“In fact, we don’t even own a microwave, heat lamp, or freezer. “
Declared as one of the must-haves on the U.S. Westcoast, In-N-Out has a reputation that makes them known beyond national borders and we have taken a closer look to find the reason why.
On October 22nd, 1948, Harry Snyder opened the first “Drive-Thru” restaurant in Baldwin Park, California. With a size not bigger than a few square meters, this first restaurant was not a restaurant in the common sense, more likely a sales booth. While his wife Esther took care of the bookkeeping at home, Harry went out to buy fresh meat and vegetables on the wholesale market every morning before dawn, which he later prepared in the restaurant by hand.
After a long day at work, Harry Snyder spent his evenings in his garage, working on an idea he had and wanted to put into practice. His goal was to build a two-way speaker, so his customers did not have to leave the car to order their meals, and he succeeded in the same year.
On March, 1st, 1951, he opened the second branch of the family business in West Covina, California and on September 18th, 1952, the third in Pasadena, California.
In 1954, Snyder changed the first sign with the phrase “No Delay” into the now well-known “In-N-Out Burger” sign with the yellow arrow above the letters.
Snyder already celebrated his 10th anniversary with 10 stores in Southern California, and exchanged bottled drinks to today’s standard paper cups with self-refill in 1958 and introduced the “Animal Style” Burger in 1961. “Animal Style” means that the patties are fried with mustard. Additionally, there are caramelized onions, cucumbers, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and the secret “Animal Style” sauce. In 1963, the “double double” Burger (a burger with two patties and double cheese) was introduced to the customers and finally added to the menu in 1965.
Due to the increasing numbers of guests, Harry’s wife Esther was not able to prepare the burger patties by herself at home anymore as she did in the previous years. Therefore, the first patty production facility of In-N-Out burger opened in 1963. It is still one of the company’s tradition to produce cooled, but never frozen burger patties by themselves and to deliver them on a daily basis from the factories to the restaurants. In 1972 a symbol was added, that belongs to In-N-Out as the patties on the bun. The famous crossed palm trees were planted for the first time in front a restaurant. They were planted on Harry Snyder’s personal request, because they are a reference to one of his favorite comedy movies “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” from 1963. The palms are supposed to mark the place of a hidden treasure, and that treasure is not that hidden but rather more to be seen for everyone: the restaurant is Harry’s treasure.
In-N-Out Burger celebrates its 25 years anniversary in 1973 and has opened 13 stores at that time. Each restaurant has two drive-thru lines for the customers, however no dining rooms yet, but a few chairs and tables to sit and eat outside of the restaurant. In-N-Out employees get their “typical look” in 1974: The all white work wear is jazzed up with a red apron.
Also in the same year, burgers are fried outside of the restaurant for the very first time. Until today, catering trucks are available for all kinds of events and even deliver schools, churches, weddings and birthdays.
What else belongs to a burger? Right, a milkshake. In 1975 In-N-Out added the “Real Ice Cream” - Milkshake to their menu. Earlier, customers could watch the employees preparing their shakes right in their paper cups, requiring associates to have plenty of skill at avoiding ripping those cups during preparation.
When Harry Snyder died in 1976, his sons Rich and Guy Snyder, took over the duties of the President and Vice President of the company. They continue Harry’s quest for the best quality and a spotless environment and thus gain the best reputation for their, at that time, 18 restaurants. The spirit of innovation that Harry developed with his two-way speaker and his endeavor for best and freshest quality has been preserved by the company until today.
In-N-Out Burger built its first dining rooms pretty late. The first restaurant with a dining room opened in 1979 in Ontario, it was also the first restaurant which had only one drive-thru lane. After this restaurant, 13 more were built without a dining, however it was planned for the upcoming restaurants.
