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In-N-Out Employee Reveals Animal-Style Secrets From the Burger Titan

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Here’s what it’s really like to work at In-N-Out

Nick Solares

The key to In-N-Out’s success is the simplicity of the operation: the chain has a small menu that can be customized to suit each diner’s taste, the drive-through operation is run like a well-oiled machine, and each restaurant has a tidy, old-school aesthetic. But as one employee reveals in a new Reddit AMA, working at In-N-Out isn’t always easy, especially when it’s hot outside and some customer wants a burger with a ridiculous number of patties. Here are five surprising reveals from the AMA:

Hot Pants: In-N-Out’s standard employee uniform has a few design flaws. The anonymous employee explains: “When it's hot outside and we're on handheld, the pants kill you. And the hats for girls are really annoying. We have to tuck our ponytails in and bobby pin the hat to our hair otherwise it will fall off. It's just a much bigger hassle than the hats the boys get to wear.”

Unbearable Drive-Through Queues: If it gets really hot outside, the team will stop taking drive-through orders using the hand-held devices, which are used to expedite the line. The employee writes: “I'm in CA and I've only worked 2 shifts where we couldn't go outside because of the heat. One was because a customer saw me outside taking orders and complained to a manager saying it was messed up I was outside in 100° weather.” Arizona In-N-Out locations typically don’t have employees using the hand-held devices during the summer months.

Napkin Mania: If you’ve ever wondered why your In-N-Out order comes with so many soggy napkins, that’s because the employees are instructed to add them on top of the burgers and fries. “If it is a protein style burger, we have to put in an extra napkin since it's messier,” the employee explains. “I guess the reason we put them on top of the burgers in take out orders is because it's the only place we can put the napkins.“

Over-Stuffed Trays: In-N-Out employees stack as many orders as they can on each tray so that customers won’t have to make two trips, and because the food looks great this way. “In N Out really prides itself on quality and presentation,” the employee writes. “So we can only fit 2 burgers and 2 fries on a tray at once without ruining the presentation.”

The Limits of the Secret Menu: While In-N-Out is famous for its “secret menu,” which allows guests a seemingly endless array of options, there are still some requests that the kitchen can’t handle. The anonymous employee explains: “We aren't allowed to make anything larger than 4x4's anymore. 4x4's are already ridiculously hard to wrap and anything larger would just look like a total mess. Again, it's about presentation. If you want a larger burger, we can give you cheese patties on the side but we're not allowed to actually assemble it for you.”

In terms of strangest order, the In-N-Out worker mentions that a customer once asked for a drink with just three ice cubes, and another patron requested “lettuce that was not too green.”
IAmA In N Out Burger associate. AMA! [Reddit]
How Fresh the Meat Really Is, Plus 5 More Secrets From an In-N-Out Employee [PS]

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