The Best Time In The Week To Go To In-N-Out To Miss Long Lines

In-N-Out may not have the same foothold in the fast-food industry as more mainstream companies like McDonald's or Burger King, but that doesn't mean that it's not popular. For a restaurant that's primarily situated along the West Coast, In-N-Out has gained something of a mythical status in the world of fast food.

Just what is it that makes In-N-Out so popular? There are many reasons, to be sure. It could be that it's because of the quality of the food, considering In-N-Out lacks any sort of heat lamps or microwaves and strictly uses only fresh beef. It may be because In-N-Out's limited locations make it an "exclusive" restaurant, a place that only relatively few people can be lucky enough to visit every so often. You would be more interested in trying a burger from In-N-Out than a burger from one of the thousands of McDonald's across the country, wouldn't you?

Whatever the reason is, it's no secret that In-N-Out's legendary status makes it a popular place to visit, whether you're a West Coast local or a passing tourist. With so many people wanting to see what all the hype is about, long lines — and thus long wait times— aren't exactly uncommon at In-N-Out restaurants. Is there a way, if any, to avoid the long lines and wait times, or do you just have to suck it up and wait it out if you want a Double-Double?

Long lines at In-N-Out can get pretty wild

When we talk about long lines, we usually mean that you have to wait about half an hour at most before you get serviced. It's not exactly a good way to spend your time, sure; but, in the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes isn't exactly all-day. But, when it comes to In-N-Out and long lines, we're sometimes talking about wait times in hours.

One example was the opening of an In-N-Out in Aurora, Colorado, in 2020, which resulted in a turnout so enormous that local police were called in to control traffic that resulted from the standstill of cars. Customers waited over 14 hours in their cars just for a taste of In-N-Out's burgers and fries, with the last customer finally being served around 2 a.m. when the restaurant finally closed. Not only did the police have to come in to ensure that no accidents would occur as cars wrapped around the block, but there was even a fight in line —a fight that fortunately resulted in no serious injuries but did leave one man without pants. 

While In-N-Out was said to be thrilled by the warm welcome (what company wouldn't be ecstatic to see people line up around the block for its product?), we'll take a guess and say that you may not want to spend half of your day in line for an Animal Style burger.

You should try to visit around this time

Let's say that you've planned a trip out to the West Coast for this summer. One of your goals on your itinerary is to try and eat at In-N-Out. But you obviously have no patience to sit around and wait in line just for a hamburger, especially on your vacation. There is, fortunately, a supposedly good time to visit this popular burger joint and avoid the long lines.

The best time to visit an In-N-Out is between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. That timeframe is when the lunch rush has died down, but it's not yet the dinner rush. It's like that twilight hour where it's between evening and night, a sweet spot where things are much calmer. You'll see some customers, to be sure; but you won't have to spend 15 minutes sitting in a drive-thru lane for your burger and shake.

Although this is a good timeframe to shoot for, it's recommended that you try to go during the middle of the week, such as on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Since it's the middle of the week, there won't be as much of a rush as there is over the weekend and you'll run into fewer customers on a Wednesday night than you would on a Saturday evening.

Again, it's important to note that In-N-Out will always be busy — it's just a matter of finding a lull in the action.