If you are ever in the West Coast or if you live on the West Coast then you are already familiar with the phenomenon that is In-N-Out Burger and their wildly delicious and massively popular burgers and fries. They ooze with cheese and their burger patties practically drip with succulent meaty goodness. It has to be said that -N-Out burger does burgers right but despite its massive success, why hasn’t it made its way to the East Coast? Surely the folks in that part of the country deserve their own servings of burger awesomeness?
This West Coast cult favorite has in fact been teasing the East Coast with whispers and rumors of an expansion for several years now but that is just what it is – teasing and whispering. To date, there are still no In-N-Out Burger outlets on the East Coast.
Sure, they have slowly expanded eastward for the last 65 years since its inception. It now has restaurants in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and most recently, Texas. They have also been holding “pop-up” restaurants all over the world and it is no exaggeration to say that the burgers are gone in mere minutes. Indeed, everything has been pointing to an expansion in the East Coast however there are some factors that indicate no East Coast neighborhood will be enjoying unlimited In-N-Out Burger goodies any time soon. Check the reasons down below.
Why In-N-Out Burger Won’t Expand to the East?
Ask anyone who has been behind the scenes in any In-N-Out Burger restaurant and they will tell you there are no microwaves or freezers in it. This is because the company has a very strict policy of serving fresh food with fresh ingredients. This means that all their branches need to be in areas that are near their distribution centers – Baldwin Park in California and Dallas, Texas. According to Carl Van Fleet, president of Planning and Development for IN-N-Out, they make all the burger patties themselves and these get delivered to their branches using their very own delivery trucks. He adds that they are never frozen and that their new locations are limited to areas that are in the vicinity of their patty-making locations. This is not something they are willing to compromise on which makes the chances for East Coast In-N-Out Burger branches pretty slim.
They do not want to torture folks from the East Coast and for sure they would love to bring their scrumptious burgers and fries to the East. However, they do believe that their food has more appeal to people since not everyone can have it. It is the very exclusivity of In-N-Out Burger that has culled an almost cult-like following from its fans. People so love their In-N-Out Burger that a politician from Denver even made a plea to the company to open a branch in his area (read about it here) but Van Fleet just had to say “no” and explained that the company just wasn’t planning on expanding to their area. He did acknowledge that it was a massive compliment for the company but they do not plan to expand to a 6th state and instead choose to focus on their operation in the 5 states they currently operate in.
Too Much Competition
This is not to say that they won’t hack it in the East but they just have too much competition. The East Coast already has Shake Shack and Five Guys and they have been there for years. They would have a hard time gathering a niche market and their sales would not be as high as in other states with less competition.
They Do Not Offer Franchising
The In-N-Out Burger business is family-owned and they prefer to stay that way; they do not believe in franchising. Not only do they think that this might compromise the quality of their food and expanding without franchising would require them to fork out a massive amount of money. On their website, it states that In-N-Out remains a privately-owned company that belongs to the Snyder family and they do not have any plans to open up for franchising or to make it public.
Folks from the East Coast this is the low-down from the team at IN-N-Out. They do not want to torture you but at the moment, they just cannot expand. You do not need to feel bad though; you can always indulge in their decadent offerings the next time you go to the West Coast. For those of you who are planning trips to states where they have In-N-Out, below are some of their must-try items.
In-N-Out Menu Superstars
If you have the chance to step into the hallowed walls of cult-favorite In-N-Out below are some menu items you cannot afford to miss out on. Check them out and put them on your list!
- X by Y – This menu option allows you to stack anything in a 4×4 manner. This means you can get as much as 4 burger patties and 4 cheese slices on a single burger. However, if you do not want that much cheese you can customize it to say 4 burger patties to one slice of cheese. If you love your dairy, you can also customize it to contain 4 slices of cheese with just one patty!
- Protein-style burger – If you want to chow down on some delicious burgers but want to cut down your carb consumption, then this is the burger for you. It contains everything you love about the In-N-Out burger minus the lightly toasted bun. Your burger will come wrapped in lettuce instead.
- Cold cheese burger – If you are some sort of deviant that doesn’t like melted cheese, order a cold cheese burger. They will add your cheese after the burger is grilled so it stays nice and solid.
- Animal style fries – Try not to stare in awe at this creation. The only way to appreciate this is to get stirring. Mix the fried onions, gooey cheese, and Thousand Island dressing for a gastronomic experience that is truly out of this world and simply amazing!
Never underestimate the cult of exclusivity. It reminds me of my youth when you could not get Coors in the east. When a friend would go west and owned a truck, they would return with a whole truck load of Coors that people would go absolutely nuts for. You couldn’t bring back enough to fill the pre-orders from family and friends, or perfect strangers that somehow heard you might have some of that awesome, unobtainable Coors.
Now that Coors is sold here, it’s bottom feeder beer that no one I know drinks unless they are broke and it’s on sale for really cheap. People always want what they can’t have and find it more desirable, it’s human nature.
Five guys has nothing on IN-N-OUT Burger! Come to Montana please!