Most Californians have indulged in local favorites like Jamba Juice, Baha Fresh and of course In-N-Out Burger (I went through a low-carb phase years ago relying on their bunless, lettuce-wrapped cheeseburgers). For those not familiar with the burger chain, In-N-Out is a bit of an oddity in the fast food industry — it’s healthy, cheap, has a very limited menu and it’s not usually fast… it’s very rare to find a location where there isn’t a line up around the block waiting for the drive-through.
I knew about the religious background of this chain (there are biblical references on the bottom of their cups), but I didn’t know a lot about its successful business practices. A new book by Stacy Perman delves into the details of how the chain remains successful — by focusing on its people. Of note, the chain grows organically — opening stores only when new management grows from within employee ranks. Managers make 100K plus bonuses. As a result of their best practices, they have a low turnover rate, which is a rarity in the fast food industry.
If you’re interested in the story, BusinessWeek also has a good article on how In-N-Out is professionalizing fast food. And of course, next time you’re in California, try the burgers.