Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NPR Tackles In-N-Out Burger

No news outlet can resist eventually telling the story of SoCal's unique In-N-Out Burger chain. Most recently, NPR fell under the spell and filed this report, centered on Stacy Perman's new book, "In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks all the Rules":

The book chronicles the history of the chain starting with the company's founding in 1948 by Harry Snyder.

"Harry had a motto: Keep it simple; do one thing, and do it the best you can," Perman tells Madeleine Brand. "And they've pretty much hued pretty closely to that formula, and it's worked for them."

In-N-Out has its own process of making beef patties and delivers them, along with fresh tomatoes and potatoes, to the stores on a daily or a near-daily basis, Perman says. As a result, the stores are no farther than 500 miles away.

"I think one of the things you see, or rather don't see when you go into an In-N-Out is you don't see a freezer, you don't see infrared lights, and you don't see microwaves," she says.

Perman says In-N-Out's secret menu includes the popular Animal Style burger, named for Southern California surfers who flocked to the chain in the 1960s and were labeled animals by the clean-cut In-N-Out staff; and the Protein Style, which predates the Atkins Diet and comes wrapped in lettuce rather than on a bun.

Nothing in this report that you don't already know -- the bible verses in the wrappers, etc. But probably a few surprises for people not familiar with the beloved chain.

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