“This book grills up an enjoyable read for both avid foodies and novice diners alike! Perman’s sneak peek into the fascinating history of In-N-Out is as good as the delicious burgers themselves.”
—Mario Batali, celebrity chef and author of Molto Italiano
A behind-the-counter look at the fast-food chain that breaks all the rules, Stacy Perman’s In-N-Out Burger is the New York Times bestselling inside story of the family behind the California-based hamburger chain with a cult following large enough to rival the Grateful Dead’s. A juicy unauthorized history of a small business-turned-big business titan, In-N-Out Burger was named one of Fast Company magazine’s Best Business Books of 2009, and Fortune Small Business insists that it “should be required reading for family business owners, alongside Rich Cohen’s Sweet and Low and Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks.”
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Amazon Best of the Month, April 2009: With In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules, BusinessWeek writer Stacy Perman presents a chronicle of how a family-run California hamburger joint went on to become an American pop culture icon. Founded in 1948 by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther in Baldwin Park, CA, In-N-Out Burger attracted a cult-like fanbase of cruising teens, surfers, and celebrities alike (who developed a secret shorthand for custom orders). As they expanded slowly over the years across California and into Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, they never sacrificed their core customer-service values and commitment to quality. Their made-to-order success story packs enough family drama to fuel an HBO miniseries. After Harry died in 1976, his son Rich took over the business (and was responsible for adding discreet Bible verses to In-N-Out cups and wrappers) until his death in a 1993 plane crash. His brother Guy, a drag-racing rebel with a dark side, stepped in to helm the business until his accidental overdose in 1999. If you've never had an In-N-Out burger, Perman's book just might inspire you to find a good reason to get yourself to Southern California and seek out an off-the-menu 3x3 with a side of Animal Style fries. --Brad Thomas Parsons
The untold story of the renegade burger chain that evokes a passionate following unlike any other
In fast-food corporate America, In-N-Out Burger stands apart. Begun in a tiny shack in the shadow of World War II, this family-owned chain has steadfastly refused to franchise or be sold. It is a testament to old-fashioned values and reminiscent of a simpler time when people, loyalty, and a freshly made, juicy hamburger meant something. Over time, In-N-Out Burger has become nothing less than a cultural institution that can lay claim to an insanely loyal following.
Perman uses her investigative skills to uncover the story of a real American success story. It is not only a tale of a unique and profitable business that exceeds all expectations, but of a family's struggle to maintain a sustainable pop empire against the industry it helped pioneer, internal tensions, and a bitter lawsuit that threatened to bring the company to the brink.
This is a lesson in a counterintuitive approach to doing business that places quality, customers, and employees over the riches promised by rapid expansion. In-N-Out Burger is a keenly observed narrative that explores the evolution of a California fad that transformed into an enduring cult of popularity; it is also the story of the conflicted, secretive, and ultimately tragic Snyder family who cooked a billion burgers and hooked a zillion fans. As the story of In-N-Out Burger unfolds, so too does the cultural history of America as influenced and shaped by car culture and fast food.
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