Not only do I think IN-AND-OUT is the best fast food burger, I think it’s the best burger in America, and what people don’t realize is that it goes far beyond just taste. Why do people line up and jam the drive-thru? Why do people from the East coast make it a point to dine there every time they visit the West? What makes this burger so damn special?
1) QUALITY & CONSISTENCY
This is an obvious one. Compared to its fast food competitors, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, the quality of this burger is obviously much better, and has remained that way since day 1. Ingredients are fresh. Fries are not previously frozen, and they don’t use weird mystery meat; we’ll stop there. Simply put, their product is much better, and that delicious, meaty-cheesy umami flavor, balanced by a crispy hunk of iceberg lettuce and a perfectly grilled bun remains consistent throughout all their locations.
We’ve all heard the benefits of simplicity. In-and-Out only has a few items on their menu, so they’ve been able to concentrate all their time on perfecting their burgers. Go to any fine dining restaurant, and there won’t be more than 6 entrée choices. Why? Because it’s hard for any chef and her/his staff to absolutely perfect 20 dishes. Pure quality can’t be spread thin; it must be honed.
3) HOME-TOWN FEEL
In-and-Out is known for not franchising their brand. This gives them a sort of rebellious image that connects with their customers. It makes a powerful statement that they are not your typical, faceless, quality-sacrificing corporation.
4) MYSTERY & MYSTIQUE
Did you know there are around 30 items on the secret menu? Additionally, there isn’t much we know about the story of In-And-Out, such as its 30 year-old billionaire owner (who remains notoriously private), yet that’s worked in their favor. In today’s ecosystem, it seems the trend is transparency. However, for this empire, secrecy and mystery have worked in its favor. This sense of mystery only adds to its appeal.
5 ) CULT FOLLOWING
Considering the points already made, it’s no surprise that In-and-Out has amassed a huge cult following. A classic example of how word-of-mouth is by far the best form of advertising, In-and-Out has relied very little on marketing efforts, other than radio jingles.
6) GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE & AWESOME EMPLOYEES
It has been rumored that if an employee comes into work unhappy, they are sent home. Despite how busy and hectic the staff always is, when was the last time you experienced unfriendly treatment at In-And-Out? Compare that experience to one you might find at McDonald’s.
7) THE WAIT
The wait? Huh? In-and-Out messes with us psychologically. Although technically it’s considered “fast-food,” the average wait time is just enough to sizzle up some anxiety. Despite the ironic name, “In-And-Out,” which I’m sure was more aptly suited in the 1950s, there’s something to be said about delaying pleasure in order to enhance appreciation. In-And-Out executes this with perfection.
If In-and-Out stays true to these 7 pillars of CLARITY, they will continue to be an enormous success!
Written by Sasha Shemirani, Creative Director, HDK media