What You Didn't Know About Sonic's Carhop Competition

If you've ever gone to Sonic and ordered some mozzarella sticks and loaded tots, only to be let down when your food was hand-delivered to your car by a walking employee, then you know true heartbreak — hello, where are the rollerskates?!

Sonic may not be ranked above giants like McDonald's or Burger King in terms of its menu, but one thing has always solidified its place in fast food lovers' hearts: the nostalgic carhop atmosphere, complete with smiling, roller-skating employees.

The drive-in knows just what its customers keep coming back for, and thus, the Sonic Skate-Off was born. Nowadays, employees from all over the nation are invited to send in videos of their best skate performances in their Sonic uniforms. Once the finalists are selected, they're sent to partake in an obstacle-filled competition that'll crown the top three skaters in the country. The prize? Bragging rights, plus a fresh new pair of skates to sport at the carhop. Oh, and $1,500 in cash (via Delish).

Sonic's carhop competition is part of a training initiative in partnership with Dr Pepper

Originally, Sonic hosted its first skate-loving employees back in 1994 as part of a nine-month-long training initiative alongside Dr Pepper, reports QSR Web. According to the outlet, employees were tested on "service, speed, quality, and accuracy," but skating wasn't the star of the itinerary just yet.

By 2011, the carhop portion of Sonic's training convention took off. At the time, the contest took on a whole new life outside of the annual training; CBS News notes that in 2011, it was dubbed the Sonic So You Think You Can Skate? Competition. Employees from all over submitted personal videos showing off their greatest skate tricks — one even showed off her figure skating moves off the ice, and balancing an armful of what we can only assume are some ultra-sweet Fresh Banana Shakes.

My San Antonio says that by the following year, Sonic's carhop craze debuted another new name: the Sonic Skate-Off, which it has proudly promoted since. Workers of all ages have since steadily roller-skated their way into judges' hearts. A handful of lucky finalists continue to find themselves at Sonic's Oklahoma City headquarters each year, anxiously awaiting the title.

It takes more than skate skills to win Sonic's carhop competition

Not all Sonic skaters are created equal, and the hot dog chain is sure to recognize that during its annual Games and Skate-Off competitions. Just because one employee can jam skate doesn't mean they're bound to score the cash prize!

Sonic has actually encouraged hopefuls to submit their videos weeks in advance. That way, a team of skate 'n' shake professionals can review the reels and deliver feedback, which will likely improve a participant's chances.

The fast food chain has also made it clear that they aren't just looking for top tier, trick-filled talent; what they're seeking is a well-rounded employee both on and off the skates. According to Sonic, "a friendly smiling carhop who delivers an order according to Sonic procedure has a much better chance of winning than the daredevil who never checks back!"

So if you're one of the thousands of roller-skating customer service extraordinaires that never cease to make our day at the Sonic drive-in, this is your sign: Get moving on this year's audition tape!