Search Results For In n Out Burger

It is 21 degrees in Upstate New York today and I am thinking about our trip to Southern California last summer. I miss the warmth of Southern California and I am craving an In-N-Out Burger.

No trip to California is complete without lunch at In-N-Out Burger. In-N-Out Burger was founded on the West Coast in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California. It  was the first drive through hamburger stand in California. In-N-Out Burger has developed a cult following around the country. In-N-Out Burger was founded on a simple purpose that still drives it today.

“Give customers the freshest, high quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”

Last summer we visited Southern California on vacation. In-N-Out Burger was high on our list of “must do” things this summer. After a morning and early afternoon touring Point Loma, we visited an In-N-Out Burger in San Diego. As usual, the parking lot was full and there was a line out the door. Our lunch was prepared quickly and as usual was delicious. The menu at In-Out-Burger is simple; burgers, fries, shakes and soft drinks. Unlike most fast food giants, no meal is prepared until the customer orders it. In-Out-Burger also has a not so secret menu where your burger is customized to your tastes.

In-N-Out is a privately owned company that has resisted expanding through franchises for fear of sacrificing quality for profits. In-N-Out places quality,customers and employees at the center of its business. This approach has helped In-N-Out become a cultural institution with a very loyal following.

Have you eaten at an In-N-Out Burger? Please share your experience.

No trip to California is complete without lunch at In-N-Out Burger. In-N-Out Burger was founded on the West Coast in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California as the first drive through hamburger stand in California. In-N-Out Burger has developed a cult following around the country. In-N-Out Burger was founded on a simple purpose that still drives it today.
“Give customers the freshest, high quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”

We recently visited Southern California on vacation and after eating at In-N-Out Burger in Northern California last summer. In-N-Out Burger was high on our list of “must do” things this summer. After a morning and early afternoon touring Point Loma, we visited an In-N-Out Burger in San Diego. As usual, the parking lot was full and there was a line out the door, but our lunch was prepared quickly and as usual was delicious. The menu at In-Out-Burger is simple; burgers, fries, shakes and soft drinks. Unlike most fast food giants, no meal is prepared until the customer orders it. In-Out-Burger also has a not so secret menu where your burger is customized to your tastes.
In-N-Out is a privately owned company that has resisted expanding through franchises for fear of sacrificing quality for profits. In-N-Out places quality,customers and employees at the center of its business. This approach has helped In-N-Out become a cultural institution with a very loyal following.
Have you eaten at an In-N-Out Burger? Please share your experience.

I am a big fan of the “Better Burger” concept. Better Burgers are one of the fastest growing segments in the fast food restaurant market. “Better Burger” restaurants provide upscale fast food that beats the chains on food quality and customer experience at reasonable prices. There are many regional chains emerging with exciting growth prospects. I have written in this blog about the product and marketing innovations of “IN N OUT BURGER”, “Five Guys“, “Smashburger” and “Shake Shack“.

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I am now working in Baltimore and recently discovered BOARDWALK FRESH BURGERS & FRIES in the Hunt Valley Mall in Cockeysville, Maryland. Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries was founded by Dave and Fran DiFerdinando in White Marsh, Maryland in 1981. They were inspired by the legendary fresh-cut fries that they had eaten on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. The brothers had vacationed there as children. Their idea was to make the fresh-cut french fries they discovered at the Maryland shore available to people around the country. The brothers offered their french fries with a high quality fresh burger that was hand formed every morning and made to order.

I had lunch last Sunday at BOARDWALK. My meal was delicious. My burger was made to order. I enjoyed a 7 ounce Bacon Burger with cheese and fried onions. The fries are outstanding and worth the hype. The employees were enthusiastic and helped provide a pleasant customer experience. The stores are designed in an ocean boardwalk theme which adds to their appeal.    

Boardwalk has a simple menu. Customers have two options when ordering their burgers. They can choose one of the 3 signature burgers, or build a burger totally customized to their liking. The famous fries are hand-cut every day and only made to order.  They are cooked in 100% peanut oil. Boardwalk recommends dressing them the way they do in Maryland with loads of vinegar and Old Bay seasoning. I will try that option next time. Other menu items include beef hotdogs, chicken, shakes and funnel cake fries for dessert.   

Boardwalk currently has 18 stores in seven states. Plans are under development to add 200 restaurants across the United States in the next couple of years. Boardwalk has built a unique brand and concept with strong recognition in its local markets. Others have noticed. The New York Times ranked Boardwalk Fries on their baseball stadium culinary report. Boardwalk Fries are available at Oriole Park in Camden Yards Baltimore.

Have you tried Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries?

America has a strong love affair with the hamburger. Half the country reports eating a burger at least once a week. 90% of people eat at least one burger a month. Hamburgers are among the biggest and most competitive food markets in the United States. In 2012, the “Better Burger” market grew by over 20%.

