Last week, Lynsi Snyder -- the extremely private billionaire CEO of beloved California Double-Double emporium In-N-Out Burger -- gave a rare, in-depth interview to Forbes, during which she talked a bit about the company’s history, her own past, and the chain’s reasoning behind keeping the menu simple.
She also spoke about the chain’s slow expansion, a topic that really gets fans and casual Animal Style-watchers more jacked up than the occasional talk of bacon on the menu. (That’s not gonna happen, by the way: “It’s not [about] adding new products. Or thinking of the next bacon-wrapped this or that. We’re making the same burger, the same fry,” she told Forbes.)
According to Snyder, the brand is making a slow push to open in Colorado, setting up a regional HQ, which is kind of a big deal: See, In-N-Out has its supply chain and quality control on lock, and won't open a new restaurant unless it's less than a day's drive from a warehouse. This news is likely to perk up folks who have long dreamed of having an In-N-Out in their own towns. After all, the company has this decade begun slinging mustard-grilled burgers in Texas and Oregon, the latter of which prompted pilgrimages by Portland food nerds who made the four-hour drive to Grants Pass when In-N-Out opened up shop.
If In-N-Out opens up in Colorado and follows its strategy of firing up the grill in off-highway locations along the travel arteries of the US highway system, logic would dictate that the expansion will continue. Double-Doubles in Wyoming! Nebraska! Kansas! The hope for true believers is that this points to an Animal Style wave, with In-N-Out trailblazing an eastern expansion that will see them march toward the Atlantic, eventually caravanning to Shake Shack's home turf.
Well, the Forbes interview giveth hope, and it taketh it away.
“I don’t see us stretched across the whole U.S. I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas -- draw a line up and just stick to the left. That’s in my lifetime,” Snyder told Forbes. “I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town. I like that we’re unique. That we’re not on every corner. You put us in every state and it takes away some of its luster.”
So, sorry, friends in Spearfish, South Dakota. In-N-Out isn’t coming for you. And this is actually a very, very good thing.