Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In-N-Out Burger, Hamburgers, Prescott-AZ

DFW area In-N-Out review here

In both the Editorial Chains thread and the Johnny B's blurb, I mentioned In-N-Out Burger (INOB) as a favorite place to go when traveling to the left coast.

For the Memorial Day weekend, Mrs. RJG and I visited some of her relatives in Arizona. Given that it was a family visit, the majority of our meals were centered around family cookouts, and we were treated royally at that! But we did get away for one afternoon, and settled on INOB for our lunch. Naturally it's always fun to try other places while traveling, but it wasn't in the cards for this trip. This particular visit was to their Prescott store. We also visited one in Anaheim, CA about two months ago (and I still need to get some of the other restaurants up from that visit).

There's not much to add from what I've already stated in the Editorial Chains section. But I'll copy here for convenience: Regional chains are cool. They typically represent an area's culture via a unique food type, or a destination defining place. An example of the latter, and perhaps the best example of a large regional chain, is In-N-Out Burger (INOB). When Mr. RJG goes to California, Arizona or Nevada on business, he makes a sincere attempt to eat at INOB at least once per visit. They are what I wish Wendy's, McDonalds and Burger King would have become. Mr. RJG once worked for a company based in Pleasanton, California. Like many Bay Area suburbs, INOB was well entrenched there for many years. Yet, no matter what time I had arrived, there was a line around the building! This is an area defined by chef-driven, high end restaurants. Where mom and pops struggle to survive, and most homes clear the million dollar mark. And yet INOB has a huge line - always. Taco Bell and Arby's do not, I assure you. Why? Because it's damn good. Only the freshest ingredients are served. The menu is perfect: You can get variations on a hamburger, soft drinks and milkshakes. That's it! The kids that work there at INOB are a blast through a time tunnel some 40 years ago. Always smiling, and fresh faced. Everybody who works there wants to work there - and there's competition for those jobs. Why? Because they pay more and will also contribute to their college education. Think you could pull that off at a public company? I don't think so! I once asked my brother-in-law, who is in the restaurant industry, why he didn't franchise a location in Denver? When they opened the first Krispy Kreme in Denver, they had to get the police out to direct traffic for nearly a month. A Krispy Kreme for crying out loud! Can you imagine an In-N-Out Burger? He'd be rich in a week. His answer came within 2 seconds of my question "They don't franchise". And he added that everyone wants to open an INOB, for all the reasons I just stated. It appears they are perfectly content to grow at a snails pace, while providing an outstanding fast food experience. They are my heroes.

I had my usual Double-Double and a shake. Mrs. RJG had a cheeseburger and fries - and a shake (she's still mad at me for the idea!)

Website
In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

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