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Burger bummer: In-N-Out vows to be a one Texas town operation

Burger bummer: In-N-Out vows to be a one Texas town operation

News_in and out burger_May 10
Delicious comes to Texas... but not Houston. Photo by Simon Willison

Look. We realize we've already freaked out about In-N-Out coming to Texas. We're not apologizing for our enthusiasm.

In fact, we're planning road trips to Garland (it's not just a Christmas decoration anymore, kids!), and we can practically taste those animal-style fries on our tongues.  

And we s'pose it goes without saying that we're patiently awaiting the declaration that In-N-Out will move a bit further south to the best city in Texas, where the sun usually shines, where the bayou gleams, and where restaurants rule the roost.  

(Psst. We're talking about Houston.)

But it looks like we'll be holding our breath for quite awhile longer. In-N-Out is holding fast to its shunning of the country's fourth-largest city (soon to be third-largest, thank you very much). And we don't get it.

Nancy Luna, the Orange Country Register's Fast Food Maven, asked, "Will Texans see In-N-Out expanding to other big cities like San Antonio?"  

In-N-Out's Vice President of Planning and Development Carl Van Fleet gave her a vehement nope. "We really aren't considering anything outside the Dallas/Ft. Worth market at this time," Van Fleet stated. "That market is plenty big and we don’t plan to change our rate of growth."

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. Pardon our French, but what the hell are you talking about? "Other big cities like San Antonio"?  You may not be mentally sound. Not only does San Antonio not qualify as "the other" big city, Dallas doesn't even hold a candle to the size of Houston! What are you smoking, woman?

And geez, In-N-Out, seriously. We love restaurants in this town!  We love to eat! We didn't get voted America's fattest city year after year for no stinkin' reason! Where is our due?

In 2006, In-N-Out told the Orange County Register it would not consider spreading stores beyond 500 miles of its commissary because "it would require the chain to open a second hub or have longer cycles between delivery runs, all of which would reduce quality control."

And yet, guess what's happening when In-N-Out moves 1,500 miles to Texas? A new patty production facility and distribution center will be erected. We think that's called, oh, hypocrisy, perhaps?

"It is far enough away that we will have to open a new one there as we remain committed to making our own hamburger patties and maintaining the same operating philosophies and standards that have been in place for 62 years,” Van Fleet said. "We’ll have a Dallas area facility to produce patties locally and provide support for our restaurants there."

Van Fleet said the new facility would support at least a "few" restaurant sites in Texas. But how many exactly? Van Fleet didn't say. 

You know what we say? Your flip-flopery is notable, In-N-Out. Never say never.  

Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to resume holding our breath.