January 30, 2006

Will bigness botch LA’s best burgers?

A boardroom – and court room – struggle is going on between top executives of In-N-Out Burger, home of the best fast-food burger in LA (and maybe the world). What’s behind it seems to be a misguided push to “unlock” the value inherent in this beloved regional chain by rapidly expanding the number of stores it runs.

If you've been to Southern California, and ordered from their secret menu, you know what's at stake.

A close observer of the food service industry says that In-N-Out's

"…secret is that they haven't tried to be all things to all people. They haven't tried to say they have items that are healthy and nutritious. They don't have a kids' menu. But they do have good burgers."

Can good burgers survive this quest for bigness? Look at the past 100 years of the U.S. beer industry for some clues. Or stop by your local McDonalds.


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