A Conversation for McDonald's
JD Started conversation Aug 28, 2001
Great article! I think that the family that owns and operates In-n-Out Burger, a fantastic hamburger chain - not a franchise though! - would take slight issue with the statistic on who invented drive-through service first. I'd put a link up here, but forego being moderated and simply mention that a diligent search using your favorite search engine will most likely turn up the In-n-OutBurger website. The debate is probably completely pointless in any event, as I think it was a case of one (In-n-Out) "inventing" the two-way microphone/speaker setup that allowed the other (McDonald's) to make the first drive-through as opposed to the drive-up which had been popular in Southern California since the 50s.
Fuel is only added to the fires of rivalry due to the fact that the Big Mac is suspiciously (read: exactly minus the extra bread slice in the middle) like In-n-Out's "double double" burger. One of the nice things about In-n-Out (besides the fact that their burgers just taste better than anyone else's) is that they take great pride in paying their employees more than the minimum wage requirements set by law - while a small token when it comes to working in the fast food industry, it is nevertheless a nice perk, and consequently the employees of In-n-Out have always seemed to be more efficient, understanding, cheerful, and just plain better than those of other establishments.
Also, In-n-Out has no freezers or microwaves. That's right, none. They make everything fresh, burgers, fries, and milkshakes (with real ice cream for a change!). I'd better stop, I'm making myself very hungry.
The downside of In-n-Out? Partly due to their popularity and partly due to the time it takes to make things fresh, the lines are always wrapped around the block at the places. They're also nearly all drive-throughs only, though some have some place to sit down outside or more rarely inside. Location is a problem for most of the World, as they're all located in California, mostly the Southern half. Well, they've got some now in Arizona and Nevada I think, and might possibly be expanding towards other states in the Southwest USA. I'm waiting for one to go up in New Mexico, but it's hard for fast food to make it out here sometimes since we've got so many other good restaurants.
Anyway, I just thought I'd point out a couple other reasons to dislike McDonald's, or at least to get another perspective on the ubiquitous company.
One more thing, In n Out has much better fries than McDonalds! (That is, unless you're a total grease jocky who doesn't want to taste potatoes in your french fries!)
I am sad that the nearest In n Out burger place is at least a half hour drive from where I live... and I live in what has to be the fast food capital of the world. I actually heard from someone that Castro Valley, CA, USA is actually listed in the book of world records as having the most fast food establishments in an area... I'm curious to know if that's actually a true fact, or not. Any one who has acess to the book of world records, please check for me Heck, we've even got two McDonalds, and we're a tiny little place!
JD Posted Aug 29, 2001
Castro Valley, eh? Heheh. I'm not sure about the fast food joints, but there are some good restaurants there. The famous (for those that have seen the film "Mrs. Doubtfire") Bridges Restaurant is around there, in Danville. But of course, you knew that. It's been a while, but I used to go out to Livermore a lot for work ... don't remember all that many fast food restaurants there - not like Tucson Arizona, just to name a place that springs to mind.
Bluebottle Posted Aug 30, 2001
Hmmm... Never heard of In-n-Out before, so how large a company is it?
Is it on the scale of Britain's Wimpy, which I prefer as they assume you want a meal, and not a snack, and can incorporate a waiter service as well as fast food? Wimpy is nationwide, but not worldwide like McDonalds etc.
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