research for 12 years, where he specialized in customer experience.
About SONIC, America’s Drive-In
SONIC, America's Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to Sonic in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the Sonic name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. Sonic has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast, where approximately three million customers eat every day. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit Sonic at http://www.sonicdrivein.com. Connect with SONIC at facebook.com/sonicdrivein or on Twitter @sonicdrive_in.