I’ve never quite understood why In-N-Out Burger has become such a place to go with people that are visiting LA, but is certainly is. I have a lot of friends and clients flying into Los Angeles and almost always I’m asked to take them to an In-N-Out Burger while they are in LA.
Perhaps it is because the chain was founded in Los Angeles county in 1948 and operates primarily in Southern California (it has since expanded into the rest of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and Oregon). It is currently headquartered in Irvine, down in Orange County just south of Los Angeles.
Or maybe it is because In-N-Out Burger has resisted franchising its operations or going public to keep the quality of food and the customer experience from being compromised. It is also possible that customers appreciate the fact the their employees actually enjoy working there!
The fast food drive in restaurant has been noted in the media frequently for its employee friendly policies. It is one of the few fast food chains in the United States to pay it’s employees above the Federal and state mandated minimum wage levels. Good employees can advance up the “corporate ladder” and according to a number articles a manager at In-N-Out can make up to $160,000 per year. That’s more than I made as a highly trained computer programmer, yet their prices tend to be lower than any of their competitors.
Advancing up the corporate ladder was a standard way of corporations operating in the day of my grandpa. The corporate ladder has been knocked down in the business world as a whole and employees these days all hope to make it through the year without having to train their “offshore” replacements!
Fair pay and the hope of advancing to better earning positions are great for employee morale. And good employee morale makes for happy customers that come back again and again.
I’m not being paid by In-N-Out Burger to promote them. But I do believe in supporting businesses that treat their employees well and give back to the communities they operate in.
To wrap this up, do make it a point to stop in at an In-N-Out Burger while you are visiting LA. Because if you don’t you are going to have to explain to all of your friends when you get back home why you didn’t! They will be asking you if you did.