Driving through Louisiana in 1953, Troy Smith happened upon a cozy hamburger stand that had installed an intercom system to speed up ordering. Troy adapted the idea for his small chain of burger joints and hired nimble servers to quickly bring food out to customers. The concept was a smash, with revenues for the chain doubling during the first week. Sonic was cashing in on the growing popularity of the automobile. Hungry patrons parked their cars in a stall, rolled down the window, and ordered from a two-way speaker box. The food was quickly brought out to the car on a tray by a roller-skating carhop with excellent balance.
- Shape the ground beef into a thin circle the same diameter as the bun. Cover the patty with wax paper and freeze.
- When you're ready to prepare the burger, preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Spray some butter spray or spread a thin layer of melted butter on the faces of the top and bottom bun. Lightly brown the faces of the bun in the skillet, then remove them and set them aside.
- Grill the beef patty in the skillet, and lightly sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook the beef for 3 to 4 minutes per side until done.
- As the patty cooks, build the burger by first spreading the BBQ sauce over the face of the bottom bun.
- Sprinkle the chopped onion over the sauce.
- Arrange the lettuce on the sandwich next.
- When the beef is ready, stack it on top of the other condiments, and top off the sandwich with the top bun. If you'd like the sandwich hotter, microwave it on high for 10 to 15 seconds.