Sonic Careers and Franchises (Pay, Application, More)

Sonic-Drive-In-menu-pricing

Sonic Careers

Fancy yourself as a fast food mogul? Then get started on that long and lucrative career ladder by getting involved with these Sonic careers.

On this Sonic careers page we’ll tell you all you need to know about working for this top fast food chain. We’ll tell you the whys, the hows, the whens and the wheres. We are obviously big fans of fast food here on Secret Menus, so we’re a little biased. But you have to admit that despite all of the negative press it gets, the fast food industry is a great place for many people.

For one thing, you don’t need any qualifications. You don’t need to have dragged yourself through years of college. You don’t even need to have finished school. If you have the dedication, the confidence and the desire then you can make it. What’s more, while you will start on near minimum wage, there is always room for improvement and for promotion.

Sonic careers, like many other fast food careers, always have several rungs above them and climbing up those rungs is as simple as impressing the people at the top. They would rather promote a sever to a managerial role than to hire someone from the outside. After all, they want someone who loves the brand, some who knows what goes on behind the scenes and someone that they can trust.

So, get in there young, make a Sonic career yours and start building for your future today.

How Much Does Sonic Pay?

Sonic Careers

We mentioned that Sonic carhops can only expect to earn minimum wage, maybe a little more in some locations. Of course, this increases for the roles that come with more responsibility and require a little more education and knowledge. If you work as a cashier, for instance, then you can earn a little over $11 an hour. That’s close to minimum wage in many states and is an impressive amount for the fast food industry.

If you work as a cook, then you can also expect a few dollars more, while you can expect a sizable wage if you work as a supervisor or a manager.

How Much do Sonic Carhops Make?

Sonic carhops make around minimum wage. They actually pay very little when compared to most of the other fast food chains out there. Many chains pay around $8 or $9 for their lowest earning employees. We have received information to suggest that Sonic’s lowest earners pickup around $7.80. Not a great deal less, but still less.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Sonic?

Like many fast food chains, Sonic will happily hire employees as young as 16. They want people who are young, keen and full of energy. If they start them young, make them fall in love with the brand and give them all the opportunities in the world, then they know they will stick around and could be managing a store by the time they make it to their mid-20s.

You don’t see many people in their 20s or 30s working behind the counter or on rollerskates at Sonic, but only because many of them began young and then worked their way into more advanced roles by the time they reached that age.

Does Sonic Drug Test?

Sonic Jobs

From what we have been told and from the research that we have done, drug tests are rare at Sonic. However, background tests are always done and we have been told that drug tests are performed on occasion. It seems like one will only be performed if they are hiring you into an advanced role and/or if they suspect that the test might turn out positive.

Sonic Application Online

If you decide that Sonic careers are for you and you’re ready to send in your application then visit the main Sonic Careers page. If the smiles of those definitely, 100% genuinely happy employees are anything to go by then this is a great place to work. Ahem.

Just remember that most locations are owned by individual franchises. They are the ones that hire you, not the company. The company certainly handles many aspects of the employment and they are the ones that set the rules. But it is the franchisee that pays you and deals with everything else.

On this page you can find out what Sonic jobs are available, where they are, what you need to do in order to apply, and how much they will pay you.

It should also be noted that Sonic are proudly an Equal Opportunity employer. There are special phone numbers and other accessibility features geared towards people with disabilities.

Are You Supposed to Tip at Sonic?


You can if you want and it will certainly be appreciated, but you don’t have to tip the Sonic carhops. When asked about this subject many Sonic carhops say that they don’t expect tips and they don’t receive them from most customers, but they will take them and they will be very thankful for it as well.

Just know that the carhops earn a little more than minimum wage, so they are not relying on tips like many other servers are. However, they are still a few dollars away from minimum wage, so even a dollar or two can bump them a lot closer to that worthwhile milestone.

Sonic Application

We have spoken with a number of Sonic employees who have told us that getting the job wasn’t that difficult. When asked, they told us that the following questions were invoiced in their interview, which was often described as short, friendly and not too demanding:

  • What Are Your Feelings About The Brand?
  • Are You a Good Team Worker?
  • What Are Your Reasons For Choosing Sonic?
  • How Would You Handle a Difficult Customer?

Also, you should remember that qualifications don’t mean a lot here. In fact, you may be more likely to be turned away if you have them. They don’t want to waste time hiring someone who will only use them as a stepping stone. They are more likely to take someone who is a blank slate educationally speaking, but someone who has the confidence, the dedication and the enthusiasm needed to work for a business that involves dealing with the public on a daily basis.

Sonic Corporate

Sonic, like all good fast food chains, are always doing what they can to give a little back. They contribute to the community, throwing events, organizing fundraisers and helping out each and every possible way. You can find more details on these events and fundraisers by visiting the Sonic Corporate page.

On this Sonic corporate page you can learn about the work that they do for schools, for children in need and for animal welfare. The latter seems a little counterintuitive for a brand that sells mass produced meat, but they seem to believe that the animals they kill should have a good life before they head for the slaughterhouse and that, at least, is commendable.

You can also learn about the work they do in creating diversity in all of their restaurants. This is always good to see and it’s something that Sonic have held close to their hearts for many years now.

Sonic Franchise

Wondering what it takes to start your own Sonic franchise? Well, as well as the dedication to work hard and to make a success, and a love of the brand, you also need a lot of money. And we mean a lot. The initial Sonic franchise fee is “only” $45,000, but that’s just a fraction of the money you need to own your own Sonic Drive-in. it’s also a lot less than many other chains, including the likes of Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme.

Once you factor in the building, the stock and everything else, the minimum amount needed is just over $1 million, while the maximum can stretch as high as $2.5 million. It all depends on where the franchise is, how big it is, and a number of other aspects. The Sonic franchise length is only 20 years with a 10 year renewal after that.

To learn more about starting your own Sonic franchise, just visit their official franchise page. Here you will find all the info you need to get started, as well as a breakdown of all the costs involved, and information on how you can apply.

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