The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger

The Inside Story of California's First Drive-Through and How it Became a Beloved Cultural Icon

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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2024
Nelson Books, Thomas Nelson

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Discover the official story of In-N-Out Burger––how three generations have created a thriving, family-owned company, why its fans are so wildly loyal, and what led to its explosive growth and evolution into an iconic part of American culture––as told by In-N-Out Burger’s president, Lynsi Snyder.

When Lynsi Snyder's grandparents founded In-N-Out Burger in 1948, they built it with a passion for quality and service that Lynsi embraced at a young age. After starting as a store associate at age seventeen, she then worked in other departments, gaining first-hand experience with almost every aspect of the family business until she became president in 2010. She has led the company through explosive growth––today, there are three-hundred and eighty stores and counting––and is deeply committed to the well-being of the In-N-Out Burger family.

In The Ins and Outs of In-N-Out, you'll:

  • Gain key insights into why In-N-Out has maintained its very popular and limited menu for more than seventy-five-years and why it has refused to franchise or go public
  • Hear behind-the-scenes stories from In-N-Out Associates, including from one gentleman who worked in the very first store
  • Learn about the Snyder family's Christian faith, including her grandmother Esther's belief in the gospel and her uncle's "born-again" experience that shaped his life and leadership at the company
  • Discover why Lynsi has been ranked as one of the top presidents in the restaurant industry and how her personal challenges have fortified her faith and shaped her dedication to servant leadership


In-N-Out Burger has drawn fiercely loyal fans––from professional chefs and burger aficionados to celebrities and scores of everyday customers––who not only crave the burgers, fries, and milkshakes but also come back again and again for the community.


Discover the official story of In-N-Out Burger––how three generations have created a thriving, family-owned company, why its fans are so wildly...

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ISBN 9781400242993
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed getting the inside scoop of in-n-out. It was well written and easy to get into from the very beginning, I really enjoy reading books about restaurants, food, and wine and highly recommend this book.

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I have just completed my read of Lynsi Snyder's "The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger" a rather eclectic history of the notable hamburger chain based in Southern California and founded by her grandparents. I call the work eclectic because it is true to its subtitle "The Inside Story of California's first Drive-Thru and how it became a Cultural Icon.''
Starting with her grandparents' vision and their backgrounds, the book takes the reader on a fast paced and highly eclectic ride through the history of the highly successful hamburger chain. Along the way, the author exams the kind of marketing nuts and bolts which are expected in this kind of a book while at the same time exploring the religious faith which has always been prominent in the founding family and has informed and shaped the development of the modern phenomena which is IN-N-OUT BURGER. Additionally, she explores IN-N-OUT BURGER and its prominence in Southern California's car culture. Put all this together with a loving and intimate portrait of her family which pulls no punches in exploring both their strengths and weaknesses and how they played out on the canvas of the culture of late Twentieth Century America and the book becomes a very personal exploration of both the woman and writer at the center of the story and her family and their corporate legacy. If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, relax, it is a very quick read if eclectic in its style and content. This is anything but a formal and stiff corporate history, and in that it is true to its roots.

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I seriously devoured this like I would a double double. Love this company, loved learning more about it and now all I need is for them to come to the midwest!

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Warning- the hardest part about reading this book is that you will desperately want to eat a “double double” and fries, right now!! So many delicious descriptions of the famous “In-N-Out Burger” menu- their food is all I could think about. (I unfortunately live 2300 miles away from California, where many of the restaurants are.)

The author, and current CEO of the family owned business is Lynsi Snyder. Her grandparents started the business and their first location opened on October 22, 1948. The author gives a good overview of how the company started, grew and succeeded for over 75 years now. The first store was about 100 square feet, with a drive-thru window. The owners focused on serving the best ingredients, in a fast and friendly way. Their “recipe” worked.

Although the business added more and more stores, there were some problems and growing pains. Author Snyder is honest about the personalities of her grandfather, her uncle and then father who followed as CEO’s. She also is very open about the personal challenges she has faced. While there was always a Christian focus, this commitment to their faith and notable charity work really blossomed under Ms. Snyder’s direction.

This book is more of a pleasant PR production, but it is fun to learn about all the “Ins & Outs of “In-N-Out Burger. And i liked the famous palm tree logo throughout the book. If you are fortunate enough to live near one, grab some burgers and fries before you start reading!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance review copy. This is my honest review.

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An outstanding book focused mainly on the history of this famous family-owned company. Lyndsi doesn't shortchange us by excluding her own story. Rather she deftly weaves into the overall company history. Those looking for inside information about the menu items will find it here. Those looking for ways to lead companies in a better, more Christian way will also find plenty of help in these pages.

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As a fan of In-n-Out Burger who lives way too far from any of its restaurants, I read this book with as much delight as I unwrap their burgers, dip their fries, and enjoy the shakes. Learning so much of the restaurant’s history, the ethos, the practices, and the standards in a family member’s voice was a pleasant experience. Of particular importance is learning what isn’t ever exposed to the customer - the why and how of INO’s differentiators. INO does things quite differently, including its (not-so-hidden) menu. The book delves into some of the secrets, such as the etymology of the “Animal Style” menu, amongst others that will provides dozens of visits worth of experimentation.

