In-N-Out Burger Associate of nearly a decade. I am a level 7 and have worked as an All Star opening 4 new stores. AMA.
I am a level 7 associate at In-N-Out Burger (INO). I have worked for INO for nearly a decade. I have extensive knowledge of the company and can answer most any question you have. In 10 years you learn and experience a lot and I have seen pretty much anything you can imagine happen in the stores. AMA. Verification link Imgur
INO is 65 today. On October 22, 1948 INO opened at 4pm and sold 57 burgers!
Not really sure what you're asking, but I was not around when Harry died. I wasn't alive in '76.
ETA to level cap?
and if burgers get nerfed will you reroll Wienerschnitzel?
There's no seniority at INO. It's a competition to be the best at what you do. I was a level 7 after working for the company for 1.5 years. If you're dedicated to what you do you will be given opportunity to move up.
Is there anyplace to go from lvl 7 or is that the top?
Like I said before, I was a level 8. It's a 4th manager that doesn't require full time. Managers work about 50+ hours some weeks. Finishing school is important to me and I know that if I had put it off for a year or two I never would have gone back.
"I am a level 7" sounded like you are a member of a scientology-like cult.
You definitely need to buy into and be committed to what you are doing to be successful at INO, but it's not cult like.
When you ask, "Will you be eating in your car?" and I say no, can you tell I'm lying?
No I can't tell. I don't really care where you eat it. We ask that question in order to determine how your order will be packaged (open box for eat in, bag to-go). You'd be surprised how often this question confuses people.
It doesn't confuse me. It makes me confront my life choices.
Like, I know I should wait and get out of my car to eat, but...but... INO fries seem to have a ten-minute window of deliciousness.
I agree. Fries that are not hot are not good fries.
So, I have to ask, do you know if In-N-Out will ever come up to Washington state?
Well your chances are better than New York simply because of the relative closeness to the rest of the company, but I wouldn't count on it.
What does level seven mean?
INO is set up on a level system. New hires are a level 1. As you develop your skills with the company and learn new tasks you are promoted to level 2 and so on up to level 7. Level 7 is a position below management. I am capable of working all positions as well as running the shift while managers are at meetings, breaks, etc.
So, after nearly ten years, what's the pay like?
I currently make $14.25/hr plus full benefits (medical, dental, vision, life). The company also provides every associate with paid vacation hours which are accrued and shown on each pay stub. It's a great place to work. Management is very flexible with hours, which is great because I am finishing up college.
$30k a year in exchange for ten years...you're a lot more loyal than I. Are you a student? Was this a high school/college job? Kids/family?
I got the job when I was 15 1/2. I haven't quite hit 10 years yet, but pretty close. Yes I am a college senior.
So just for perspectives sake, what is minimum wage in your area?
It's $10.25 here, so that wouldn't really be a rate that reflects much of an increase for a decade of employment.
Why aren't you management after that length of time?
Minimum wage in California is $8.00. I went through management classes at INO University in Baldwin Park 4 years ago. I was a level 8 after that. Level 8 is a position that was done away with. It is equivalent to a 4th manager, but does not require full time hours. I am a full time college student.
In what beautiful place do you live???
Texas is $7.25
California is an expensive place to live. If you are a manager at a busy store in Nevada for example, you make similar pay as a manager in California, but your dollar goes so much farther.
Can you give a run down of the "secret" menu?
The 'secret menu' is a novelty idea. A genius idea from a marketing standpoint. The 'secret menu' is online at the INO website. Pretty much everything on there is modifications we can make to a burger using the ingredients we have. We can pretty much do anything that a customer requests within reason. We cannot do things like put tomatoes or ketchup on the grill for allergy reasons.
It's really good. The cooked ketchup in the meat gives almost a barbecue sauce flavor.
One of my close friends did this at the INO that he worked at a couple of times, though he said that he hated it because it was super hard to clean off the grill. I guess that some INOs will do this and others wont.
It's not allowed but it is ultimately up to the cook. I do it sometimes but I make sure to scrape that part of the grill a little extra to get the caramelized ketchup off.
Mustard is a pretty potent allergen, yet it can be cooked on the grill for animal style burgers. Or so I hear, I'm from Canada so no In-n-Out goodness for me.
I always wondered about that, but I've never heard of an allergy to mustard.
Is this against INO policy...posting online about the job and stuff? What is the best/worst thing about working for this company? Also have you ever "all-starred" in a state besides California?
Yes it is against INO policy to post anything online about the company. Pictures in the stores is also forbidden.
I have only All Starred in California. A few fellow associates who went to Texas, said it was absolutely insane busy. Since then those stores have slowed down to maybe 8,000 burger weeks. Not busy by INO standard at all.
