In-N-Out's secret menu is no mystery. But thanks to one intrepid In-N-Out worker, we've just gotten a glimpse of a menu so exclusive that most people have never even heard of it nor will ever be able to order from it.
In an "Ask Me Anything" forum on Reddit.com, In-N-Out cook "dravila9" of Arizona went into detail about the myriad ways he and his co-workers hack the kitchen after-hours by coming up with their own combinations or bringing in their own special ingredients.
Take, for example, the simple addition of bacon to anything.
"Took bacon in to cook after closing and it really changes everything," wrote dravila9. "Sweet Jesus it was the greatest thing I've ever had!" he said of his bacon creations.
Dravila9 has also made donuts after closing time (by squirting milkshake syrup on buns and dunking them in the fryer) and a super baked potato (by coring a potato, frying it and then filling it with chopped burger patties, melted cheese, onions, chiles and tomatoes).
But dravila9 reserved his biggest praise for a menu item only served at In-N-Out's yearly family picnics: chili dogs. "OMG if In-N-Out sold the chili dogs they give at the family picnics the world really wouldn't be able to handle it," he wrote.
But enough with the torture. In-N-Out fans understand that the reason the chain will never change their menu or introduce new items is because the restaurant is content to excel at the simple list of foods they offer.
"They don't have a chicken sandwich; they don't have a fish sandwich; they don't do breakfast," said Dean Small, president of Synergy Food Consulting Group Inc. in Laguna Niguel, to the OC Register last week. "They are experts in their area because they are highly focused."
Besides, explained dravila9, it's "too complicated to keep real fresh bacon on hand and ready to cook ... since we don't use that cheap fake bacon." Swoon.
Indeed, almost every answer dravila9 gave also doubled as another reason to love the 65-year-old Southern California chain restaurant. Does he ever get to take food home? Not much besides leftover produce, says dravila9, because all their burgers are cooked to order. Is laundry a drag? Nope, because In-N-Out provides workers with clean shirts and aprons every day.
Also noteworthy are the incredible benefits and high-starting pay for In-N-Out workers, uncommon for fast food workers. Starting at the bottom means earning $10 per hour, and part-timers get dental and vision benefits as well as a life insurance policy. Full-time workers get medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance benefits (for more information, check out In-N-Out's benefits site).
Lest you think the AMA was planted to give In-N-Out some positive free press, we'd also like to make note of the typical Reddit raunch that made its way into the Q&A session. Dravila9 says that he has never dragged his "balls" across a sandwich because there are "too many windows and you can see everything we do." He's also tempted to spit in people's food if they're being drunk "assholes" (but he never would) and admits to accepting tips, even though he's not allowed to.
One time, an older customer meant to order a 3X3 animal style, but instead ordered a "three way doggy style," and the order gave dravila9 a case of the giggles. And that secret sauce you love? It's just "thousand island with some unicorn jizz."
UPDATE Mar. 7, 2013: Since this story was published, all of dravila9's comments in the Reddit AMA were deleted, including a photo that had been embedded here. In-N-Out Vice President Carl Van Fleet told food site The Daily Meal that the company had no role in removing the comments, and a rep from Reddit confirmed that the user himself deleted his comments.