Of all the burger chains in America, the one with arguably the biggest cult following may be In-N-Out Burger, with Shake Shack a close second. There are 313 locations of the beloved chain nationwide, and while loyal devotees might think that they know everything there is to know about the inventor of the Double Double Animal-Style, there are still plenty of things to learn about In-N-Out.
Just about every fast food chain is excited to sell off franchises to prospective restaurateurs and let them handle managing the location but for Snyder, franchising means one less thing under company control. The only real way to make sure that every location is 100 percent up to company standards is to make them all company-owned, and that’s exactly what she’s done.
Due to a string of family deaths, the 34-year-old Snyder is now the sole owner of the chain, which is worth about $1 billion. The company’s wealth is controlled by a trust, which granted her half of the company when she turned 30, and she’ll get the other half when she’s 35.
Ever wonder why all the locations are near the West Coast or the Southwest? Because there are two distribution centers, one in Baldwin Park, Calif. and the other in Dallas, Texas and all locations need to be within the distance that a truck can travel in one day. Fresh ingredients (including chuck for the burgers) are all prepped at these centers, and proximity means that nothing ever needs to be frozen. So if you want an In-N-Out in New York, pray for an East Coast distribution center.
The outpost with no indoor seating in Upland, Calif. is quite possibly the most unique In-N-Out in the country. Staff members will walk right up to your car to take your order, and there are plenty of picnic tables to take in the view of nearby Mount Baldy and a small airport. Not only is this among the most unique, it’s also one of the oldest around, part of the original expansion outside of Baldwin Park.
If you find yourself being hired to manage a location, you can expect to take home upward of $100,000 per year. You’ll also receive full medical and dental insurance, and bonuses like free trips for you and your spouse.
Many locations have a pair of crossed palm trees in front, and contrary to what many believe it’s not a biblical reference (even though some serving containers contain bible verses on the bottom, dating to when Rich Snyder, a born-again Christian, ran the company in the 1980s). The palms are actually a reference to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a favorite film of the founder, in which treasure was buried under four crossed palms.
If you wanted your patty to have some pink in the middle, you used to be able to request that, but due to a change in California's Retail Food Code effective January 1, 2017, the company decided to cook their burgers to well-done across the board. But with a patty this thin, there's no reason to cook it pink anyway. That's just one of the 10 crazy secrets that fast food chains don't want you to know.
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