Entire staffs at 3 Sonic locations quit after wages cut to '$4/hour plus tips'


    Entire staffs at 3 Sonic locations quit after wages cut to '$4/hour plus tips' (Photo:MGN)

    (UPDATE 3/1/19 5: 46 p.m. MST) -- A representative from Sonic reached out to KUTV regarding this story.

    We've published Sonic's entire statement at the bottom of this story in italics. We've left their original statement in the story for context.

    CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (KUTV) - "Due to terrible management the whole store has quit" reads a letter posted on the window of a Sonic restaurant in Ohio.

    RELATED: Pickle juice slushies at Sonic

    The expletive-laden letter points the finger at new owners who "don't give a [expletive] about anyone but themselves" as the reason for the entire staff quitting, temporarily shutting down the store.

    You can read the letter left by Circleville, Ohio employees below (WARNING: the letter contains some swear words):

    According to The Scioto Post, the workers were angry over their pay being cut from Ohio's minimum wage of $8.55/hour to $4.00/hour plus tips.

    Many pointed out fast food workers rarely get tipped.

    Two other stores in Ohio, one in Lancaster and one in Grove City who are also under the same new ownership, also quit en masse, according to The Scioto Post.

    Those stores also hung signs saying "Goodbye" and "Thank you next" on their windows.

    Christi Woodworth, Vice President of Public Relations at Sonic issued a statement to The Scioto Post:

    Effective Monday, February 25, eight SONIC Drive-Ins in the Columbus, Ohio market will be under new ownership and management. SRI Operating Company, an affiliate of the Sonic the SONIC franchisor and operator of SONIC Drive-ins across the nation, is in the process of purchasing these drive-ins from a franchisee.
    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. Most current employees will have the opportunity to continue to work at the drive-in under the new ownership.
    The Circleville SONIC Drive-In will re-open on Monday morning under new management. We recognize that changes like this can be difficult for employees to understand and most current employees will have the opportunity to continue working at the drive-in.
    We look forward to being a part of the community for decades to come and appreciate the opportunity to serve our guests every day.
    Thank you,
    Christi Woodworth
    Vice President of Public Relations

    Below is an updated statement emailed to 2News.

    Sonic's UPDATED statement

    Thank you for your inquiry about the about the eight Sonic Drive-Ins in the Columbus, Ohio market that have changed ownership from a franchisee to Sonic’s operating affiliate, SRI Holding Company (SRI) as of Monday, February 25.

    We recognize that changes like this can be difficult for employees to understand, and most current employees will have 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.

    No wage rates at any level decreased as a result of this transition and Carhops may continue to receive tips above their hourly wages. Additionally, with the ownership change, employees may now have their paycheck direct deposited and general managers are now eligible for a new bonus program, among other benefits. Most employees are continuing their employment at the drive-in and SRI has increased the total number of employees at the eight drive-ins in the Columbus market by 50% and will continue to invest in employees, technology and infrastructure at these drive-ins in order to deliver outstanding guest service.

    SRI began operating the following drive-ins beginning Monday, February 25:

    1031 Gemini Place, Columbus OH

    2846 Stelzer Rd., Columbus, OH

    3250 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH

    6206 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH

    Grove City, OH

    Heath, OH

    Lancaster, OH

    Circleville, OH

    Two drive-ins closed as a result of this transaction:

    3911 S. Hamilton Rd, Columbus, OH

    Whitehall, OH

    We look forward to being a part of the community for decades to come and appreciate the opportunity to serve our guests every day.


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