On layoffs, very bad attendance, and Iger's legacy being one of disgrace

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Since we're already off-topic...

I've noticed that In-and-Out Burger seems to have a more devoted fan base than I would expect for a burger and fries joint. They're not in my area of the country, so I can't just go out and try it. But I will visit California again some day. Convince me why I should stop there, especially for someone who really tries to avoid fast food whenever possible.
I love in-n-out but a lot of it is a cultural thing. The food is good, but it’s good fast food. It’s not a gourmet burger and fries shop, nor is it pretending to be.

The quality is good, fresh not frozen beef that comes from only a couple of farms. Potatoes are freshly cut and fried.

Since all of the stores are company owned, they don’t up the price in tourist areas. Best deal in town in Las Vegas.

You’ll probably think it’s over rated. It probably is. But I love it. Ha.
 

Riverrafter21

Well-Known Member
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Blah blah blah on topic political banter blah blah...

Honestly I kinda like Freddy's better than In-N-Out, but I agree it's a great burger. Easily in my top 5
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Since we're already off-topic...

I've noticed that In-and-Out Burger seems to have a more devoted fan base than I would expect for a burger and fries joint. They're not in my area of the country, so I can't just go out and try it. But I will visit California again some day. Convince me why I should stop there, especially for someone who really tries to avoid fast food whenever possible.

It's honestly not that great. I tried two different locations while in LA a couple of years ago, and while it was pretty good, I've had other fast/quick service burgers elsewhere that were just as good if not better. That was also the consensus among my friends -- everybody liked it, but none of us could really figure out why it seems to have such a cult following. It doesn't compare to a high end burger anywhere, but it's not trying to.

It's of a much higher quality than something like McDonald's or Wendy's for sure, but I didn't think it was any better than, say, Five Guys.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
I love in-n-out but a lot of it is a cultural thing. The food is good, but it’s good fast food. It’s not a gourmet burger and fries shop, nor is it pretending to be.

The quality is good, fresh not frozen beef that comes from only a couple of farms. Potatoes are freshly cut and fried.

Since all of the stores are company owned, they don’t up the price in tourist areas. Best deal in town in Las Vegas.

You’ll probably think it’s over rated. It probably is. But I love it. Ha.
So, perhaps not completely comparable because it isn't a restaurant, but kind of like Wawa for the greater Philadelphia region (including southern New Jersey)? There's nothing particularly great about it, but they just do their niche much better than their competitors.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
So, perhaps not completely comparable because it isn't a restaurant, but kind of like Wawa for the greater Philadelphia region (including southern New Jersey)? There's nothing particularly great about it, but they just do their niche much better than their competitors.
Yes I’d say that’s a really good comparison. I’m more of a sheetz fan myself.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I loathe the "I'm not political" song and dance. We're all political, especially those who say they aren't... or (normally) are. And children listen, and either follow in kind or rebel or pretend to rebel and settle back into their parent's beliefs.
Of course, we are! Know why? Because we are being forced into it. Everything, be it something that should be political or not is being made political because the most immoral people in the world are attempting to force their viewpoint of morality on all of us.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I've noticed that In-and-Out Burger seems to have a more devoted fan base than I would expect for a burger and fries joint. They're not in my area of the country, so I can't just go out and try it. But I will visit California again some day. Convince me why I should stop there, especially for someone who really tries to avoid fast food whenever possible.

A function of time, place, and nostalgia.

In n Out was a Cali region favorite that established themselves for standout quality, strict adherence to being on brand, stoking a bit of nostalgia, and building a local following with gimmicks like the hidden menu. They established themselves in Cali, and by resisting expansion, it became kind of a 'cali only' thing locals attached to as 'theirs'. This was before boutique and gourmet burgers were all the rage everywhere else. This made it kind of a 'destination thing' to do when in Cali and the legend grew. They eventually grew through the southwest and into Texas... but again kept themselves more of an exclusive... and differentiated themselves from the Wendys/McDonalds/BKs that dominated the scene. They built their following that way. It was a combination of 'unique'+quality promise+service differentiators... boosted by a possessive cali culture. A great product strategy. They are also well respected in their markets for their approach towards employees and community. So they are a liked brand.. instead of an evil corp.

