Why Are There No In-N-Out Burgers in New York?

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It all comes down to freshness
In-N-Out

Wikimedia Commons/Karsten Behrens

In-N-Out's formula hasn't changed since its founding.

In-N-Out Burger is a cult-favorite West Coast chain that’s best known for its high-quality burgers, no-frills menu, and low prices. As opposed to most fast food chains, however, which are constantly looking for ways to expand, In-N-Out is perfectly content staying just the way it is, rarely, if ever, changing its menu and only expanding within a well-defined geographical zone that never comes close to the East Coast. Why is this?

First of all, it’s important to know that unlike most fast food chains, all In-N-Out locations are company-owned, as opposed to franchises. Owner Lynsi Torres refuses to sell franchises because her priority is maintaining quality, and franchises allow for too many variables.

The second reason for not expanding is the fact that no locations have freezers or microwaves, and that’s not about to change. For that reason, the chain’s distribution centers (there’s only one in California and one in Texas) need to be within a day’s drive from every location. If it were to expand beyond that, it would need to open more distribution centers and completely change the supply chain.

So if you happen to live near an In-N-Out Burger, consider yourself lucky. As for everyone else, at least you’ve got Shake Shack!

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