In-N-Out Burger has been a family-owned business for 70 years — and the much-loved chain has been shrouded in mystery for reasons beyond just its "secret" menu.
Indeed, it's very rare that the public actually gets to hear anything from the owners (the company is not publicly traded)... until now. Lynsi Snyder, the 36-year-old heiress to the multi-billion dollar company, sat down for an exclusive interview with Forbes that illuminated a lot about this popular fast food chain and where it's headed. Will In-N-Out be a place for experimental food items, or will it continue to maintain the simple traditions that the company began practicing way back in 1948? Does it really pay six-figure salaries? And what's the deal with the Bible verses? Here's what she revealed.
1. Why the test kitchen is always clean.
"To be honest, I don’t come here a whole lot,” Snyder said when she took the reporter into the In-N-Out test kitchen, which appears immaculate because there really isn't much testing going on in there. The burger recipe has remained almost the same for all 70 years. Consider that...
2. Only one new item has been added to the menu in the past 15 years.
In-N-Out added Ghirardelli hot chocolate in 2018, but Snyder is very wary of making drastic changes to the simple menu.
“It’s not [about] adding new products. Or thinking of the next bacon-wrapped this or that. We’re making the same burger, the same fry,” Snyder explained. “We’re really picky and strategic. We’re not going to compromise.”
3. The menu's super-low prices don't even keep up with the cost of inflation.
In-N-Out rarely raises prices — even enough to just keep up with inflation. The famous Double-Double cheeseburger cost $2.15 in 1989, which should be equivalent to $4.40 in 2018 — but that item only costs $3.85 now.
4. Snyder added two new Bible verses to products.
In-N-Out has traditionally referenced Bible verses on its cold drink cups — a source of some controversy among non-religious diners — and Snyder has added two more to its products: Proverbs 24:16 ("The wicked shall fall into mischief") is on the French fries tray and Luke 6:35 ("But love ye your enemies, and do good") is now on the coffee cups.
“I felt a deep call to make sure that I preserve those things that [my family] would want," she explained.
5. In-N-Out store managers make more than dentists
The average manager salary at In-N-Out is $163,000, which is more than the average salary of a dentist, financial advisor, or accountant in the state of California, where the company is based.
“They’re simulating an ownership mentality at the restaurant,” Morgan Stanley equity analyst John Glass told Forbes. “That manager now has skin in the game.”
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