Now the the prime menu differentiators they used to stand out... fresh toppings, quality unfrozen meat, and diverse menus have been duplicated all over the place with other gourmet burger chains. The market is flooded with chains that try to offer a premium burger. So someone who has had Five Guys, Smashburger, Whataburger, Fosters, or any other of the 3 dozen plus burger specialty places at their doorstep for the last 10+ years goes into a In n Out Burger for the first time and goes 'meh... good but not a standout' simply because they have no attachment to the aurora around it or see it as much of a unique offer because they are surrounded by 'like products' all over now.

Still a great product and good company - but one whose product differentiators have been hacked away at by other more boutique burger brands now. Anyone who wants a specialty burger likely has multiple options now... not just 'fresh vs fast food'

As to why someone should go there... it's meant to be a throwback to service and a quality, fresh product. They make a great burger and have classic shoestring fries.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Because you stated "It’s so simple that you’d think other companies would figure out what work"

The point was as stated... a good portion of that success is hard to replicate at scale. And what is scale in that industry? Let's look at the competitors... and the kinds of companies that have not figured out how to replicate their success in their own product. Hence why someone would 'compare them to other companies' when someone postulates why 'other companies' haven't figured out how to duplicate their success.
If they are #19 by number of stores but #5 by revenue AND they are closed one day of the week... I’d say others should be taking notice. You don’t agree?
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
If they are #19 by number of stores but #5 by revenue AND they are closed one day of the week... I’d say others should be taking notice. You don’t agree?
Imagine were they would be if they were open on Sunday. They would be knocking the top or close to the top of the list in at least the revenue section. Why would anyone want to follow that lead.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
If they are #19 by number of stores but #5 by revenue AND they are closed one day of the week... I’d say others should be taking notice. You don’t agree?

Uhh... no one said CFA wasn't successful nor that no one noticed.

The whole point was 'knowing' or 'taking notice' as you hinted to isn't the problem for competitors to learn from CFA. It's that you can't take a McDonalds and simply say "do what CFA does... ". CFA's differentiators are built into their operations and management mandates and it takes a firm hand and commitment to make those things payoff.

Everyone is aware of CFA's success and their differentiators. The challenge for other companies is to either counter them or decide which they should embrace themselves.. even decisions like deciding if some image 'borrowing' or refreshes are needed.

CFA wasn't going unnoticed by anyone :)
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
It's funny how the short lived, small discussion about Belgium vs Dutch cuisine was flagged by Mom as off topic, while there are now pages and pages about fast food in the Igers Legacy thread ;)
Maybe the common link is how various other popular businesses maintain their niche advantage in a crowded field of competitors. Although Disney is too much of a juggernaut to be niche at this point.
 

Touchdown

Well-Known Member
In and out makes a fine burger, but it’s not the best regional burger chain IMO. That crown belongs to Wisconsin’s ver own Culver’s. I slightly prefer their burgers to In and out, Culver’s crinkle fries beat them hands down and for the ace in the hole, Culver’s also serves Frozen Custard, has a much more varied menu and has fried cheese curds.

In short, my top 3 regional fast food chains are:
1. Culvers
2. In and Out
3. Shake Shack

Not a regional FAST food chain:
1. Five Guys-It takes 10-15 min for your order to come out, does not have drive thru and is very delicious but it’s a casual dining restaurant not fast food.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
In and out makes a fine burger, but it’s not the best regional burger chain IMO. That crown belongs to Wisconsin’s ver own Culver’s. I slightly prefer their burgers to In and out, Culver’s crinkle fries beat them hands down and for the ace in the hole, Culver’s also serves Frozen Custard, has a much more varied menu and has fried cheese curds.

In short, my top 3 regional fast food chains are:
1. Culvers
2. In and Out
3. Shake Shack

Not a regional FAST food chain:
1. Five Guys-It takes 10-15 min for your order to come out, does not have drive thru and is very delicious but it’s a casual dining restaurant not fast food.
Fry style is a total battle in our house...I prefer crinkle (because they get nice and crispy), hubby prefers beefy steak-fries (which to me are just baked potato slices).
 

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