There are a few must-dos for every trip to California: check out the Pacific Ocean, eat as much Mexican food as you can possibly stomach (and then eat some more), and get a burger and fries at In-N-Out. Since it was founded in 1948, the burger chain has become a rite of passage for visitors and a much-beloved fast food joint (that actually treats its employees like humans) for locals. And while In-N-Out has been expanding, creeping north and east, popping up in Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and even as far east as Texas, it seems that east coasters won’t be eating animal style in their neck of the woods anytime soon.
Forbes interviewed CEO and granddaughter of the chain’s founders Lynsi Snyder about the business, and among the many interesting tidbits, one stands out. Of the chain’s expansion plans, she says,
“I don’t see us stretched across the whole U.S. I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas—draw a line up and just stick to the left. That’s in my lifetime. I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town. I like that we’re unique. That we’re not on every corner. You put us in every state and it takes away some of its luster.”
For the approximately 66 percent of the U.S. population living east of Texas, this is, to use a technical term, a huge bummer. But it’s also not a huge surprise if you’re familiar with In-N-Out’s business practices: restaurants have to be within a day’s drive of a company warehouse, guaranteeing that the ingredients will remain fresh. It’s a big part of the reason why the Colorado location likely won’t open until 2020—they need to build a new regional headquarters first.
Then again, if you’re a freak for their burgers and fries, it’s probably a good thing that they’re not trying to scale nationwide. This way, they’ll maintain those succulent, juicy burger patties and hot, salty fries (made with soy oil and hated by many, but still…).
Point being: Time to plan a trip to California.