Where is an 8,000 burger week in terms of competitiveness for stores in California? Would it be a strong store or a standard one?
8,000 is very slow in comparison. At my store during the summer months we will sell about 20,000 weeks. That's averaging 1,500 per shift! We have a day and night shift. Some stores like Vegas or Daly City can sell 30,000 weeks!
What's your least favorite order to cook or prepare?
I've been cooking for a long time so I've gotten pretty good at it. No orders are really my least favorite. I'd say the most difficult is probably a burger medium rare with a bun extra toast. Not that it's hard to make, it just messes with your rhythm on the grill during the rush.
this is my typical order.. i'll go with reg burgers now. still love the extra toast on the bun but don't want ot piss off the friendly in n out people.
You won't piss off anyone with a complicated order. Just order how you want and be friendly please.
So you have been working there for nearly a decade. Do you still like burgers? Or have you turned a new leaf and found Hotdogs?
I eat at least one Dub every shift I work. I've been doing this for almost 10 years. Every time I eat a burger I think they are delicious.
What is the biggest burger you have seen made? 10X10?
Biggest burger I've ever cooked for a customer was a 15x15. Nothing besides a 4x4 is allowed anymore however because the quality of the burger declines the more excessive they become.
...what if a customer orders 4 4x4s, with only 2 buns, together in a box?
One bun with a top and bottom? You could order a 4x4 and then 12 cheese patties. We can't put it together for you anymore unfortunately.
How are INO's fries made?
I think INO's burgers are fantastic. I'm just not a fan of their fries. They are just really plain tasting. Do I need to add salt to them? What am I doing wrong?
They are natural raw potatoes that we peel and core out the bad spots from. Then they're diced up and dropped in the fryer.
For years, living in Japan, my American buddies told me that if I ever went again to California than I had to have an In n Out double double animal style.
This year, in San Francisco, by Fisherman's Wharf, I did.
And it was godly.
If you had the choice, what new menu item would you add to In n Out?
I think the menu is pretty solid right now. Its simplicity allows us to serve quality products at high volume.
What's the largest size burger you're allowed to make now? When I was in High School, the linemen from the football team would show up and we'd all have competitions to see who could down the biggest one (a friend did a 20x20, my largest was a 15x15 animal style).
The largest we are allowed to make no is a 4x4.
Oh, that's kinda disappointing. Granted I couldn't eat anything larger than a double-double now, but we had a blast doing this. Any reason for the policy change?
Well when you have people ordering 100x100, other customers have to wait much longer. The grills we have now can hold up to four rows of 8 meat patties. So it would take a long time to cook huge orders like that. Also, by the time you pull a burger that big, the original 8 meat patties on the bottom have been waiting for the other 92 for several minutes and are not up to INO standards.
Will In-N-Out Burger ever make a veggie burger?
We have what we call a Veggie. It is not an actual patty, simply a bun with spread and whatever veggies you want. They're actually delicious. As for making an actual veggie patty, INO is very traditional and I wouldn't expect any even minor changes to the menu.
Basically a grilled cheese with lettuce and spread?
That's what I remember having when I was there. When you say "spread," do you mean tomatoes and onions and stuff?
He means the special sauce they use on most of their stuff.
Isn't the sauce just thousand island dressing?
We describe Spread to customers by saying it's similar to thousand island dressing. It's really different. If you had both side by side, Spread is so much better.
Now that you have reached this level, do you believe that in-n-out will be your career? Any wishes to move into management?
A college degree is not required at all to be a manager of INO. I am finishing up school for my own benefit and then I will be going back into management. INO definitely takes care of all it's associates.
Are they franchises? Would you ever want to own one if they are?
No franchises. Actually the company is owned by Lynsi Torres. She's the granddaughter of Harry and Esther Snyder, the founders of INO. She owns a portion of the company now and on her 35th birthday she will have full control of the company.
What is an All Star and since INO is new to my area, what is the difference between this and five guys?
All Stars are associates who are selected to assist in the opening of new stores. The company puts us up in a hotel for a month or more while training new associates and working positions in the new store. We receive more pay per hour, per diem, and as much overtime as you want to work. 10am-closing shift is an example of what I've worked while All Starring.
Is In-N-Out ever coming to Colorado, specifically the Denver area? I've heard rumors of this, and our mayor I believe was sending letters to In-N-Out management trying to bring some here.
C'mon if Utah can have one, why not us? Especially since we have a meat plant North of Denver.
INO has it's meat processing facility. I was able to tour it during my time in management classes in Baldwin Park.
But so does that mean it'll come to Colorado.... or.....
Colorado would be one of the next closest locations if INO continues to expand East. Only time will tell. The Texas expansion has not been doing nearly as well as planned.
