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Extended Audio Sample In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules, by Stacy Perman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (429 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stacy Perman Narrator: Loren Lester Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The untold story of the renegade burger chain that evokes a passionate following unlike any other

In fast-food corporate America, In-N-Out Burger stands apart. Begun in a tiny shack in the shadow of World War II, this family-owned chain has stead­fastly refused to franchise or be sold. It is a testament to old-fashioned values and rem­iniscent of a simpler time when people, loyalty, and a freshly made, juicy hamburger meant something. Over time, In-N-Out Burger has become nothing less than a cultural institu­tion that can lay claim to an insanely loyal following.

Perman uses her investigative skills to uncover the story of a real American success story. It is not only a tale of a unique and profitable business that exceeds all expectations, but of a family's struggle to maintain a sustainable pop empire against the industry it helped pioneer, internal tensions, and a bitter lawsuit that threatened to bring the company to the brink.

This is a lesson in a counterintuitive approach to doing business that places quality, customers, and employees over the riches promised by rapid expansion. In-N-Out Burger is a keenly observed narrative that explores the evolution of a California fad that transformed into an enduring cult of popularity; it is also the story of the conflicted, secretive, and ultimately tragic Snyder family who cooked a billion burgers and hooked a zillion fans. As the story of In-N-Out Burger unfolds, so too does the cultural history of America as influenced and shaped by car culture and fast food.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] entertaining corporate history…Perman’s reporting is considerable.”


  • “Perman’s illuminating new book, In-N-Out Burger, is an absorbing case study of how a family business came to be at the center of its own cheerful cult…Should be required reading for family business owners, alongside Rich Cohen’s Sweet and Low and Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks.”

    Fortune Small Business

  • “At last, the great American small-business story gets told. It is a reassuring read in uncertain times, reminding business owners to listen to customers, do what you love, and have fun while you do it.”

    Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

  • “When fast-food restaurants tried to locate in Fisherman’s Wharf, our local merchants were opposed to every one of them—except In-N-Out. Because every meal is fresh and made from scratch, In-N-Out is in a class by itself.”

    Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco

  • “This book grills up an enjoyable read for both avid foodies and novice diners alike! Perman’s sneak peek into the fascinating history of In-N-Out is as good as the delicious burgers themselves, and that’s saying a lot.”

    Mario Batali, chef and author of Molto Italiano

  • “Here is a fast-paced, top-down ride through the tumultuous history of how one family and the business they fought to control turned the simple hamburger into the culinary symbol of a century and one fast-food restaurant into a legend, revered by Hollywood starlets, America’s greatest chefs, and generations of ordinary folks. Told with the same fresh approach that has turned In-N-Out Burger into an American institution, Perman keeps us wanting more.”

    Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of The Widow Cliquot

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon.com Top 10 Book of 2009: Food Lit

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Angela | 2/18/2014

    " If you love In-n-Out, this book will reinforce that love. I don't feel guilty about eating there--or at least I won't for a few more years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Erin | 2/12/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed the 1st half of this book, but was a bit depressed on reading the last part. This is a great book for anyone who knows In-N-Out burgers. It's fun to read the story behind how it all got started. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Eugene | 2/12/2014

    " Love to eat at In-N-Out. It's rated the best fast food, above McDonalds and all the others. The book is just as good as the food. The story of the family that started and grew In-N-Out Burger is a fascinating read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kim | 2/6/2014

    " This a nice overview of the creation of the chain that is Southern Californian to the core. The author has tried to be as balanced as possible using what information is available on the very private family that is behind the chain. It helps a fan of the In N Out chain to understand the politics that went on behind the scene with the family and as the family died off leaving the young reluctant heiress behind to roll the dice on the family future. One hopes that she reads this book with an objective eye to understand where her family's heart lay and continue a long time tradition for another generation or six to enjoy. "

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About the Author

Stacy Perman, the recipient of the MacDowell fellowship, is an award-winning journalist. She worked for BusinessWeek and Time, covering small business, entrepreneurship, and other similar topics. Her writing has also appeared in Los Angeles magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Business 2.0, and the Wall Street Journal. Her first book provided an inside look at the burger chain In-n-Out. Born in Los Angeles, she has lived in Germany, Japan, and Israel, and she currently lives in New York.