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Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss

How In-N-Out Became The Burger Giant It Is Today

According to an evaluation done by Harris Poll’s yearly Equi-Trend study, In-N-Out has been dethroned as the the Burger King by Five Guys…

Okay enough with the obvious lame burger puns. Yes, In-N-Out has allegedly been dethroned by Five Guys from a poll based on brand familiarity, quality, and likelihood of considering to purchase the brand. An overwhelming majority of us here at Foodbeast aren’t too happy with the outcome of this recent study, so we thought it would be a good idea to share a bit of In-N-Out’s history and what has made it into the G.O.A.T. fast food burger joint.

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Founded in 1948, In-N-Out was the first drive-thru burger stand in Southern California, opening in Baldwin Park, CA by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther. From its very inception, In-N-Out has dedicated itself to providing high quality burgers made from fresh ingredients. After its first decade, the company expanded to five total restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley area; by its 25th anniversary in 1973, In-N-Out grew to 13 locations in the Los Angeles County area.

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Contrary to popular belief, the “secret menu” actually began to manifest way back in 1961, when Snyder catered to a customer’s custom order. It ultimately became known as “Animal Style.” If you know… you know.

It was not until 1963 that the world famous Double Double was introduced on the menu, almost immediately becoming the go-to item on the already precise and simple menu. Therein lies the charm of In-N-Out: a small, simple menu that’s affordable and almost always meets your expectations.

By the 1970s, In-N-Out really blew up to become a staple in Southern California culture; their iconic crossed palm trees at every location became a familiar sight, ice cream milkshakes were added to the menu, and a shift towards a dining room format became the standard.

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It wasn’t until 1992 that the red palm trees crossed state lines into Nevada, and it won’t be until the year 2000 that Arizonians were blessed with Double Double. The first Utah location opened in 2008, Texas in 2011, and Oregon barely in 2015. At this time, there are only 300 locations within the six aforementioned states, and has always been family owned — a rarity in the fast food industry.

A testament to their overall appeal and business savvy, In-N-Out is a billion dollar company with over 18,000 employees across the board and annual revenue numbers reaching over 600 million dollars. What’s more, such success has come without sacrificing everything their brand and product has stood for.

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In a world where restaurants have large, complicated menus, it’s refreshing to know that In-N-Out’s burgers will always deliver on the same great taste. Despite being only in SIX states and having 300 locations, it’s quite an amazing feat to be craved by people all over the world.

By Raphael Madrid

Raphael is a lot better at eating than he is cooking. He also opts for the al pastor over the carne asada in his tacos and burritos. Mild in the streets, picante in the sheets. Vegeta > Vegetables.