Digital Original: AR restaurant’s custom drive-thru is helping keep truck drivers fed during challenging times

Digital Originals

FORDYCE, Ark. – As restaurants across the country close their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Fordyce is ensuring its most important patrons are being fed – truck drivers.

Michael and Shirley Guthrie are from Pennsylvania. However, the couple routinely stops at this Sonic location because it can accommodate his large truck.

“I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and this is the only restaurant that I have found has something like this,” he says.

Guthrie has been a truck driver for more than 36 years and now takes his wife along with him. He says that many truck drivers don’t have the ability to cook food from their trucks and coolers can only hold so many items while on the road – making it difficult for drivers to find hot food.

He says other drivers have reached out seeking help for where to eat. With many finding it harder to get food while out delivering – even some having to go days without a meal.

“Everybody is starting to understand that if the trucks ain’t moving – people aren’t getting any food, supplies or anything and when it first started the virus of all the good things to come out of it people were realizing we didn’t have places to eat,” says Guthrie.

As more and more restaurants close in part because of the novel cooronavirus, Michael says he appreciates Sonic for thinking about the workers who can’t stop working.

“So drivers started getting together on the radio and social media and helping each other out – well you can go here, there is parking here. Or I got food here,” he explains. “Now they are starting to realize hey maybe we can let them start coming to a drive-thru window walking, but right here it’s perfect you drive up in a truck just like your normal car.”

The Sonic in Fordyce built the drive-thru specifically for heavy-duty trucks in 2018.

About 70 percent of all freight moved in the United States is done by trucks, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The unique drive-thru has custom made steps with a metal platform so servers can hand off the food while still being safe.

Sonic’s spokesman says they are still ensuring all safety precautions are being met while dealing with customers.

Guthrie and his wife both say they appreciate all restaurants like Sonic are doing to accommodate the many truck drivers who can’t stop working.

“Many of us understand how important our jobs are – especially now and we all need to think about each other and how we can do better,” says Guthrie.

For more information on how Sonic restaurants are helping to keep customers safe, click here.

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