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Pickle lovers will…maybe rejoice at Sonic Drive-In’s latest addition to its lineup of “refreshing” summer drinks. The name of its latest product (drumroll, please): the Pickle Juice Slush.

sonic slushies

The bright green slush, which Sonic describes as “sweet yet tart,” debuts Monday alongside more conventional Snow Cone Slush flavors like Blue Hawaiian, Bahama Mama and Tiger’s Blood.

Reactions to the drink have been mixed. Here, some on Twitter who are unlikely to try it:

The Pickle Juice Slush is a new—albeit wacky—take on the recent fermented food trend: think kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and Greek yogurt. Fermented foods, which are created by bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms breaking down a substance, are known for their tangy flavor and health benefits. A study published in a 2016 issue of the “Preventive Nutrition and Food Science” journal found that fermented foods have an especially positive effect on cognitive function, along with previously known digestive benefits.

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Sonic Drive-In is joining fast-food industry trends allowing customers to get what they want even faster thanks to smartphones.

The Oklahoman reports the Oklahoma City-based chain has been testing an app that allows consumers to order food and drinks and pick a location and pickup time before they arrive. The app has been tested Lafayette, Louisiana, and will be available in Oklahoma City by the end of May.

sonic app

Sonic hopes to have the service available nationally by the end of 2018.

McDonald’s rolled out a similar app aimed at saving precious seconds and cutting down on pileups in drive-thru lines.

Chief Brand Officer Jose Duenas said the app will make Sonic more personalized and competitive. Duenas said Sonic studied Starbucks, Panera and Domino’s because they use similar technology.

Information from: The Oklahoman

Sonic Drive-In has expanded its test of a remote ordering system that integrates with the quick-service concept’s unique carhop service format.

The app-based setup enables customers to order from the closest Sonic via their smartphones and set the time of pickup. They then pull into one of the restaurant’s parking slots, and the food is brought to them at the appointed time.

sonic drive-in app

In many respects, said executives, Sonic’s retro drive-in format makes advance ordering easier than it might be for a concept offering traditional counter service. Orders are already routed in sequence to the kitchen, and runners, sometimes on roller skates, lug the items to the car on a tray that clips to the vehicle’s side window. It’s essentially curbside delivery, with far more parking spaces available.

The tests were expanded to all 27 or so units in a single market about three weeks ago, after being tried in a few isolated stores, CEO Cliff Hudson told financial analysts Tuesday evening. Headquarters anticipates expanding to two or three additional trade areas during April to see how the service flies with various types of customers, he revealed.

He suggested that a systemwide rollout would be completed in the fourth quarter if all goes according to plan.

The ability to field preorders should translate into greater convenience for customers, said Hudson. He noted that the system, which is built on Sonic’s new app, will also lay the groundwork for an entry into delivery if the concept decides to add that option, but he stressed that no move is imminent.

Hudson declined to provide sales figures from the test, noting that it’s less than a month old. But, he commented, “The technology is working as expected. Customer complaints have been minimal. The service time to customers are averaging just less than two minutes, from the guests’ arrival at the restaurant till they receive their food, and more often than not we can actually deliver to customers in less than 90 seconds.”

The digital initiative is one of several new undertakings to bolster sales. Sonic is in the process of simplifying its menu by narrowing the listed variations of certain products, primarily ice cream dishes and beverages, said President Claudia San Pedro.

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