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May 7, 2009 01:34 PM

SD: Sonic Burger..why is there a line around the block?

Went by the new Sonic in Santee the other day and there was a line around the block and out the door.
I've been to a Sonic in AZ and it was good but what's all the fuss?

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  1. Probably because there are only something like 5 Sonic Burger locations in the entire state of California.

    1. I guess you see the legendary San Diego Hype Machine in action as discussed numerous times on this board. ;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: honkman

        Ha. Good one.

        I think it is because they have been bombarding San Diego with advertising for years without a location (strange business model).

        It would be the same if Pacific Law Center or the Cohn group and been running tv ads for years then finally opened up a place.

      2. Same reason there's a line down the block at Hodad's and out the door at El Indio. I'd say more but I wouldn't want people to think me uncharitable.

        1. I think that people just want to try it out for themselves and not necessarily believe the hype or the naysayers with out evidence. I haven't been to the Santee location, but I did go to the Hemet store and I like it. The fries were better than MacDonalds' (IMHO) and the burgers are as good or better than In 'n Out. Plus the menu is broader than either.
          Just my $.02.

          1 Reply
          1. re: araknd

            To each their own I guess, but I doubt many would agree with you that the burgers are as good or better than In n Out. I've tried Sonic's burgers twice (at separate locations), and each time took one bite and threw the rest out. I'm guessing they are precooked and assembled to order, rather than being cooked to order. In any case, I think they taste horrible. That said, some of their slushes are OK, and I like being able to get breakfast items all day.

          2. I almost never eat fast food, thankfully, but I was in Santee this week and wanted to check out Sonic for my first time. Being able to order from a "stall" reminds me of the old A&W root beer stands I went to as a kid, although the food was crap haha.

            Anyway, they directed traffic down the street, to get in a line to get in line for the Sonic drive thru, or a stall. After the line didn't move for at least 5 minutes, I drove off. I also noticed several empty stalls as I left the line for a line.....weird.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MrKrispy

              They are queuing the cars so as to only have about 20 at any one time in the stalls, because the drive through and the walk ups are so solidly busy. Especially when all drinks are 1/2 price (from 2-4 each day)

              They do open at 5:30 in the morning and don't start the queue until about 10 am most days it seems. The entire menu is available all day.

              On Easter Sunday at 2 p.m., there were 60 cars in the waiting area. It's just crazy.

              Another location, in Vista, is supposed to open this summer. Hopefully that will take off some of the novelty.

              The next two closest locations are El Centro and Hemet.

              There was a *front page* article in the Union Trib on April 3 about all the training for the employees-roller skates you know. That didn't help the crowds.

              1. re: Cathy

                There was also an article about them returning to San Diego in the Night and Day section of the UT. Seriously, I know, I know, San Dieog is not New York or San Fransisco, but there are definately better culinary stories to write about than this!