Here are 30 facts about our favorite In-N-Out (including the secret menu!):
1. There are presently 313 locations of In-N-Out Burger in existence, most of which sit in California, the food chain’s home state. But there are also locations in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and Oregon.
2. There are four In-N-Out Burger locations in Sacramento and 18 in total among Sacramento, Placer, Yuba, and El Dorado counties.
3. In-N-Out Burger was founded in 1948 when newlyweds Harry and Esther Snyder opened the first location.
4. Harry Snyder was a huge fan of drag racing and once bought 50% of the Irwindale Raceway just so that he could serve In-N-Out at their concession stand.
5. The Snyders always had their sons, Guy and Rich, do entry-level work prepping, doing dishes, and taking out the trash when they worked at the family chain.
6. After founder Harry Snyder passed away in the 1980s, his son, Rich Snyder, a devout born-again Christian, started printing Bible verses on the bottom of In-N-Out cups and wrappers, although the company has never released a formal statement on the matter.
7. That humility and work ethic was passed down to Lynsi Torres, heiress to the In-N-Out franchise fortune when she turns 35, which will instantly launch her into the $500 million-plus income bracket.
8. Back in 1948, the first In-N-Out location featured a groundbreaking (at the time) drive up lane for cars, the precursor to our modern drive-up window.
9. In fact, In-N-Out was the first chain to install two-way speaker systems in their car drive up lanes, as before that, “carhops” came out to take orders and deliver food.
10. The intercom and drive-up lanes revolutionized the burger business, allowing customers to "get in and out" quickly, hence the name.
11. However, it wasn't the first, as Red's Giant Hamburg in Missouri had implanted a drive up window the year before. But when Red's closed in 1984, In-N-Out became the oldest drive-through burger joint in the country.
12. The chain didn’t expand outside of California until the 1990s, when it put their first non-California location in Las Vegas, Nevada.
13. Most In-N-Out locations have a pair of crossing palm trees planted out front. That signature landscaping was an inspiration from the movie "It's a Mad, Mad World," in which treasure is buried beneath palm trees in the shape of a W. Owner Harry Snyder wanted to mark each of his restaurants as its own treasure, so he opted for two crossed palms in front.
14. Known for it’s creative and sometimes secretive menu options, the first “animal style” hamburger was introduced in 1961.
15. But after that, few changes were made to the menu even as the decades rolled on. In fact, the only two changes since 1996 include sweet tea in a few Texas locations recently, and the addition of Dr. Pepper in 1996.
16. Since their inception, In-N-Out’s philosophy has been to “serve only the highest quality product, prepare it in a clean and sparkling environment, and serve it in a warm and friendly manner.”
17. In fact, In-N-Out's food is never frozen or pre-packaged, making it a far cry from typical fast food and endearing the pallets of loyal patrons.
18. They make every hamburger patty at their own facilities and ship them fresh to stores daily. According to In-N-Out Burger policy, no food product can ever travel more than 500 miles from a production facility to a restaurant location.
19. For that reason, there are no In-N-Out Burger chains in the East Coast, much to the chagrin of hungry would-be customers. But that didn’t stop a magazine from pranking New Yorkers in 2010 on April Fool's Day when it announced that the hamburger chain was opening in Manhattan.
20. In-N-Out makes a significant investment in hiring, training, and keeping the best employees in the business. In fact, there’s an In-N-Out University where new managers are trained diligently.
21. With each manager making at least $100,000 a year and even starting employees earn a competitive living wage, it’s no wonder why In-N-Out has the lowest turnover rate of any burger or fast food chain, with managers serving an average tenure of 14 years.
22. Other than buying a tasty lunch, you can buy In-N-Out swag like hats, t-shirts, pajamas, tracksuits, and even custom Uggs on their website, in-n-out.com
23. Enough with the chit-chat, let's get down to the facts about the secret In-N-Out menu! Not listed on the regular menu and the stuff of Cali lore, you can order options like a side of pre-packaged yellow chilies, root beer floats, bun doughnuts, pepperoncinis on your burger, and a "Monkey Style" burger that has animal style fries on top of a burger patty.
24. Although the company denies it’s a secret, there are a host of expanded menu options that many people don’t realize. For instance, burgers come cooked medium-well as the standard, but you can order your burger cooked the way you like it, including medium rare – a testament to the quality of their meat.
25. On the alleged “top secret” menu, there are also seven different ways you can order French fries: fries light, fries well done, fries light well, fries no salt, fries with special sauce, fries with cheese and fries with grilled onions.
26. For vegetarians, the grilled cheese or veggie burger are big hits, and one of the most popular off-menu treats is the Neopolitan Shake, blending strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream into one shake.
27. Not long ago, there was one remarkable option on the secret menu where you could order any combination of meat plus cheese, detailed in a numeric format like 4x4, (four patties and four slices of cheese).
28. That all changed when some rowdy customers in Las Vegas ordered a 100x100 option (100 burger patties and 100 slices of cheese!). Needless to say, they were politely refused, and In-N-Out instituted a max 4 x 4 policy after that.
29. In-N-Out offers a variety of creative wallpaper images as well as custom ringtones available for free download at http://www.in-n-out.com/downloads.aspx
30. Hollywood celeb Paris Hilton once was arrested for drunk driving on her way to In-N-Out Burger for a late night after-party snack. She tried to justify her DUI to Ryan Seacrest by explaining, “I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In-N-Out burger!"
I originally wrote and posted this blog for The Alfano Group real estate agency in Sacramento, California.