When In-N-Out Burger first came to Arizona nine years ago, I didn't understand what the fuss was all about. Now I have a much better understanding of what it is that makes In-N-Out so special: it's everything.
In-N-Out Burger started in California way back in 1948. Since then, they have grown to 248 restaurants with locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. The first Arizona location opened at Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. in the year 2000.
At the time, In-N-Out's entry into the Phoenix area was an event that made headlines. It was more than just the grand opening of a new burger stand; it was an event that people came to be part of. My dad took me there on opening day and I was shocked at the long line of cars snaking its way around the parking lot. We must have waited over an hour to get to the front of the line, it was so busy! I had never seen anything like it. After all, they are just burgers, right?
After that first bite, I began to understand why In-N-Out's motto is "Quality You Can Taste." The burger was juicy and flavorful like nothing I'd ever had before. The bun was toasted and the preparation was first rate. My burger was put together with care and not hastily slapped together. The fries were plain, but good. Since that day, In-N-Out has grown on me to the point where I now preach its goodness to others.
Every location is owned by the company and not by a franchisee. This gives the company very tight control over each restaurant. The dining area is clean and spotless with an almost surgical precision. The employees are friendly and glad to see you. They treat you like a real person, and they have never gotten my order wrong.
The menu at In-N-Out has a basic offering of burgers, fries, and drinks with shakes for dessert. There are no gimmicky new items-of-the-month like wraps, tacos, or smoothies. The focus is squarely on burgers done very well.
Every In-N-Out restaurant is staffed with people who work hard, because you can see them preparing the food from the register. You can watch them cut the fries from real potatoes and prepare the burger to perfection right in front of you.
In an industry where things switch to drive-thru only after 10PM, In-N-Out offers dine-in service until 1am on weeknights and 1:30am on weekends. Somehow my local restaurant always seems to be packed, even after midnight on a weeknight.
There is no single factor that makes In-N-Out better than the competition, because they do everything differently. In the world of fast food, In-N-Out defies the "bigger is better" mentality of its rivals. This different way of thinking has earned In-N-Out the most loyal, dare I say, fanatical customers I have ever seen.
If you haven't tried an In-N-Out Burger for yourself, then you're missing out on "Quality You Can Taste." There are over a dozen Arizona locations that would love to serve you, so try it out today!