Andalusia Sonic completing renovations for new drive-through

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Andalusia Sonic-Drive In restaurant has been undergoing a major renovation with many cosmetic changes coming including the restaurant’s biggest highlight: a new twin drive-through.

One of the new drive-through spaces at Sonic in Andalusia.

Sonic closed on Nov. 2 when construction first began at the property.

“We have added a twin drive-thru to our facility and also done some improvements on the outside and inside. Our guests will see there is a new design on the outside. For the inside, we have put in new flooring and a new ceiling complete with LED lighting. Our new drive-thru will have anything and everything it needs such as a drink machine, a slush machine, and a tea tower as we call them. We already have three ice cream machines, but the drive-thru will have a new ice cream machine capable of doing both shakes and our soft-serve. There will be an ice cream station complete with anything and everything at our drive-thru,” said Andalusia Franchisee/Owner George Momenpour.

An exit door was added near the drive-thru to offer drive-thru customers with smaller orders faster service.

“If the first car parked in the drive-thru has four chicken dinners, five hamburgers, or a large order, and the car or cars behind them have a small order, our carhops will bring it out. They will ‘hop’ it out to you as we say, and you won’t have to wait. There is also a card reader on the side of our drive-thru, so our guests don’t even have to give us their cards inside the store. There are two drive-thru spaces similar to the ones seen at (other drive-through restaurants).”

Other changes customers will notice are an updated patio area with new seating and a more modern look on the outside. “We got rid of all the picnic tables we had and replaced them with new tables. We will have new LED lighting and updated signage in January. This is the new look for Sonic I wasn’t obligated to do, but I thought it would be an ideal upgrade and convenience for our guests,” he said.

Momenpour, who has owned the Andalusia Sonic since June 1989, referred to the quick service report (QSR) for restaurants as the reasoning behind the additional drive-thru.

“It will tell you that 70 percent of the guests rather go to a drive-thru. When I operated four restaurants in Florida, three of those had a drive-thru. We were doing way more business as a result of those. I thought we should add one here for more guests. I was also part of the first-ever drive-thru that was built for Sonic in Shreveport, Louisiana.”

Prior to the renovations, he said there were 27 stalls for customers to place orders. As a result of the drive-thru addition, that will be cut back to 14 stalls. “Only one side will be drive-in, while the other will now be drive-thru. I’m also planning to add parallel parking to the building for our guests who choose to use the patio.”

Other renovations to the restaurant were in the 1990s, 2000, and 2008. Momenpour feels the drive-thru will be a nice addition to the restaurant.

“There will be two order stations with a screen for our guests to tell us their orders. Their order will display on the screen for them to check before coming to our drive-thru window.”

Hopes are to have the restaurant back in operation this week. If there are any setbacks, that will be pushed back to a further date. “We would like to wait until we are 100 percent before we open. If we were to open just our stalls and not the drive-thru, I feel it would be an inconvenience to our guests. We would rather have it completely ready to go. We can do it without the updated signs or some small things inside,” he said.

According to Momenpour, the new drive-thru addition will bring approximately 14 more jobs to Andalusia. “We have about 14 more positions that will be created. Our carhops will be trained to take orders out and also work in the drive-thru.”

Sonic Drive-In is located at 306 East Three Notch Street in downtown Andalusia and can be reached at 334-222-1443.

“Sonic has been loyal to our guests for many years in Andalusia. Our staff is excited about the changes we have coming, and we hope to pass that on to our customers and guests. Whenever a new piece of equipment comes out, I am going to make sure my guests benefit from it; along with the food we serve. We are excited to do business how we have been doing and how our new drive-thru will do,” Momenpour said.