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Smashburger is an American chain of fast casual burgers restaurants that originated in Denver, Colorado in 2007. The company was founded by Tom Ryan. The name Smashburger refers to the process by which its 1/4-pound, 1/3-pound and 1/2-pound burgers are made. It begins with a ball of raw Angus Beef, which a grill cook “smashes” with a handheld steel mold on to a butter-brushed grill for ten seconds, giving the patty a caramelized sear to lock in the juices. Every burger is made fresh to order. Smashburger offers unconventional toppings including avocado, fried eggs and garlic mushrooms. The typical meal at Smashburger costs $10-$12, $2-$4 more than a meal at McDonald’s.

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Every market has specialized burgers created for and sold only in that market. In the D.C. market, for example, there’s the Capital Burger, which isn’t made with lettuce but baby arugula. It’s also has grilled onion, aged Swiss cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes and mayo and is served on a brioche bun. Or, there’s the Brooklyn Burger which is topped with grilled pastrami and served on a pretzel bun with yellow mustard. Smashburger also sells sweet potato fries, chili cheese fries, and the house-specialty Smashfries, which come tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic.

Smashburger has experienced rapid growth. It is estimated that Smashburger will end the year with over 250 locations. Their goal is to build 400 new units over the next six years. When Smashburger opened its first unit in 2007, the better burger category was just starting to take off. Six years later Smashburger is an industry leader. Forbes magazine ranked Smashburger as America’s most promising company. Smashburger has also made the Inc 500/5000 list an exclusive ranking of the fastest growing private companies for three consecutive years.

Smashburger marketing has relied heavily on social media and generating word of mouth. Smashburger focuses heavily on events, such as when it offered a free sandwich to anyone with “burger” or “berger” in their name on National Cheeseburger day, he said. Each time it enters a new market, it contacts social media trend-setters like restaurant bloggers and “mommy” bloggers who influence where consumers eat. Then, before the restaurant opens its door, it invites the bloggers in — as a group — to demonstrate how the food is prepared.

The other key differentiator is the in-store environment and customer experience. The stores have a cool look. The food is brought to the table, so consumers  don’t have to stand around and wait. The burgers are served in a stainless-steel wire basket with a real knife and fork not plastic.

Have you eaten at a Smashburger location?

Five Guys was founded in 1985 by Jerry Murrell in suburban Washington DC.  Murrell had four sons who didn’t want to go to college, so Murrell thought of using the money he had saved for college to start a burger business. He named it Five Guys after his four sons and himself. In 1987, a fifth son was born and the chain is now named for his five sons.

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When he developed the Five Guys concept, Jerry wanted to capture the authenticity of a burger joint in the small town in Michigan where he grew up. Five Guys created a new twist in the fast-food burger market. The burgers are not mass-produced, like they are at McDonald’s and Burger King, but are made to order and served with a large helping of hand-cut fries. Five Guys serves only hand-formed burgers grilled to perfection. The fresh-cut fries are cooked in pure peanut oil.

Five Guys has helped to build what has become known as the “Better Burger Category” of fast-casual restaurants. “Better Burgers” are hamburgers which sell in the $8 range. “Better Burgers” are now a $2.2 Billion segment of the hamburger market that grew 16% in 2011. Five Guys has nearly 50% of that segment. The entire fast-food burger category is a $40 billion industry in the United States that is dominated by McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Growth in this segment has been more modest at about 3%. Americans are falling in love with a better burger product.

Other “Better Burger” chains existed before Five Guys. In-N-Out Burger, which started in California was founded in the late 1940’s, Fuddruckers started in 1980. The category really took off around 2005 with the rise of Five Guys. Burger Lounge, based in San Diego, is offering a grass-fed beef in its burgers and has a unique place in this growing category.

Today Five Guys has more than 1,000 stores nationwide. The Murrell family runs 200 of them and the rest are franchises. All of the franchise territories in the United States and Canada have been sold.

Five Guys has built a strong loyal following through word of mouth. Five Guys has also benefited from some great press. In 2009, President Obama stopped in for a cheeseburger, with dozens of cameramen in tow.

Five Guys is a great example of brand that has been built by focusing on delivering a great product and an excellent customer experience. They have for the most part avoided traditional advertising.

As Murrell’s mother always told him, “if you can give a good haircut, make a good drink and make a good hamburger, you’ll be all right in life”.

Who makes your favorite hamburger?

Fast food is changing for the better. Every other Friday, I fly through Baltimore Airport, known to many as BWI, around 6PM after a long week of work. When I land, I am extremely hungry and ready for something good to eat. At most airports, I grab a granola bar and wait till I get home to eat because of the bad food.  BWI has the typical fast food choices: McDonalds, Quiznos, Subway, a sports bar with an overpriced burger, Dunkin Donuts, a tasteless pizza place and, of course, a Starbucks. BWI has something that most airports don’t have: a Chipotle. Chipotle is the only restaurant in the airport with any customers. Last Friday, I patiently waited in a 15 minute line for my usual, a steak burrito. There was no line at McDonalds.