I haven’t felt being preached to at any of my visits to the restaurant and this book managed to tread the line well. The family (and author’s) deep faith journey is evident from the very beginning and increases through to the end. However, I read the faith components as guides to the INO leadership rather than evangelism to the audience. Their struggles in life and guidance through faith were important to know and understand. I (as a different faith follower) didn’t feel offended or put-off by it.

What the book does lack is a more emphatic editor’s touch. The story is narrated well but is confusing, repetitive, and wordy in specific areas. Perhaps the author wanted to carry the founders’ and family’s style of personal interaction with the customer into the book. I, personally, think that an editor’s macro view of the chronological history, an attention to balancing informality with formality of text, and a healthy addition of photographs and illustrations would greatly contribute to the reading experience.

A fun memoir and a must-read for any In-n-Out fan.

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This was a wonderful book. I wasn't expecting much when I ordered it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how honest and forthright the author was. Eating at In-N-Out will never be the same. This is not your normal business book.

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This was a really delicious read, I enjoyed getting to learn about a restaurant that I’ve passed all the time. Lynsi Snyder does a great job in keeping you reading and getting the inside story of the popular restaurant.

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The introduction states: That’s what a hamburger’s all about! And I literally sang that tune in my head as I read it! I live in Southern California and In-N-Out IS 💯 more than just a burger joint around here…it’s where my teenage kids go after football games, it’s where I meet up with friends for lunch because I challenge you to find any other place a group of people can agree on! It’s also the only drive through I’ve ever sat in line for over 30 minutes because they are that good! ALWAYS quality food-service with a smile and clean!

After reading this book I understand why my above statement is felt so strongly by not only me but by so many.

Lynsi did an exceptional job explaining the ins and outs of this family run business and the faith behind her and several foundations supported by In-N-Out including her newest endeavor (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is).

This book is heartfelt and well written. Lynsi’s family story is full of faith and honesty.

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The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger will be published on October 17, 2023. Nelson Books provided an early galley for review.

I spent a week for several summers around the turn of the century visiting my friends in San Diego, California, to go to Comic-Con. Inevitably, we would have at least one run to In-N-Out Burger (sometimes more). That is how I had my first taste of their fantastic food. I am a big fan of burgers and a fan of their burgers as well. So, I was eager to read this book to find out the story behind the business.

Lysni's passion and pride in her family's business gives this book a welcoming tone. You don't have to be a fan of the food to appreciate the story of dedicated work ethics and the desire to put out a quality product with a quality staff of associates. She is also very upfront about faith and how that contributed to the foundation upon which the successful business was built. Finally, she does not shy away from difficult topics and problems that the family encountered over the decades. That makes this a very fair representation of the facts.

I enjoyed hearing about the origins of the secret menu items as well as the connection a certain comedy classic film from 1963 that happens to be an all-time favorite of mine too. The insider's guide sections at the end were also very informative.

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My main thought while reading this was how much I wanted an In-N-Out burger and pink lemonade. My mouth was watering the entire time. It's too bad I live 1000+ miles away from the closest location.

I love learning about how companies and businesses get started. Lynsi talks all about the history of In-N-Out, both the good time and bad times. She was so open about her faith in God it was so refreshing. I always wondered why they have Bible verses on their bags, cups... It was neat learning some of the reasoning they chose those specific verses.

I found the book to be repetitive at times. If someone went through and cut back on the repetitiveness it would make for a better reading experience.

I also wondered why there were no locations on the east coast. Learning that they will not franchise and the fact that everything is completely refresh answered my question. Learning that they are expanding to Tennessee give me hope that they will start opening stores on the east coast. If you live near and In-N-Out go eat a double double for me.

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I am a fan of In0N-Out so I was pretty excited to receive an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for my review. I hate to say it because they have fantastic food, but the book disappointed. It read like a surface level advertisement or one of those employee training videos you watch when you get a new job. I did glean a few new fun facts about the company, but overall it was choppy, and I couldn't get past the advertisement feeling while I was reading it. There was also a lot more religion in the story than I expected. I think I might have enjoyed it more if it came from the company historian instead of the author who is so close to the story. If In-N-Out ever decides to sell this would be a fantastic presentation to a buyer or investor, but for the general public it fell a little flat.

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The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger by Lynsi Snyder is a super interesting story of the origins up to the current management of In-N-Out Burger. I'm a vegetarian, so In-N-Out isn't a go-to place for me (although, I have had the secret menu 'grilled cheese' a couple of times!), but I can appreciate the story and would highly recommend it. I learned a lot of background on the company, almost all of which I had no clue about. One thing is that In-N-Out is privately held and owned 100% by the founders' granddaughter. The book is full of fun tidbits, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Nelson Books and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions shared are influenced by nothing other than my own reading experience.

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