In-N-Out Burger

Some History Behind the Family-Owned Burger Joint and Why People Love It So Much!

As I have mentioned before, when my family travels the country, we like to try new places that we don’t have in our area!

My son loves trying new burger places, so when he heard we were going to Utah on our trip out west, he said, “As soon as we find a town that serves In-N-Out Burger, we HAVE TOO stop, no matter what!”  So we gave him the task to find an In-N-Out Burger on a route that was on our road trip.

Welcome to Utah, Where In-N-Out Burger Is

A Little History of In-N-Out Burger

Harry Snyder and his wife Ester were the masterminds behind In-N-Out Burger.  Harry was born in 1913 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and passed away in 1976 of cancer in California.  His wife Ester was born in 1920 in Sorento, Illinois and passed away in 2006 in California. She outlived her husband and both of their sons.  Harry and Ester met in 1947 when they were living in Seatle, Washington working at a restaurant. A year later they were married and moved to Baldwin Park, a suburb of Los Angles, California.

Harry and Ester wanted a family business, never to be franchised, that treated both their customers and employees like family.  They both believed in fresh ingredients, so Harry would do the shopping and make the burgers by hand, cut potatoes and bake fresh buns; he used real ice cream for their milkshakes. Their menu was and still is simple, yes, but sometimes that is all we need; and more simplicity in these times would be better, just my opinion.  Their milkshakes then and now are Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry made with real ice cream!

Two Single Burgers and One Double Burger Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Special Sauce

In 1948 they opened their first location in their town of Baldwin Park. Harry did the shopping for In-N-Out Burger and ran the restaurant, while Ester did the accounting for them out of their home not far from their first In-N-Out, all while raising their two sons.

Rich, the youngest son, became President of In-N-Out Burger after his father passed away. Unfortunately, Rich died a tragic death in a plane crash while returning home from a trip scouting for property to expand locations to southern California; this happened just months short of the move of In-N-Out Burger corporate headquarters to Irvine, CA.  Their other son, Guy, who was VP of In-N-Out Burger, took over the role as President after Rich passed away, till his unexpected passing in 1999. Rich’s daughter, Lynsi Snyder, is now the owner and President of In-N-Out Burger and plans to pass the business down to her children, staying in the guidelines of her grandparents: Never to franchise it and keeping the menu the same with fresh ingredients.  To this day they don’t freeze, use pre-packaged food, or microwave their products.

Two Way Speakers Invented for Drive Thru Dining, Thank You, Harry!

Shortly after their opening in 1948, Harry invented the two-way speaker, or some call it an intercom so that people didn’t have to get out of their car to purchase this delightful but straightforward hamburger.  That is what In-N-Out Burger implies, a quick place to get something fast. Thank you, Harry!

Fresh Hand-Cut Potatoes Prepared in 100% Vegetable Oil

Nowadays that is how most people order at fast food restaurants.  If I am in a hurry when grabbing something at a drive-thru restaurant, I sometimes will park and go into the restaurant to get my food quicker, because the line is usually shorter inside, (not always) than the drive-through.  Other times when I don’t think I am wearing the proper attire or I’m tired, I will do the drive-thru, no matter how long the line.

I do find myself at times wanting to use a Starbucks drive-through because living in my area for so long, if I go inside, chances are I will run into someone I know, and either I don’t have the time to chat, or I am just looking for some alone time.  I love talking and running into people usually, just ask my kids!

We Have Arrived!

So when my son found an In-N-Out Burger, we all headed in to eat some meat!  I, of course, being an ice cream lover, had to have one of their milkshakes. Our daughter doesn’t desire burgers, so she had their grilled cheese sandwich.  Even their paper goods are interesting… they have Palm Trees on them! Hey, they started in southern California. But back to the food… it was all simply delicious!

My Milkshake in the Palm Tree In-N-Out Burger Logo Cup

The burgers were good and simple.  This particular In-N-Out Burger was very busy; I assume most of their locations are. Now our family can check In-N-Out Burger off our #LiveList and search for the next burger joint around.

In 2015 they opened their 300th family owned In-N-Out Burger restaurant in California. If you are looking to visit an In-N-Out Burger, a location can be found in Calfornia, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas.

If you have visited an In-N-Out Burger, let us know your experience.  Or if there is a burger place you would suggest that we should check out, please tell us.  It doesn’t matter where it is in this world; we will at some point most likely visit, so please let us know.

Click here to see if there is a location you would like to visit!

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  • My husband insisted I eat at the one in Vegas a couple years ago, so my sister and I went. I wished I had gotten myself a double!!

  • We love in-n-out!!! (and your photos are making me want it right now!). Thankfully we have one less than a mile from our house!

  • In-N-Out is one of my favorite burger places ever. The quality/service is the same every time, and most places can’t keep up with that standard.

  • The funny thing is, we went to In N Out all the time when we were traveling. But now that there is one literally 15 minutes from me, we never ever go. haha! They do have good food though.

    • I know what you mean. I remember living in NYC and not only I but lots of friends, never went to some of the tourist places like the Statue of Liberty till we moved away and came back for visits.

  • I have never heard of one of these. They must not be in the southeast. When I see one when traveling, I will definitely try it!

    • They are only out west, check the list of states they are in on the bottom of this post or check out locations on their website.

  • Thanks for giving some of the history. We don’t have In N Out in Colorado, so we stopped in Utah on our way to Vegas. I really wasn’t too impressed. Very limited menu and I wasn’t so sure what the hype was all about. Everyone has their favorites.

    • Well, for years I always heard great things about In-N-Out. Simple menu, fresh food and like the old days not a lot of fluff is what In-N-Out is all about. It helped to learn about the history of why so simple.

  • I love that you did a whole post on my favorite burger place ever!!! So great to spread in n out awareness and love! Everyone needs more in n out in their life!

  • This is our favorite fast food restaurant ever!! We always order the fries animal style! If we know we are going somewhere with an In-N-Out, we make sure to stop at least once!

  • I’ve never been to an In and Out Burger. I don’t ever think I’ve even seen one. Are they only out west? Burgers and milkshakes sound delicious.

    • Yes, they are only out west, you can find a list of states on the post and/or you can check out where the closest one is to you on their website. Hope you get to try it someday on your travels.

  • We had an In-and-Out Burger nearby when we lived in the Phoenix area….but we rarely went. I have tons of friends who love it, though. Thanks for sharing the history, as well!

    • Glad you had a chance to try it. I find learning about the history of places I go to makes it more interesting. The story of the ‘why’ people go into business is fascinating to me.

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