In-N-Out Burger Lands in Texas
In-N-Out Burger, the Southern California institution, opened its first stores in Texas to long lines, media hysteria and a few murmurings over what the fuss was all about.
A few hundred people, many California transplants, either camped out the night before or got in line early at both the new Frisco and Allen locations in North Texas that opened on May 11.
"Our openings are always big, but I have never seen anything of this magnitude," Frisco Store Manager Scott Bayliss, who moved from California to manage the restaurant, told the Plano Star Courier. "At 10 a.m. we had cars lined up 150 deep in the drive-through line."
In-N-Out burgers are made with 100 percent fresh beef that’s never frozen and they don’t use microwaves. In order to keep to its fresh beef code, a meat patty processing plant as well as distribution center were opened in the Dallas area.
It’s also known for its limited menu that includes three types of burgers, french fries (fresh cut), and beverages, including three shake flavors. It’s also known for its "secret menu" ordering system. For instance, "Animal Style" means pickles, extra spread, grilled onions and mustard fried onto each meat patty. With about 260 restaurants in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah, Texas represents only its fifth state since its founding 1948.
"It’s really a turning point for this area," Los Angeles-raised Kip Cummings told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The California spirit hits right here and begins to get entrenched. It’s very much a milestone."
In-N-Out Burger is planning at least seven more locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and an article speculated that the new distribution and meat processing center will enable In-N-Out to move as far north as Iowa and as far east as Florida to offer serious competition to McDonald’s and other fast food chains. At the same time, In-N-Out Burger is known for its slow expansion stance. It’s taken three years for to open eight restaurants in Utah.
Not everyone was blown away.
Michael Hamtil, Dallas Morning News‘ photo editor, said people similarly lined up when IKEA opened in 2005 and now it’s "just another big box store in Frisco."
In-N-Out also faces hometown competition from Whataburger, based in San Antonio.
"Whataburger is bigger, juicier, and their fries are better," Jesse Rede told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, after his first In-N-Out experience. "I’d come back, but it’s not worth all the hype."
- Thousands dine at Texas’ first In-N-Out Burger restaurants – Plano Star Courier
- First In-N-Out Burgers open in Texas – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Will In-N-Out Burger hit East Coast next? – MSN Money
- In-N-Out Burger opens: Hype, or history? – The Dallas Morning News
- Tears and a two-mile-long line mark opening of the first In-N-Out Burger joints in Texas – Daily Mail
Discussion Questions: Does In-N-Out Burger risk losing its cult-like devotion as it expands? What is the expansion potential for In-N-Out Burger as it explores more eastern states?