- In-N-Out has made Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list eight times.
- In Insider’s analysis of 11 years of the Glassdoor ranking, In-N-Out was one of the top companies.
- Its development opportunities and high pay for the industry contribute to employee satisfaction.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Andrew Chamberlain, the chief economist at Glassdoor, told Insider that though people may be surprised to see a fast-food chain on the annual list among professional services and tech companies, In-N-Out stood out from its competitors. In-N-Out first appeared on the list in 2013 at No. 9, going on to place among the top four in the past four years and never falling out of the top 15.
“We have high standards for ourselves, especially in the quality of our burgers and how we treat our Customers, but we can only meet those standards when we have an Associate who is doing a wonderful job making that happen,” Lynsi Snyder, the owner and president of In-N-Out, wrote in a statement to Insider.
According to Snyder, who is the granddaughter of the chain’s founders Harry and Esther Snyder, flexible schedules and high pay are just part of what drives the company’s high employee satisfaction.
The first In-N-Out opened in Baldwin Park, California, and the chain now has over 350 locations in seven states, predominantly in California.
Mark Kalinowski is the president and CEO of Kalinowski Equity Research, which focuses on the restaurant industry. He told Insider that a chain’s brand image was especially important in the restaurant industry. And In-N-Out has been nurturing its brand and operating differently from its competitors ever since it was founded, he added.
“The view of the Snyders when they started In-N-Out was different. They really had a passion for developing people and their talent, and treating them well,” Kalinowski said.
Even with a menu that hasn’t changed much since decades earlier, it still performs well compared with larger quick-service restaurants. Forbes’ Chloe Sorvino wrote in a 2018 article: “An In-N-Out store outsells a typical McDonald’s nearly twice over, bringing in an estimated $4.5 million in gross annual sales versus McDonald’s $2.6 million.”
Though the privately held company doesn’t provide much comment on its financials, the chain seems to be doing well amid the pandemic. Sorvino reported in a recent Forbes article that In-N-Out hired at all its locations in 2020 and avoided layoffs.
Denny Warnick, the chain’s vice president of operations, said in a statement to Insider that associates were also given “supplemental pay, recognition bonuses, and replenishments to sick leave banks” amid the pandemic.
In-N-Out also expanded to Colorado in 2020, opening two locations in November. The new Aurora and Colorado Springs locations had many interested residents order food, with a 14-hour drive-thru wait in Aurora.
Overall, In-N-Out opened 10 locations last year. It has opened a location in Bakersfield, California, and Lone Tree, Colorado, so far in 2021 and plans to open a little over 15 more locations by the end of this year.
In-N-Out offers above-average pay and opportunities to move up in the company
John Gordon, a restaurant analyst and founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group, told Insider In-N-Out had higher employee compensation than other fast-food chains.
According to reported salaries on Glassdoor, hourly store associates make an average of $13 per hour at In-N-Out. While Glassdoor reported average crew wages of just $9 per hour at Wendy’s and McDonald’s, a McDonald’s spokesperson told Insider that the average starting wage for nonmanagerial workers at US corporate-owned restaurants was almost $11 per hour. But pay can vary by geographic area. In-N-Out told Insider starting pay can range from $13 to $18 per hour.
“Associates can continue to receive raises pretty quickly from there, as they master different skills and positions within the restaurant,” Kathleen Luppi, the marketing-communications specialist at In-N-Out, told Insider in an email.
Gordon also said there wasn’t high employee turnover at the fast-food chain and that there were opportunities to move up. The fast-food chain promotes from within, where all store managers start as hourly associates and are then trained to help them advance.
“That definitely makes the dynamics within the company a bit better, I think; you’re never being bossed around by someone who didn’t know what it was like to be in your position,” Brittany Brown, a former employee, wrote in a blog post on the recipe and food site Delishably.
And just like hourly associates, store managers are paid well. Insider reported in 2018 that store managers made an average annual salary of $160,000.
What else to know if you are looking to work at In-N-Out
If you are interested in working at In-N-Out, you should emphasize on your résumé previous work with customers, as part of the company’s mission is to deliver items in a “warm and friendly manner,” the TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine told Insider in an email.
If you are looking to be promoted internally, you should showcase times you were a valuable team member, Augustine added.
“Any indications that you’ve been good at your job and looked for opportunities to take on more responsibility will be well-received,” Augustine said. “Remember, even if you held a ‘doer’ type of position at In-N-Out, you should still frame your experience on your resume with an ‘achiever’ state of mind.”
This post has been updated with a statement from McDonald’s on average US crew starting wages.