In-N-Out Burger History
In 1948, the first In-N-Out Burger was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park. Harry's idea of a drive-thru hamburger stand where customers could order through a two-way speaker box was quite unique. In that era, it was common to see carhops serving those who wanted to order food from their car. Harry's idea caught on and California's first drive-thru hamburger stand was born.
The Snyder's business philosophy was simple: "Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment." These principles have worked so well over the years that they are still the company's fundamental philosophy.
Quality, freshness, and service were very important to Harry and Esther. Their sons, Guy and Rich, learned the business from the "ground floor". From an early age, Guy and Rich worked at In-N-Out, learning the principles that were to become the cornerstones of In-N-Out's philosophy.
It was almost three years before a second In-N-Out was opened. By the time of Harry Snyder's death in 1976, there were only 18 drive-thru locations. Rich took over as President at the age of 24, and with Guy's help, established a commissary at the Baldwin Park Headquarters. This new facility allowed In-N-Out to have total quality control over all In-N-Out ingredients. In addition, they created the In-N-Out "University", where new managers are trained and the In-N-Out formula for success is consistently reinforced. While Rich was President, In-N-Out grew from those 18 locations in 1976 to 93 locations at the time of his death in 1993. Guy Snyder became Chairman of the Board and CEO in 1993.
As Chairman of the Board, H. Guy Snyder, (the H. stands for Harry, named after his father) led In-N-Out into the future with continued expansion throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. Guy carried on the same tradition that was set in 1948 by his parents, stressing the same basic values that helped make In-N-Out so successful. While Guy was Chairman of the Board, In-N-Out grew from 93 locations to 140 at the time of his death in 1999.
The atmosphere of enthusiasm for serving customers the freshest quality hamburgers and french fries can be seen all the way from the many store locations to the office Associates.
Though times have changed, little has changed at In-N-Out. The menu-burgers, fries and drinks-is still the same basic menu customers have enjoyed since 1948. Everything is still made fresh to order. There are no microwaves or freezers. Customers may observe french fries being made from hand-diced, fresh, whole potatoes. And the shakes are made from real ice cream.
There have been a few modifications in recent years. The original In-N-Out offered only drive-thru and walk up service. Most of the newer In-N-Out Burger locations provide indoor and outdoor seating. Aside from building improvements, though, In-N-Out has retained the basic traditions that have made it a favorite for 60 years.
In-N-Out remains privately owned and the Snyder family has no plans to take the company public or franchise any units. All Associates are treated like family. Many Associates have been with In-N-Out for over 20 years, some even worked with Harry and Esther in the early years. These relationships and the commitment to the company's philosophies continue to make In-N-Out a very special place to work.