The nearest In-n-Out was off the 60 freeway, in Hacienda Heights, which was a good forty miles away. We knew that we'd get a yummy animal style burger on our way back from a Dodger game or visiting our grandparents in East L.A.
I can't quite put my finger on it, seeing as how there are plenty of other hamburger joints out there, but In-N-Out was special and worth the wait. The best day ever was in the mid-80's when we found out an In-N-Out was being built a couple miles from our house. Yay.
When I first met my husband, he told me about In-N-Out being his first real job. Wow. If I wasn't already crazy about him before, knowing this juicy bit of info, I sure was now. Just thinking of his cute face and behind wearing that white uniform, flipping my patties and slicing my potatoes...
Hold on while I fan myself for a moment.
When our homeschool co-op recently organized a field trip to In-N-Out, you know we had to be there. The fact that we got a free meal at the end of our tour--nevermind that we'd be eating cheeseburgers for breakfast--may or may not have been the motivating factor. Yes, this homeschooling gig is really rough sometimes. But really guys, we just love In-N-Out so much we wanted to see the inner workings of the place. I swear.
|My crew for the day, plus my nephew T who looks really excited to be there (no really, I promise he was excited).|
My kids were so fascinated by everything on the tour--the fridge, the massive bags of onions and potatoes and the story about the tomato shortage and how In-N-Out didn't want their customers deprived of tomatoes so they paid the higher price. And then there were the sponge dough buns.
Yep, you can squeeze an In-N-Out bun and it springs back into shape. Dude.
|Paying close attention to the machine that peels the potatoes.|
|They all got to wear the cute hats.|
|This potato-cutter was a huge hit with the kids.|
|It takes muscle to man one of these things!|
|Xixi kept laughing because she literally hung from it with her body weight and the lever wouldn't even budge. The employee told us that they switch stations often because their arms turn to jelly after a consecutive amount of time on each machine.|
|Miss Xixi said she wants to work for In-N-Out--but only at the register so she can smile and talk to people!|
After our tour, we got to have our burger. Yesssss.
Who doesn't want a cheeseburger animal style (with grilled onions, please!) for breakfast every once and a while?
|Cy gives it a thumbs up.|
|Miss Midgey and her buddy look pretty stoked about their burger.|
What struck me the most was the fact that In-N-Out seemed like a great place to work. Each employee seemed genuinely excited to be there. They shared lots of inside details about how the company boosts employee morale, how they all have a fun spirit of competition amongst themselves (like, who is the fastest at peeling potatoes? etc.) and how it's their favorite place to eat (even on their off days). It's a family-owned business, not a franchise.
The manager at this particular location shared his history with the company, and how he's been an employee since he was 16 (he was now 41). Steady income, health insurance, 401K--it sounds like In-N-Out is a pretty sweet place to work. The young man in the photo above, showing the kids how the potato cutter works? He said as a kid, his dream was to work at In-N-Out!
I already have plans for Noah to get a work permit when he turns 16 in September. I asked about hiring teenagers in this economy, and the manager said, "As long as he works hard, likes to have fun and he wears a smile on his face, he is more than welcome to apply."
I see a lot of In-N-Out burgers in our future and I'm not complaining.
In-N-Out Burger has over 250 locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas. Their Double Double burger was recently crowned Top Fast Food Burger in America.
Disclosure: In-N-Out didn't compensate me for this post. I just love them and wanted ya'll to know.