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In-N-Out: Can perfection survive?


The complex issues of In-N-Out's colorful past and its unsettled future are explored in a new book titled simply "In-N-Out Burger" by BusinessWeek writer Stacy Perman. Perman observes that In-N-Out has prospered by hewing close to the stolid principles of controlled growth, limited menu, fresh food and regional focus -- with the exception of one store in Utah, its 232 locations are all in California, Nevada or Arizona -- set in stone by its founders, like commandments. As a private company, In-N-Out doesn't release financial figures, though the trade press estimated sales in 2005 at $370 million -- a healthy sum for a small chain. That's a lot of burgers and fresh-cut fries.

Photo: Irfan Kahn / Los Angeles Times

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