Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In-N-Out is a privately-owned fast food restaurant chain in the Western United States, especially in California, but also with locations in Arizona and Nevada. Its corporate headquarters are located in Irvine, California.
In-N-Out's first location was opened in October 1948 by Harry and Esther Snyder in the now heavily-urbanized and working-class Los Angeles suburb of Baldwin Park, California, on Francisquito Avenue, just north of Interstate 10. In 1984, on the other side of the freeway, In-N-Out started its own "university," which trained its managerial employees. In 2004 the In-N-Out University was torn down, and in its place a new In-N-Out with a 75-seat indoor dining area was built. After it was built, the first location closed down, and the original kitchen is planned to be preserved as part of an upcoming In-N-Out Museum.
The In-N-Out chain only had locations in Southern California until the 1990s, when the company expanded to Northern California and Nevada. By 2000, it opened new locations in Arizona and now currently plans to move into Utah.
Many older In-N-Out locations are solely drive-thrus and walk-up order windows. Depending on location, they might have limited or even no outdoor seating and restroom facilities. Newer locations have indoor dining areas, which are sometimes full due to the large volume of customers eating and waiting inside the restaurants. A few locations with indoor dining areas do not have drive-thrus.
In-N-Out has had sporadic television advertisements. Its advertising campaign is mostly heard on radio, with the jingle: "In-N-Out, In-N-Out. That's what a hamburger's all about." In-N-Out goes by the motto of "Quality you can taste."
Every In-N-Out location is owned by the company. The private business does not currently plan to franchise any locations or to take the company public.
In-N-Out focuses on providing a simple menu and fresh ingredients that are not frozen. For example the potatoes for the french fries are washed, sliced, and put into the deep fryer right in front of the customer. It is because nothing is frozen that In-N-Out has not expanded far outside Southern California; delivery trucks are only able to travel so far in each direction from In-N-Out's sole meat-packing plant. It has limited expansion to Northern California, Nevada, Arizona and, coming in 2005, southwestern Utah.
The menu, which has been the same since its start in 1948, only contains Double-Double cheeseburger (In-N-Out's name for a double cheeseburger, and its most popular menu item), cheeseburger (single), hamburger, french fries, milk shakes, and drinks. It also has "secret" item specials not listed on the menu nor advertised and these specials are only generally spread by word-of-mouth by In-N-Out aficionados (see below for the list and descriptions). Due to relatively few locations (compared to other fast food chains) and the perception of a higher quality of food, the drive-thru and in-store lines are usually very long; it is not uncommon to wait a long while before one's order is taken.
In-N-Out also offers a cookout trailer that can be hired for private or corporate events. This trailer offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double-doubles, grilled cheese, 20 oz. fountain drinks, and potato chips, instead of fries, to hungry patrons.
In terms of nutritional value, the average In-N-Out meal is not generally considered particularly healthy. A double-double, fries, and a chocolate shake — the order most often mentioned in their advertising — has 1,390 calories.
In-N-Out is one of the very few fast food chains in the United States to pay its employees significantly above the government-mandated minimum wage level — currently starting pay is $9.00 per hour — and to also offer complete fringe benefits , which are almost unheard of in the industry. All employees are invited to attend an annual company picnic, given gifts at Christmas, and participate in a variety of other company-sponsored activities. Thus, In-N-Out enjoys lower employee turnover, so its workers tend to be better trained and more efficient when compared to other fast food restaurants. Furthermore, In-N-Out is generally more highly selective in the hiring process of its employees. It is one of the few chains to receive a positive mention in the book, Fast Food Nation.
In-N-Out also tries to remain active in the communities it serves. Every year the company provides free burgers to all marching in the Rose Parade, provides cans for donations, matches customer donations 3-to-1 in April for National Child Abuse Prevention month, and underwrites various fundraiser to support local charites and non-profit organizations.
You can order custom-made food at no additional cost (the only items that cost extra are the inventoried items such as cheese, meat, and buns). However, the In-N-Out employees will essentially do anything to a burger if you ask them.
- Stock: All burgers (sandwiches) come with a spread similar to Thousand Island dressing, one slice of tomato (two if one won't cover the entire bottom bun) and a portion of lettuce. Onions, either chopped and grilled or a fresh slice are always offered when you order. The amount is constant regardless of the number of meat patties unless you ask for extra or lite of a condiment.
- Animal style is the most popular "secret" style. In addition to the standard toppings, animal style burgers include pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard fried onto each meat patty.
- Protein style, popular among Atkins dieters and no/low carb eaters, replaces the hamburger bun with large leaves of lettuce. It can be combined with other special orders, e.g., animal protein style.
- 3×3, 4×4, or generally m × n, refers to a burger with a varied amount of meat patties (first number, m) and slices of cheese (second number, n). For example, the popular Double-Double would be 2×2, while a burger with 6 meat patties and 3 slices of cheese would be a 6×3.
- A double meat burger is a Double-Double with no cheese. Note that by definition a Double-Double automatically includes two slices of cheese; for two patties without the cheese, a double meat burger must be ordered.
- A 3-by-Meat burger is three meat patties with no cheese.
- The flying Dutchman includes two meat patties and two slices of cheese (no bun). Other condiments, including lettuce, tomato, spread, and onions, are not included.
- A grilled cheese is a sandwich with two slices of cheese and no meat patties. Like most orders, this can be combined with other styles such as animal style.
- A veggie burger is a sandwich containing only vegetables, and no meat or cheese. This is also referred to by some as a "wish burger" but is not an officially recognized item.
- Extra toast leaves your burger buns on the grill a little bit longer resulting in "crispy buns".
- "Chopped chilis" adds mild (pickled) chopped peppers to the bottom layer of the burger, showing as "special" on the receipt. In addition, some locations will produce a small container of whole chilis upon requesting a "side of chilis".
- Fries well-done are fries that have been cooked longer than normal, making them crispy.
- Fries lite are fries that have been cooked less than normal.
- Fries animal style include two slices of melted cheese, grilled onions, and spread as toppings.
- Cheese fries are fries with one or two slices of melted cheese.
- A neopolitan shake is a mixture of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavored shakes. You may also order a Choco-Vanilla Swirl Shake or any other combination of two flavors.
- A root beer float is a concoction made of half vanilla shake and half root beer.
- Large and extra large shakes are also available. The cup sizes for these shakes are one below soft drinks (i.e. a large shake is a medium soft drink cup, while an extra large shake is a large soft drink).
- Water is free for the asking.
- Lemon-up is a mixture of lemonade and 7 Up.
- Tea-ade is a mixture of iced tea and lemonade.
- Legend has it that a 100×100 was ordered by a group of four celebrating a birthday.
- Another legend has it that a fraternity tried to order a 500×500 but it was refused to be filled.
- A Home Run happens when a car passes by the microphone without ordering and drives right up to the drive-thru window.
- An Around The World is when a Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry shakes are needed for orders that will be off soon.
In-N-Out prints discreet references to Bible verses on their paper utensils. The print is small and out of the way, and only contains the book, chapter and verse numbers (i.e., "Proverbs 3:5"), not the actual text of the passages.
- Burger and cheeseburger wrappers
- Revelation 3:20—"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
- Beverage cups and antenna toppers
- Milkshake cups
- Proverbs 3:5—"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
- Double-Double wrapper
- Nahum 1:7—"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him."
- Water cups
- John 14:6—"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
- In-N-Out Burger
- List of some of the items on the Secret Menu
- Snopes.com article on Biblical quotes on In-N-Out cups and wrappings
- The Secret Behind A Burger Cult by Tom McNichol
- Paradise in a Bun, Hold the Meat by Melissa Clark
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