Burgers, fast food chains, and drive-throughs are pretty common things for most of us. Do you guys know how it all started? It is believed that the first drive-through opened in 1947 in Springfield, Missouri. It was a place called Red’s Giant Hamburg. Just one year later, a guy named Harry Snyder opened California’s first drive-through hamburger stand – In-N-Out.
He didn’t know what he would unleash, by creating one of the best and busiest burger places in the western United States. The burger space, barely 10 square feet in size, opened at the corner of Francisquito and Darvey in Baldwin Park, CA. In-N-Out also introduced the first two-way speaker system to order your food without leaving your car, living up to the store’s name.
Harry Snyder and his wife lived just around the corner from the first In-N-Out store. This place is now the In-N-Out University and opened in 1984. Just five years later, the first company store opened at this location, and fans of the chain can now buy all kinds of merchandise like beach towels and T-shirts.
All entry-level managers from all In-N-Out stores receive their training at the In-N-Out University. In-N-Out focuses on delivering fresh and highest quality food, cleanliness, and customer service to all their customers. This system really paid off. I have been to In-N-out many many times and at different places. The staff is always providing customer service and are highly efficient.
Lines at the counter and drive-through are humongous at pretty much every location. It’s best to avoid them during lunch hours. This just shows how much people value the fresh food from this place. People don’t mind waiting in line to get their delicious burgers. I have to say that the staff is highly efficient and the line always keeps moving. It might look like a very long line but you won’t spend that much time in line to get your food. At other places, lines are shorter but it takes longer to get your food, even tho that In-N-Out is preparing everything fresh.
In-N-Out opened as a drive-through only burger place. Until 1979 there was not even an option for dine-in. However, there are also a few locations, which actually don’t have a drive-through lane and are dine-in only. The most famous one is probably the one at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
Originally the restaurant locations were only located in Southern California but they expanded to different states over time. Now you can find In-N-Out stores in Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and Texas.
In-N-Out became so famous that people traveling through LAX left the airport and went to the location right next to the LAX runway on their layover. This is also a famous spot for aviation geeks and plane spotters. Travelers abused the Parking Spot shuttle as their means of transportation to the restaurant’s location, that you now have to show that you have a valid reservation before you can board the Parking Spot shuttle. If you want to get to this location, use a ride-share or taxi. You could even walk there if you have enough time. I am a big fan of this location as I just love their burgers and I love photographing planes.
In 2014, a replica of the original store opened at its original location in Baldwin Park. The replica is open for people to explore and take photos every Thursday-Sunday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Unfortunately it is closed now due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
At the replica site, you can see the original logo which was later replaced with the still current logo, featuring an arrow instead of “No Delay”.
An actual In-N-Out is located just on the other side of the freeway, down the road from the replica. This one is located right next to the Company’s University.
The menu is straightforward. The main items are the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, and Double Cheeseburger which is called a Double-Double at In-N-Out. Double-Double stands for two patties and two slices of cheese. Many people don’t know, but you can customize your burger. Other items include fries, fountain drinks, and shakes.
Instead of the Double-Double, you can go all the way up to a “Four-by-Four” meaning four patties and four slices of cheese. They used to allow even bigger combinations but it is capped now to a Four-by-Four.
Another item on the secret menu is to get your burger and/or fries “Animal Style“. Making your burger animal style means that your beef patties will be mustard-cooked and they will add their special spread and grilled onions.
Getting your fries animal-style means adding cheese, the special spread, and grilled onions on top of the fries – delicious.
One item on their secret menu, I haven’t even tried. I am tempting to try it. It’s getting your Burger “Protein Style”. This means your burger will be wrapped in hand-leafed lettuce instead of a bun.
Have you been to In-N-Out and what was your experience? What is your favorite burger joint?
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.