In-N-Out Burger Sets the Standard for Remarkable Service

I just got out of the gym and ordered a “protein burger” from In n’ Out.

For you east coast folks out there; In N’ Out is our flagship burger chain here in the West Coast (mainly California and Nevada). There’s nothing quite like it in the U.S. (Esquire magazine echoed similar statements). When they opened shop in Reno, the line reached couple of blocks away.

They’re so fanatical in the quality of their burger it took them 50 years to open a restaurant in Reno (when they were already 200 miles away). Bad news for you Yankees. It’s going to take a while.

So I ordered the protein burger (instead of sponge buns, they use lettuce as ‘buns’) for $1.85.

And the pleasant looking girl asked if I wanted water to go with it. No Up-sells (not that it’s bad). No fancy terminologies. No 25 cents-for-extra-sauce-demands. Just plain and simple good service to match their magnificent burgers.

Not once do they miss little details like grilled onions instead of fresh – or giving you incomplete orders – I wish I can say the same thing with other fast food chains.

In my experience, remarkable experience have these components:

  • Fanatical leader: One who sets the vision and makes sure that it’s practiced throughout the company – from the CEO to the Server.
  • Incremental improvement instead of aiming for overnight success: They keep it simple. Constant improvement in reaching systematic remarkable experience.
  • Feedback: listening and acting on it. But they don’t try to please everybody. In-N-Out offers a tenth of what normal fast food chains have in their menus.
  • First things first: Customers, employees, profits.

I write about this because it inspires me to create something similar in my market. I’m a “little guy” business man who buys and sells real estate. But what’s stopping us from following these game changers?

I want to recreate this REMARKABLE experience in my business. From what I write online (initial contact) all the way to the closing – perhaps adding a nice In-N-Out gift certificate as a closing gift =)