In-N-Out Burger is a California fast food staple, and the brand just recently opened a store in the Pacific Northwest. Don't look to see one in your neck of the woods if you don't live in one of these two places, however, or in the four additional states where the burger joints are also located. It's not going to happen. The company has never franchised or gone public.
In-N-Out Burger President Lynsi Snyder is the only heir of the family that started In-N-Out Burger back in 1948. At that time, Lynsi's grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, opened a burger stand in Baldwin Park, California. Harry installed a two-way speaker and created the first drive-thru burger joint.
These days the food is still fast, but the company's growth is slow--and Lynsi Snyder plans to keep it that way. Each store is located within 600 miles of three distribution centers where their burger patties are made, because at In-N-Out, nothing is ever frozen or microwaved.
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The company pays its employees excellent wages by fast food industry standards. Managers can make six figure incomes.
Doing things their own way is why In-N-Out has turned down Wall Street many times, unlike its competitors, which have raised hundreds of millions of dollars by going public. In-N-Out is now valued at an estimated $1 billion. Its story isn't a completely happy one, however.
Lynsi Snyder's uncle, Rich Snyder, ran the company for almost 17 years. He died in a plane crash in 1993. Lynsi's father, Guy, took over when Rich died, but died of an overdose of painkillers just six years later.
This makes Lynsi Snyder--at 33--the sole heir. She will gain full control of the company when she turns 35, and according to Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out Burger will never franchise or go public.
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"The only reason you would do that is for the money and I, I wouldn't do it. My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family and the fact that they're not here, you know. I have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it," she said.
In you've never had an In-N-Out Burger you might wonder why this young woman wouldn't want to change things up. If you have, you know why.