The Secret Reason In-N-Out Does Random Pop Ups Overseas


“Animal style” is a very appropriate title for In-N-Out Burgers’ famous hidden menu burgers and fries, because, as it turns out, their business moves are seriously savage. The thought of an In-N-Out pop up shop is probably very enticing to burger lovers outside of the United States — who have either visited one of the burger chain’s locations while on holiday here, or who have lusted after photos of the chain’s menu items. Luckily for people in parts of London, Tokyo, and Australia, that thought has become a reality several times, as the restaurants have taken their talents abroad in the form of limited time pop ups.

But as much as locals might like to think In-N-Out Burger is planning global domination, that’s not the reason the chain makes guest appearances on the fast food scene in other countries. In Australia, in particular, trademark laws have a “use it or lose” quality to them. If they are not used within a five-year span of time, companies could lose protection for their names and logos. International businesses, though they may never create a fully running branch overseas, could be vulnerable to someone else taking their ideas in other countries if they apply for a trademark. This would dilute the brand in a whole host of ways. To avoid the misfortune of Burger King, who lost its trademark and had to become Hungry Jack’s, In-N-Out found a workaround to establishing a permanent presence in the Land Down Under by simply hosting pop-ups every so often to use their trademark in the country.

So far, this is working for the chain, who has already caught a company called Hashtag Burgers coming pretty close to infringement with their Down N’ Out restaurants in the Sydney CBD and Ryde in the northwest. The chain’s legal case against Hashtag Burgers is bolstered by their propensity for pop ups. Unfortunately for… most of the nation and all foreign countries… In-N-Out has not announced any plans to expand overseas. But at least fans abroad can expect a taste of their burgers every few years.