Chipotle has changed the way consumers think about fast food. Chipotle has elevated the fast food experience through good food and natural ingredients at a fair price. As Joe from Chipotle tweeted “Its not easy to find good food in airports”. He’s right, but that shouldn’t be the case. Chipotle has successfully challenged many of the rules in the fast food industry. Consumers are willing to wait 15-20 minutes in line and risk missing their flight for the good food at a fair value that Chipotle is offering. Chipotle asked the question, “Why shouldn’t fast food and airport food be good and good for you?” They have changed the game and other fast food restaurants will need to change or risk major sales decreases.

Have you eaten at Chipotle?  

“Better Burger” is one of the fastest growing segments in the fast food restaurant market. Five Guys has grown rapidly and now has over 1,000 locations, In-and Out Burger has close to 300 locations on the West Coast and Smashburger has over 200 locations. “Better Burgers” account for an estimated one-third of fast food burger sales. “Better Burger” restaurants provide upscale fast food that beats the chains on food quality and customer experience at reasonable prices.

On a recent trip to Connecticut, I had the opportunity to visit a Shake Shack restaurant, a growing burger chain headquartered in New York. I had read about Shake Shack and was interested to visit one of their 23 locations. Shake Shack is a modern-day burger stand that serves Black Angus Burgers, Vienna All-Beef Chicago Style Hot Dogs, and custard made from premium ice cream. They also serve beer and wine. Shake Shack’s burgers are 100% all-natural Angus Beef and contain no hormones or antibiotics. All burgers are ground fresh and sourced from local artisans. Shake Shack combines high quality classic food with a pleasant customer experience.

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Shake Shack was a complete accident. Shake Shack started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan. It began when Danny Meyer and the Madison Square Park Conservancy decided to raise funds to help turn the park around. The cart was a success. The stand disposed of the notion that fast food had to be precooked or even prepared quickly in favor of quality ingredients and customer experience. The lines for the hot dogs soon became so long that New York City and the Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated the stand, decided to open a bigger facility at the same location in 2004.

The concept resonated with the local community. Soon there were long lines with more than an hour wait. In 2008, The Union Square Hospitality Group opened another location on New York’s Upper West Side and in 2009 at the New York Met’s new stadium, Citi Field. In 2009, the New York Times called Shake Shack the “anti-chain”. Each restaurant has a unique design that represents the local community. It is the opposite of the typical fast food chain which crams people into a cookie-cutter space to feed them as many unhealthy calories as possible – then get them to leave.

The Union Square Hospitality Group owns Shake Shack. Union Square Hospitality Group was founded by Danny Meyer and runs some of New York City’s most famous restaurants including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and the North End Grill. Shake Shack’s management team honed it skills running upscale restaurants.

Shake Shack has taken the time to get the concept, brand and experience right before expanding. They focus on trying to do three things really well:

  • Consistently deliver the highest quality, most delicious food
  • Create a place where people love to come together in the neighborhood
  • Offer great value

Their internal motto is “The bigger we get the smaller we need to act”. It will be interesting to see if Shake Shack can maintain a great customer experience as it expands.

Have you eaten at a Shake Shack?

“March Madness” is one of my favorite times of the year. The beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournament signals that spring in the Northeast is just around the corner. I have had the opportunity to attend three “Final Fours” and numerous regional games. “March Madness” is an exciting three weeks of college basketball filled with upsets, buzzer beaters, mid majors and the eventual crowning of the National Champion. The tournament has other great brand terms “Sweet Sixteen”, “Elite 8” and the “Final Four”. Marketers yearn for great names like “March Madness” to make their products stand out.

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The term “March Madness” was first used to describe the NCAA Tournament in 1982 by none other than Brent Musburger. It appears that when Brent talks people listen. As well all know the term caught on. In the beginning, there was no promotional strategy behind using “March Madness” to market the tournament. It just happened organically. Over time CBS has made the phrase ubiquitous and an integral part of their promotional strategy.

The term “March Madness” traces its origin back to the Illinois’ statewide high-school basketball tournament, which began in 1908. In 1939, an official with the Illinois High School Association, Henry V. Porter, penned an article called “March Madness” for the organization’s in-house magazine. “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel,” he wrote. Porter could not have predicted the impact the term “March Madness” would have on college basketball fans and bracket pools.

The NCAA and the Illinois High School Association eventually went to Trademark Court over the name and the settlement led to a joint venture between IHSA and NCAA, called the March Madness Athletic Association (MMAA) which now holds all trademark rights to the term “March Madness.” In fact, they own federal registrations containing that term, covering everything from the actual tournaments to broadcasting and webcasting the tournaments to mugs, T-shirts, towels, and even carbonated soft drinks. The IHSA controls the name on the high-school level, while the NCAA has a perpetual license to use the phrase in connection with its (much larger) collegiate tournament.

What was your favorite “March Madness” game?