Workers at Three Sonic Drive-Ins Walk Off Job En Masse, Leave Behind Critical Note

Workers at Three Sonic Drive-Ins Walk Off Job En Masse, Leave Behind Critical Note
A customer picks up food at the drive-up window at a Sonic restaurant on September 25, 2018 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips
2/27/2019
Updated:
2/27/2019

Sonic Drive-In restaurant workers walked off the job at three Ohio locations and left a note blasting the new management.

Sonic locations in Circleville, Lancaster, and Grove City saw total staff walkouts after the stores were bought by new owners.

A handwritten note said the “new owners are treating them bad (sic) and they have closed down the restaurant,” describing the management as “terrible.”

A handwritten note said the “new owners are treating them bad (sic) and they have closed down the restaurant,” describing the management as “terrible.” (Twitter)
A handwritten note said the “new owners are treating them bad (sic) and they have closed down the restaurant,” describing the management as “terrible.” (Twitter)

“The company has been sold to people who don’t give a [expletive] about anyone but themselves,” it continued. “Sorry for the inconvenience but our team refuses to work for a company that treats their employees like they are [expletive] when they have put everything into this [store].”

The note, signed by “ex-Sonic crew,” also said the employees “worked to hard (sic) for to long (sic).”

“We are off to better things,” it continued, adding another curse word directed at the owners.

“Circleville, Lancaster, and Grove City crews have all walked out and quit after the franchise was bought out by corporate. The regional director, two district managers and four general managers have all been let go. All of which (sic) have been working for the company in management for 7+ years,” an anonymous source told the local Scioto Post.

Employees claimed their wages were reduced from at or near-minimum wage to the $4 per hour wage for tipped employees.

But a spokesperson for Sonic told Fox News that there had been “no wage rates at any level” after the new ownership took over.

Fox reported that the changes prompted the employees to walk out during their shifts, turn off the lights, and lock the door behind them.

It’s not clear how long the three locations will remain closed.

Staff in Lancaster posted an email that was printed out to the door, claiming that the management is “racist.”

“You say racist things, you put people down and make them feel below you, you push push push push people,” it read.

A spokesperson for Sonic said no wages have decreased under the new ownership.

“We recognize that changes like this can be difficult for employees to understand, and most current employees were offered the opportunity to continue working at the drive-in. Under new management, guests and the community can look forward to improved service and the famous food, beverages, and treats for which SONIC is known. Employees working for the local drive-in can look forward to fun, fast-paced work on which they can build a career, if they choose,” it said.

“No wage rates at any level decreased in this transition, although SONIC carhops often receive tips in addition to their wages. Additionally, employees may now have their paycheck direct deposited and general managers are now eligible for a new bonus program. SRI has increased the total number of employees at the eight drive-ins in the Columbus market and will continue to invest in employees, technology and infrastructure at these drive-ins in order to deliver outstanding guest service,” the statement read.

Sonic made the announcement last week about company changes.

Since the turnover, two stores were permanently closed, and eight others reopened under the new management on Feb. 25.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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