California burger quick-service chain In-N-Out has had a cult following since its 1948 founding in Baldwin Park, Calif. It was the first drive-thru burger stand to open in California and was founded by Esther and Harry Snyder. Other burger stands in the state were using at the time.
Harry’s son Rich took over upon his father’s death in 1976 and under his leadership, the brand grew exponentially.
The fast-food burger chain has become known for paying employees above minimum wage at its locations, which are in the Western United States. The brand’s first out-of-state location in Nevada opened in 1992 after almost 60 locations across California. Upon Rich’s death in a plane crash in 1993, his brother Guy Snyder took over the leadership role for the next six years, growing the chain from 93 to 140 locations.
Throughout the early 2000s, In-N-Out expanded across the Western United States including new locations in Texas, Arizona, Oregon and Utah. From 2006, upon president Esther Snyder’s death, through 2010, chief operating officer Mark Taylor also served as president. He was the only non-family member to serve as the chain’s leader.
In-N-Out’s most famous menu item is the Double Double, two hamburger patties and two slices of cheese. It’s also known for its Spread, which is a proprietary Thousand Island sauce. The chain retains a “secret menu” of items not listed on the actual menu but that are available at every location, including the 3×3 (which has three patties and three slices of cheese), 4×4 (four patties and four slices of cheese) and Animal Style Burger (patty cooked in a thin layer of mustard, adding condiments including pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread). “Animal Style” has been trademarked by the company despite not being printed on the menu.
In-N-Out remains privately held and has not franchised in its 70-plus year history. Its leader is now the Snyders’ only grandchild, Lynsi Snyder, who has been president since 2010.
Key Data: In-N-Out
Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
Segment: Quick Service
Restaurant Segment: LSR Burger
Number of US Locations: 364
2020 Sales: Unknown
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
President: Lynsi Snyder