In-N-Out uses simplicity, efficiency, code words and the bible to maximize #custserv


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I’ll have a 2 by 4 animal style with extra toast

#774 in the Project is taken from a post by @markosul and his blog ‘the Pan-Americans’

In-N-Out Burger has always been part of my SoCal consumerist story. I’m not a big red meat guy, but I love their simplicity and the way they use efficiency on making their product better by hiring more employees so potatoes are fresh. I think it’s fantastic/bizarre that they hide bible verses on their packaging

In N Out Burger Bible Verses

Here are some of the passages:

REVELATION 3:20 (burger and cheeseburger wrappers): Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and eat with him, and he with me.

JOHN 3:16 (soda cups): For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

PROVERBS 3:15 (milkshake cups): She is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

NAHUM 1:7 (Double-Double wrapper): The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those that trust in him.

Background: The In’s and Out’s

This is the second time that In-N-Out (INO) has shown up in the Purple Goldfish Project.  A little background on the privately held business founded by the Snyder’s in 1948.  INO was started east of downtown Los Angeles, as the first drive-through restaurant, with a basic business philosophy:

“Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”

In-N-Out_Cutting_FriesINO’s menu is still the same basic menu of burgers, fries and shakes that customers have enjoyed since the doors first opened. Everything is still made fresh to order and there are no microwaves or freezers. Customers may observe french fries being made from hand-diced, fresh, whole potatoes (see picture). The shakes are handcrafted from real ice cream.

Esquire Magazine’s Chef Survey ranked it the Best Fast Food in America.  In-N-Out ranked #1.  Let’s hear what the chef’s had to say:

“The hamburger is definitive, greasy but oddly clean-tasting at the same time and the sauce actually is ‘special.’ And the shake tastes the way shakes tasted back when I was a kid. It makes me tear up just thinkin’ about it.”

— Alton Brown, host of Iron Chef America

“I dare anyone to tell me their burgers aren’t as good as any you’ll find anywhere, from fast food to fine dining.”

— Tyler Florence, host of Tyler’s Ultimate

“It’s fast, it’s hot, there are code words — what’s not to enjoy?”

— David Myers, Sona and Comme Ca, Los Angeles

Code words?

You can order you burger using a variety of code words.  Here’s the breakdown courtesy of a post by The Daily Nugget:

“3-by-3? = three meat patties and three slices of cheese.
“4-by-4? = four meat patties and four slices of cheese.
“2-by-4? = two meat patties and four slices of cheese.

Note: You can get a burger with as many meat paties or cheese slices as you want. Just tell the cashier how many meat paties and how much cheese you want and that is what you’ll get! For instance, if you want 2 pieces of meat and 6 pieces of cheese tell them you want a “2-by-6.”

“Animal Style” = the meat is grilled with mustard, then pickles, extra spread, and grilled onions are added.

“Whole Grilled Onions” = onions are grilled whole and not chopped like animal style.
“Double Meat” = like a Double Double without cheese.
“3-by-Meat” = three meat patties and no cheese.
“Animal Style Fries” = fries with cheese, spread, grilled onions.
“Protein Style” = this is a burger with no bun, wrapped in lettuce.
“Grilled Cheese” = no meat, but everything else.
“Extra Toast” = buns are extra toasted giving them a crunchy texture.
“Veggie Burger” = aka “Wish Burger,” burger without patty or cheese.
“On the Sal” = this is just lettuce and dressing. Nothing else.

“Animal Fries” = fries with melted cheese, grilled onions, and dressing.
“Fries Well-Done” = extra crispy fries, even better than the regular!
“Fries Light” = opposite of fries well-done, more raw than usual.
“Flying Dutchman” = two meat patties, two slices of melted cheese–nothing else–not even a bun!
“Neopolitan Shake” = strawberry, vanilla and chocolate shake.
“Choco-Vanilla Swirl Shake” = chocolate and vanilla swirled together to perfection.
“Lemon-Up” = half lemonade and half 7-up drink.
“Root Beer Special” = half root beer and half Dr. Pepper
“Tea-Ade” = half iced tea and half lemonade.

Other Trivia:

“100-by-100? = Ordered by a group of four (including Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh) celebrating Halloween in 2005. Here’s the video featuring the monster burger and the theme song from Chariots of Fire.

NOTE:  The max In-N-Out burger is now a 4 by 4

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: The key to a purple goldfish is the ability to help a product or service stand out, add to a strong experience and provide the customer something to talk about.  Whether its INO’s bible verses, the ordering code words, or the freshness of its products In-N-Out epitomizes a talkable brand.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – I came across a good video on In-N-Out at The Church of the Customer Blog. It chronicles the opening of a store in Dallas.  One woman gets caught up in the moment.  Does your burger make people cry?:

Lagniappe defined: A marketing lagniappe, i.e. purple goldfish,  is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth?

Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras? What’s Your GLUE?

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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