The OC Register described In-N-Out Burger's latest business move as "a giant leap into uncharted territory." Honestly, you'd think they were pitching tents on the moon. But in this case, they're referring to the beloved California burger chain's decision to fast track an eight location expansion into a "beef-savvy" land better known as the Lone Star State.
In the past, growth beyond the Western states of California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona had been inhibited in part to In-N-Out's use of a central, company-owned meat commissary in Baldwin Park, a business practice many credit with the overall success of the chain. Here, beef from local suppliers is processed and delivered fresh -- not frozen -- to 240 In-N-Out locations every other day.
The company believes that in order to maintain the quality their customers have come to expect, restaurant sites would have to be located within a 500-mile radius of the meat commissary. The move to Texas required a second processing facility, currently housed in a 60,000-square-foot warehouse in Dallas.
But don't get excited just yet. The three locations scheduled to open in May 2011 are all situated in (groan) Dallas and the surrounding areas of Allen and Frisco. While there is talk of possible stores in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, the company feels that the Dallas-Fort Worth area should keep them busy for several years.