Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 18, 2013

Drive-In games headed to PV

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It’s not the hunger games but pretty close for a crew from a Pauls Valley restaurant looking to earn some big honors.

The crew of a half dozen is from the local Sonic Drive-In located in the 200 block of North Pine.

They’ve been busy preparing for their next test after taking a company honor to its next round of competition.

For these guys it’s called the Sonic Games and for them it means everything.

It involves a series of tests for just about everything they do in their jobs as the local crew has for the second straight year made it to a prestigious level as one of the best Sonic stores in the entire country.

Maybe the most proud of the team is their store manager, Robert Harris.

“I call them my champions,” Harris said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this store is the best Sonic in the country. To be the best you have to prove it.”

Just like last year the local Sonic crew has made it to the elite level of the Sonic Games, a series of competitions meant to determine the best crew at a Sonic Drive-In.

This round of 48 crews are now battling it out to see which 12 will move onto the final championship round in San Diego, Calif., later this year.

“We did this last year,” Harris said. “We made the final 48 and just missed out on the final 12 by a few points. Ours was the highest scoring team in the Knowledge Bowl.

“It’s a big deal when you team makes it this far,” he said.

Like last year around 2,700 Sonic crews from around the country compete in these games

On Friday the traveling Knowledge Bowl, one part of the games, makes its way to Pauls Valley.

This tests the crew’s knowledge of their individual jobs, anything from the amount of mustard or pickles that go on a hamburger to how much syrup goes into a fountain drink.

“It’s a real battle,” Harris said.

“They have to answer specifically what the Sonic book says. This is very specific,” he said.

“It tests your knowledge of the job, the quality of the products and the friendliness of the crew. Basically it’s what we do every day.”

PV’s Sonic crew consists of six employees and includes a mother-daughter team.

Carl Miles is the grill man; Connie Foster is the dresser, the person who puts ingredients on burgers; her mom, Cindy Foster, on fountain drinks; Daniel Ferrara, the “swamp” man doing fries; Rachel Ivey takes orders on the switchboard; and Vickie King in the car hop category.

Minutes before this week’s competition the Sonic crew is expected to get a police escort from the drive-in to a local hotel, which is where the competition will take place.