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In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules Hardcover – April 14, 2009
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Author Stacy Perman's Guide to In-N-Out Burger's "Secret Menu"
Except for the addition of 7-Up and Dr. Pepper, In-N-Out Burger's menu has remained much as it was when the chain opened its first drive-thru in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. However, at some point in time, a "secret menu" emerged. Something of an insider's code, it is an off-menu series of variations on the chain's standard fare (Double-Double, hamburger, cheeseburger, and french fries) that has been passed on entirely by word-of-mouth through the years.
Although the "secret menu's" origins remain a mystery, part of its existence can be explained by the fact that In-N-Out Burger has always insisted on cooking-to-order each individual burger any way a customer wanted it prepared. Over time, several of these variations gained traction and somewhere along the way a number of them were given their own names. While frequently steeped in rumor and apocryphal tales the "secret menu" is almost always used by those In-N-Out customers in the know.
These are the most popular "secret menu" items. In-N-Out Burger has listed them on their website (and even trademarked their names):
Double Meat: Two beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, (optional onions) on a toasted bun.
3x3: Three beef patties, lettuce, tomato, sauce, three slices of American cheese, (optional onions) on a toasted bun.
4x4: Four beef patties, lettuce, tomato, sauce, four slices of American cheese, (optional onions) on a toasted bun.
Grilled Cheese: Two slices of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauce, (optional onions) on a toasted bun.
Protein Style: Any burger served sans bun and wrapped in lettuce.
Animal Style: Any burger with mustard cooked beef, lettuce, tomato, extra sauce, pickle, and grilled onions on a toasted bun. (Note: the Grilled Cheese can also be prepared Animal Style)
A few more "secret" variations that have made the rounds for those in the know:
X x Y: Any number of beef patties with corresponding slices of American cheese (note on one memorable Halloween evening in Las Vegas a group of friends famously ordered and consumed a 100x100).
Flying Dutchman: beef patty or patties and American cheese slice(s) no vegetables or bun.
Veggie Burger (sometimes called a Wish Burger): no beef or cheese, just lettuce, tomato, or (optional) onions on a toasted bun.
Extra Everything: just like it sounds--extra sauce, tomato, lettuce, and onions served grilled or raw.
Chopped Chilies: mild chopped peppers are added to any burger.
The "secret menu" also extends to a variety of french fry variations:
Animal Style Fries: an order of fries slathered in melted American cheese, sauce, and grilled onions.
Fries Light: reduced cooking time resulting in softer, chewier french fries.
Fries Well-Done: increased cooking time resulting in crispier, browner french fries.
Cheese Fries: french fries bathed in melted American cheese.
The usual scenario is a whole slice of fresh onion cooked with the burger but In-N-Out will serve onions grilled, raw, and chopped if asked.
For those really in the know:
If you ask an associate at the counter they will give you a serving of yellow chili peppers.
Pickles are added only upon request.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, Perman only alludes to Charles Noddin but, without him, there would be no In-N-Out. She says, "it was just Esther and Harry. The Snyders did everything themselves." Not true. Charlie and Edith Noddin devoted as much time and effort as Esther and Harry. Although Harry, being younger, did more labor. As to the secret sauce, after some minor adjustments, Harry never "spent years perfecting" it.
But the greatest omission is the lack of explaining why the first In-N-Out was built in a place as isolated as Baldwin Park. It was a desperate place to start a business. And the story is untold.
She states that, "in all probability it was the country's first (drive through)". That's not so either. Enterprises evolve and the lunch wagons of the 1890s passed food to carriages driving in the street and to customers on the sidewalk. Surprisingly, about 1898, there was a drive up for carriages.
Harry Snyder did invent the two-way speaker. The reason he installed it was because when two or three cars were lined up, ordering by hand signals and shouting just didn't work; it was not so "motorists could order at one end" and "pick up their food at the other end." Also, the speakers were installed later, about two years when the need arose.
Perman states that Snyder was a savvy businessman who established Snyder Distributing. He actually divided the business into several independent units but it wasn't his idea; it was suggested by a CPA.Read more ›
As the rest of the industry spent every waking moment and dollar on lowering costs... whether through automation... or figuring out how many different ways they can freeze meat and potatoes... Harry refused to worry about lowering costs... he worried about "everything"... and I mean "everything"... being fresh. Only fresh meat... only fresh potatoes that they peeled and cooked themselves... every single day. They made their own buns... and made their own "secret sauce"...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An In-N-Out Burger opened up in the last few years around where I live in Texas and you'd think they moved the US capital down here with all the press it got. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Delta Stet
Great book! I have never eaten at In-N-Out but if I ever get to california or texas I will...This is how a company should be run!Published 6 months ago by rbng
Thanks for a great product , never disappointed when we order thru AmazonPublished 7 months ago by Bruederle
Incredible research and writing. My mind officially blown. I read a book a week on business topics. This is easily among my top 5 all time best business book.Published 8 months ago by KENNETH NGUYEN
Not only is this a intricate history of the best hamburger joint on earth, it's also very informative about early Southern California and the fast food industry as a whole.Published 9 months ago by Sean Corona