New In-N-Out Location Is Paying Workers 141% Above Minimum Wage

By: Georgia | Published: Dec 21, 2023

In-N-Out Burger, a well-known fast-food chain, has recently opened its first location in Idaho. This event is a significant expansion for the company, known for its distinctive burgers. The opening in Idaho is notable not just for the brand’s growth but also for the employment opportunities it brings.

The company has set a precedent by offering a starting wage of $17.50 per hour to its employees, which is substantially higher than Idaho’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Employee Wages at In-N-Out's New Idaho Location

The new In-N-Out restaurant in Idaho has garnered attention for offering a starting wage significantly above the state’s minimum wage. At $17.50 per hour, the wage is 141% higher than Idaho’s minimum, according to a 2023 Idaho wage survey.

Inside an In-N-Out Burger restaurant during a busy shift, employees in white shirts and red aprons are working at various stations. Some are attending to customers at the registers, while others prepare food in the background

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This move has been seen as a positive step in the fast food industry, where low wages are often the norm. The company’s approach to employee compensation is part of its broader strategy to maintain high standards in service and quality.


Career Growth at In-N-Out

In-N-Out is recognized for its unique approach to employee development and career progression. Lynsi Snyder, the owner of the chain, highlights in her book the importance of learning every aspect of restaurant operation.

The iconic In-N-Out Burger sign with its red and white color scheme stands tall against a clear sky, framed by multiple palm trees

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This approach is evident in their managerial positions, where individuals like Valene Henriquez, a 23-year veteran and manager at the Idaho location, have worked their way up from entry-level roles. This system not only ensures knowledgeable management but also provides employees with significant career advancement opportunities.

Public Response to In-N-Out's Expansion

The opening of In-N-Out’s first restaurant in Idaho was met with substantial public interest, a common occurrence whenever the chain enters a new market.

A split aerial image showing two scenes: on the left, the new In-N-Out Burger restaurant with a small crowd of customers lined up outside and on the right, a long queue of cars waiting to enter the drive-thru

Source: jesse_taff/TikTok

Long lines of customers, eagerly waiting to experience the chain’s popular offerings like the Animal-Style burger or Double-Double, are a testament to the brand’s popularity. Such openings often become community events, drawing large crowds and generating considerable excitement.

Customer Dedication at Idaho's In-N-Out Opening

The opening of the In-N-Out restaurant in Idaho witnessed a high level of customer dedication, with many enduring cold temperatures to be among the first to visit the new location.

A split aerial view shows a massive line of cars in a parking lot, waiting in an orderly manner, guided by traffic cones. On the left, vehicles are queued in a long line extending out of frame, and on the right, the parking area is filled with cars, showcasing the high turnout for the In-N-Out Burger opening day

Source: jesse_taff/TikTok

This level of enthusiasm is indicative of the brand’s strong following and the anticipation that builds around its new store openings. Local authorities were involved to manage the traffic and ensure safety due to the large number of customers expected at the opening.

In-N-Out's History and Brand Popularity

In-N-Out Burger has a rich history dating back to 1948 and has established itself as a beloved brand in the United States. Known for its fresh, quality burgers, the chain has maintained a strong following over the years.

An aerial shot of an In-N-Out Burger restaurant captured at sunset. The restaurant, with its distinctive white building and red awnings, stands out amid the warm glow of the setting sun

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Despite its popularity, In-N-Out’s presence has been somewhat limited, with about 400 restaurants in seven states prior to its Idaho opening. The expansion into Idaho represents the chain’s entry into an eighth state.


Local Anticipation for In-N-Out in Idaho

The opening of In-N-Out in Idaho was highly anticipated by the local community. Customers expressed their excitement about having access to the chain’s affordable and quality offerings.

A hand holds an In-N-Out double cheeseburger, focusing on the juicy layers of meat, cheese, and fresh tomato. The burger is wrapped halfway in paper marked with the restaurant's logo

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This enthusiasm reflects the brand’s reputation for providing value in its menu items, a significant consideration in times of rising fast-food prices. In-N-Out’s entry into the Idaho market was seen as a positive development by many local residents.


Comparing In-N-Out Prices with Other Fast-Food Chains

In-N-Out Burger’s pricing strategy stands out in the fast food industry, particularly in comparison to other major chains. For example, In-N-Out’s Double-Double is priced at $5.15, while according to Business Insider, a McDonald’s Big Mac in Southern California costs slightly more.

A close-up of a classic In-N-Out meal on a red tray, featuring a freshly prepared cheeseburger cut in half with tomato and lettuce visible, alongside a portion of fries and a pile of Animal Style fries topped with melted cheese and grilled onions

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This pricing approach is notable in an industry where prices have been rising steadily. In-N-Out has managed to maintain competitive pricing, which is a key aspect of its appeal to customers.


In-N-Out's Impact on Idaho’s Economy

In-N-Out’s expansion into Idaho is significant not only for the company but also for the local communities. The opening of the Meridian store is part of the company’s broader plans to establish more locations in the state, including one in a Boise mall.

The exterior of an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in the evening, featuring its distinctive red awning with white palm tree decorations

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These new restaurants are expected to have a positive impact on the local economy by creating job opportunities and attracting more visitors to the areas.


Commitment to Traditional Burger Making

In-N-Out has maintained a commitment to traditional burger making since its inception. The chain is known for its simple yet high-quality burgers, prepared fresh and adhering to time-honored recipes.

A close-up image of a classic In-N-Out meal placed inside a cardboard box, showing two cheeseburgers with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and the restaurant's signature yellow cheese melted over beef patties

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This dedication to maintaining culinary traditions has played a key role in building the brand’s loyal customer base. Each burger served is a reflection of the company’s long-standing commitment to quality.


In-N-Out's Influence on Fast Food Industry Standards

In-N-Out’s approach to employee compensation in Idaho has significant implications for the fast food industry.

Inside the bustling kitchen of an In-N-Out Burger, workers in white uniforms and red hats are busy preparing food. Above them, a neon sign reads 'Quality you can taste’

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By offering wages well above the state’s minimum, the company sets a new standard in an industry often criticized for low pay.


Future Expansion Plans for In-N-Out

In-N-Out Burger’s expansion into Idaho is part of its ongoing growth strategy, with plans to enter more states, including Tennessee.

A night-time view of the illuminated In-N-Out Burger sign, featuring its iconic yellow arrow on a red background. The sign is prominent against the dark sky, with light trails from passing vehicles

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Each new location represents not just a business expansion but also the spread of the company’s unique approach to fast-food service, quality, and employee treatment. In-N-Out’s future growth is expected to further cement its status as a key player in the American fast food industry.