Tag Archives: In-n-Out Burger

In-n-Out Burger Book Review

in-n-out burger secret menu bookOur awesome public library system here in San Francisco had set aside the In-n-Out Burger book (categorized in the business section) for me and I just read it on my trip to and from Seattle.  Here’s my quick review and thoughts…

As a read, this book is a quick one.  At close to 300 pages of actual content (and lots of notes at the end), it details the rise of the burger chain from its humble beginnings in Baldwin Park, CA through it’s current state.  Harry and Esther Snyder started In-n-Out Burger and the company has stayed a family business and remained privately held even while the entire fast food industry has gone corporate – for the most part.

The book details some of the drama concerning the most recent change in leadership as well as some interesting tidbits and backstories.

A few random things I learned included:

  • that one of my favorite streets in Venice, CA – Abbot Kinney – is named for the tobacco magnate who founded Venice in 1905.
  • The town of Irvine, CA, where Rich Snyder moved the headquarters offices during his tenure running In-n-Out, was designed by The Irvine Company, who designed it from the ground up in 1960 (like Celebration, FL) before it was eventually incorporated in 1971.
  • Julia Child was a big In-n-Out fan, and reportedly kept that little location guide in her purse
  • and a lot of things I already knew (Thomas Keller being a fan, secret menu and bible verse stuff, etc.)

But back to the content of the book itself – author Stacy Perman’s quotes seem to do little to support the text when she uses them – to me the quotes are too short and it would have been nice to get more context aside from a one liner.. Her writing style wasn’t all that compelling to me either, but luckily the story of In-n-Out Burger and the machinations of the business are strong enough to propel the story.  Maybe it’s because I am one of those fanatical In-n-Out fans that I demand the greatest prose to accompany this great burger institution’s story.

Oh well, who could live up to that.  I guess maybe if I can get Haruki Murakami into In-n-Out then maybe he could write something about that.  Now that would be freaking awesome…

Well, I will leave you with a nice quote from our own San Francisco Mayor – Gavin Newsom – from the books back cover: “When fast-food restaurants tried to locate to Fisherman’s Wharf, our local merchants were opposed to every one of them – except In-n-Out.  Because every meal is fresh and made from scratch, In-n-Out is in a class by itself.”