Want to get in a disagreement with someone? Ask them what the best burger place is. With so many hamburger restaurants out there, there are many variations of burgers and even more opinions on what makes a great burger.
There’s no doubt that In-N-Out Burger is a worthy contender. In-N-Out is an American regional fast-food chain with locations mainly on the West coast. Where prominent, it’s rather popular and has many loyal fans. Its burger is simple and its menu is famously brief – with only three slightly different burger options (plain, with cheese, extra patty), fries, shakes, and drinks. Its décor is bright and retro, its drive-thru line is always long, its prices are low, its employees are paid very well (managers make an average of $160k per year!), and they get customers in-n-out quickly for how busy they often are.
Image source: Medium
Why is it called In-N-Out Burger?
The first In-N-Out Burger was opened in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. During that time in California, most restaurants used a car-hop system to take orders – customers would park near the building, then an employee would come outside to take their order and then serve their food. Newly married Harry and Esther Snyder, founders of In-N-Out Burger, wanted to offer people a way of getting food without having to park, so they could just pop in and out and leave. Hence, the restaurant was named after that concept! In-N-Out Burger became the first drive-thru hamburger stand in all of California, allowing drivers to place orders via a two-way speaker system.
From the beginning, the Snyders used only high-quality fresh products – their burger patties were made from freshly butchered beef, fries were made from freshly cut potatoes, and milkshakes were made from real ice cream. By sticking to the basics and doing them better than anyone else, In-N-Out Burger took off.
To this day, the Snyders still own In-N-Out Burger, and oversee over 300 restaurants. The close family ownership has kept In-N-Out largely the same over the years – same menu (with every menu item prepared the same way), same fresh ingredients, same excellent customer service, same happy customers. Changes have been minimal, but there have been some – notably the addition of the arrow on the sign in 1954 (abetted by the phrases “The arrow points to pride” and “We all work under the same arrow”) and the not-so-secret menu.
Image source: Zomato
In-N-Out’s close family ties have also allowed it to accumulate its own share of quirks – from the crossed palm trees planted in front of most locations, to the bible verses printed on hamburger wrappers and cups, to the vintage cars dominating all In-N-Out T-shirts and in-store artwork. With no franchises, no pressure to expand, and a loyal cult following, In-N-Out is free to stick to what it does best, and what it’s done best for over fifty years.
So, let’s hear it – do you think In-N-Out Burger does burgers best? If not, where’s the best place to get a burger? Let us know in the comments!
Emma Roberts is a freelance writer and editor who is passionate about learning, traveling, and language. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Brigham Young University.