In-N-Out and McDonald’s

I’ve never eaten in an In-N-Out burger joint but frequently hear others raving about how good their food is. Anthony Bourdain once said that he never left Los Angeles without stopping for at an In-N-Out on the way to the airport.

While surfing around YouTube I came across the video below and in watching it a lot of my last two years of college were brought to mind. During most of that time, I was a swing manager at a McDonald’s in Whittier, CA. The restaurant was a corporate-owned store and that’s where I learned that the real name of McDonald’s was Franchise Realty Corporation with offices in downtown LA.

In the video, it makes a strong mention of burgers being only a part of the McDonald’s business plan and the big money being in real estate.

Like In-N-Out, McDonald’s held fast to the idea of quality ingredients back in the ’60s. Once a year employees would be gathered at a central location and food vendors would hand out samples of their products for the employees to judge. Whoever was found to have the better orange soda, for example, got the contract The buns were locally baked to very high standards and the beef was never frozen.

Also, like In-N-Out McDonald’s had a very limited menu. It sold hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double hamburgers, double cheeseburgers, fish filet sandwiches, and one could special order a grilled cheese. Other items included fresh-cut French fries, Coke, Hires’ Root Beer, and Barq’s Orange Soda. We served both decaf and regular coffee and three shades of dairy-based milkshakes, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. We had a very big walk-in fridge Tin house.

While McDonald’s has conquered the fast-food world and developed a huge menu selection In-N-Out has pretty much kept it to what made them loved. The one thing that has remained true of McDonald’s is that wherever you go the burger is going to be the same. McD’s has mastered the are of consistency. Be it good or bad, it is always the same. I’ve betting the same is true with In-N-Out but something tells me the product is consistently several notches up.

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