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In-N-Out CEO Crushes Your Hopes of the Chain’s Eastward Expansion

by Eben Diskin Oct 17, 2018

In-N-Out Burger, a staple of California fast-food dining, won’t be going east anytime soon. Although many have long hoped that the popular burger chain may eventually go national, CEO Lynsi Snyder effectively squashed those dreams in a recent interview with Forbes.

The chain currently has locations as far out as Utah and Texas, and Snyder said the business is eyeing an expansion to Colorado. That type of expansion talk might be enough to spark fantasies of In-N-Outs coming to a New York, Virginia, or Massachusetts neighborhood near you, but Snyder doesn’t give those fantasies long to ferment.

“I don’t see us stretched across the whole US,” she told Forbes. “I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas — draw a line up and just stick to the left.”

The reason for In-N-Out’s relatively limited expansion is related to its supply chain and quality control, which is good news for those who regularly eat there. To keep its ingredients fresh, the chain won’t open a new location unless it’s less than a day’s drive from an In-N-Out warehouse. This dedication to quality control might mean no In-N-Out in your community, but it also means you’ll have something special (and fresh) to look forward to when you travel west.

“I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town,” Snyder told Forbes. “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.”

The company’s reluctance to embrace change applies to more than just location and the red-and-white color scheme. Snyder’s grandparents founded In-N-Out in 1948, and its burger and fry recipes have remained virtually the same ever since. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

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