Nearby Harry Snyder’s house in Baldwin Park, the In-N-Out University was opened in 1984. It was built to provide young future restaurant managers the same level of standard and education for their upcoming future at In-N-Out. 1984 was a year of changings, therefore the new restaurant (No. 32) in Placentia, California was the first one built without a drive-thru lane. Until 2012, 4 other restaurants were built without this lane, these are located in: Laguna Hills, Mill Valley, Glendale and the one at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Additionally, the Snyder brothers founded the In-N-Out Foundation Against Child Abuse in 1984. Driven by Esther Snyder’s desire that every child deserves a chance and good future, the foundation donates funds for emergency accommodations, nursing homes and foster care every year. In-N-Out burger bears 100 % of the expenses of the foundation and thus secures that every penny is directly going to the institutions that help abused children.
On June 17th, 1988, In-N-Out opens its 50th restaurant in Thousand Palms, California and in 1990 already number 64 in West Covina, California. The one in West Covina is probably one of the most interesting ones since the American Dream wrote history here, once again. The Manager of the restaurant, Mark Taylor, has worked his way up as a Manager and is today the President and Chief Operating Officer of In-N-Out Burger. In-N-Out also cares about the less fortunate of society and therefore provides free food at local shelters, three times a month since 1990.
To meet the promise of Rich Snyder, that every visit should be a great one for the customer, a free service number was established in 1991 which is operated by experienced employees who work or have worked in the restaurants. On December 15th, 1993, Rich Snyder passed away. Under his management the restaurant chain grew to up to 93 branches and the reputation of the university for young managers rose immensely. Guy Snyder assumed the position of Chairman of the Board and Esther Snyder becomes President.
November 10th, 1994, branch No. 100 opened its doors in Gilroy, California and four years later in 1998, the 50th anniversary was celebrated with 134 restaurants. On December 4th, 1999, Guy Snyder passes away and leaves 140 restaurants with a great reputation of quality and freshness. His mother Esther Snyder died on August 4th, 2006.
When on December 30th, 2005 restaurant number 200 opened its doors, customers were surprised. To follow the local spirit and traditions of Arizona, it was allowed to ride into the drive-thru lane on horses. In-N-Out expanded in the years between 2008 and 2011 to Utah and Texas and in 2010 Harry Snyder’s granddaughter Lynsi became leader of the company. In-N-Out went back to its roots in 2014, when building a replica of the very first branch in Baldwin Park, California. They restraint serves guests as Harry did in his first store in 1948. In-N-Out also opened its 300th store in 2015.
There are many rumors and myths about the so-called “Not-so-secret menu”. As the name suggests, it isn’t actually so secret. It is simply the possibility for the customers to satisfy their each burger request. No matter which way you would like to have your burger, we will make it happen! This is how one could describe In-N-Outs customer philosophy.
In-N-Out does not only convince its customers with great customer service, but is especially popular due to its use of fresh ingredients. When ordering a burger at In-N-Out, you watch the employees cutting the tomatoes and lettuce into pieces. Also, In-N-Out does not make use of deep frozen patties, only fresh and made from their own production, cooled patties are delivered every morning to their stores. Most popular are the “Animal Style” burgers and fries. According to various customer reviews, the secret sauce with onions and mild mustard flavor “Animal Style” is a MUST-HAVE on burgers and fries.
In-N-Out has not raised its prices for years and retained its large portions. It has also been told by various customers, that they enjoy to meet other customers at In-N-Out and to talk about their each and own experiences at various In-N-Out restaurants. Also the variety of different people to meet at In-N-Out is highly appreciated. You can meet everyone there. Young, old, famous, tall, small… all kinds of people come together and enjoy their burgers at In-N-Out. In-N-Out is not only famous for its burgers, but also for its coffee! Good, low priced coffee is highly appreciated by local students, right before they walk into their lectures.
Official Name: In-N-Out Burger
Official Website: www.in-n-out.com
Founder: Harry Snyder
First Store: Baldwin Park, California
Bestseller: Double Double Animal Style
Slogan: Quality you can taste!
Are you now craving for an In-N-Out Burger too? Or would like to become a part of the In-N-Burger University and the employees? Sign up now for the current Green Card Lottery and maybe you’ll be able to put hands on your own In-N-Out Burger AND your Green Card soon!