This one time I went to the In-N-Out in Ventura at 3am on a tuesday
Normally I'm there every single weekend catching a wave or two with my girlfriend,or there for a concert,etc.and EVERY In-N-Out in california is busy at every time day or night.
anyway,the point is that on that one particular day it was dead,no one at the drive-thru and no one inside the restaurant,so I asked "give me something that's not on the secret menu,something you've always wanted to make"
So he ends up making me a 3x3 with potatoes sliced horizontally and fried,and then placed in between each patty.It was one of the greatest things I have ever tasted and I gave the guy an extra $10 as a tip since he only charged me for a #1.
Since then I have asked several times to remake that order but always get rejected,so I've just been mushing my fries inbetween my double double.
so I guess my question is,Why don't you make any other custom orders outside of the secret menu?
I have definitely cooked custom orders for customers. When it's very slow late night I still cook customers pretty much whatever size burger they want. I could get in trouble for this, but I look at it as making a customers experience awesome. Just don't put a picture of it on instagram, with what store it came from. ;)
so then,what's the craziest order you've made?
It's just a total bummer that the employees can get in trouble for this sort of thing
We've made donuts with the buns, actually fried sliced onion in the fryers and made onion rings, steak fries, chips, put meat patties together to make 1lb burgers. I've made a 15x15, ketchup fried on meat, coffee shakes, and pretty much anything else you can do with the ingredients in the store.
I also make INO sloppy joes. Chop up some meat patties throw in some chopped chilies, ketchup, mustard, pepper all on the grill, then put it on a bun.
Are you anywhere near the Baldwin park/La Puente/West Covina In-N-Outs? because I would do anything to try a In-N-Out sloppy joe.
I'm in Northern California now.
Would you recommend people work there? Is the food fresh(er than BK, McD, etc.)?
It's a great job. I've made a lot of friends and met a ton of great people since I've worked here. The food is definitely fresh. Nothing comes to the stores already prepared. All of the other places to eat aren't really direct competitors with INO because it has some level of exclusivity.
So, let's say I visit the coast and go to an In-N-Out. What's the order that will hook me? Or, what's your favorite meal at INO?
My favorite burger is a Double Double with light onions add mustard.
Also our shakes are delicious. The fries are kind of hit or miss sometimes. Some days they are really good, while other days they just aren't appetizing. It has a lot to do with the oil age and the quality of the batch of potatoes.
you should bring In-N-Out to the midwest! 5 guys sucks, and I miss my double double
Comparing 5 Guys to INO doesn't really make sense to me. They both sell burgers and fries, sure, but they are totally different.
Yeah there's nothing like a Dub. I've literally eaten a Dub five or six days per week the entire time I've worked for the company.
This East Coast blogger documented his attempt to re-create an In-and-Out style burger, going so far as having burgers overnighted to him via post. How do you think he did?
It's funny there is actually a restaurant called Cali Burger. They have a website. It was actually started by a former INO associate.
Keep up the great work. I moved from SoCal 4 years ago and miss INO badly. Whenever I go back, I have to have some good sushi, a Godmother from Bay Cities, and a couple of animal style singles from INO. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
Any chance the owner of INO will ever do an AMA?
I'll ask her to do one at the next INO picnic.
Thanks for a good AMA everyone! If there's any new questions maybe regarding stuff other than pay, expansion, and secret menu stuff I'll try to answer them. Thanks!
I couldn't say. It shouldn't take 10 mins to cook your burger if there's only 2 orders.
In-N-Out is 65 years old today! On October 22, 1948 INO opened at 4pm and sold 57 burgers! It's crazy to see where the company has gone since then.
Out of curiosity, what do you think about Caliburger? http://caliburgerintl.com. How well do you think they'll do when they begin opening stores in California. Do you think it'll affect ino?
Cali Burger was started by a former associate. Check out their website.
How can you tell a good one from a bad one?
When I was out in LA once I stopped at a random one and it took them 30 minutes to get the order out and then it had greasy/wimpy/cold fries and the hamburger wasn't that great.
That's why training all associates is such an important business building strategy. If you have a crew of savages then this shouldn't ever happen, unless it's insanely busy which it is sometimes.
Are you opening one up in south gate? cause thats the one I'm waiting for!
Where is South Gate?
Which store do you work at?
I apologize but I cannot say which store I currently work at. I have worked at 7 stores in Northern California, and one store in Southern California for a short period.
Why do they hide Bible verses on the cups?
They're not hidden. They are verses from the Bible that the original founders, Harry and Esther Snyder chose to put on their products.
Sorry 4 bad anglish
When was you when HarrySnyder die?
I was in/out burger eat burger when manager call
"Harry is kill"
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