This Southern California staple inspires intense, almost-cultish loyalty, which last year compelled one company to offer to ship In-N-Out burgers to the East Coast for more than $50 a pop. A basic hamburger costs about $2. The Irvine-based chain has been around since 1948, making it one of the original purveyors of better burgers. The restaurants have several famous features, including the drive-thru lines that often wrap around the block. Its red and yellow aesthetic is often the target of copycats, including one recently in China. Its official menu is simple, but fans have long speculated about secret offerings, such as the Animal Style dressing and the so-called "100 x 100" monstrosity with a hundred meat patties squeezed between a single set of buns. Because the company is family-owned and intensely private, not much is known about the company's financials, though QSR magazine estimated in 2010 that In-N-Out pulled in $472.5 million in sales. It has long been a regional chain, only venturing beyond California in 1992. In-N-Out still has fewer than 300 restaurants scattered across the Southwest.
Susan Goldman / Bloomberg News.
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