Happy Meatless Monday! I came across this petition to add veggie burgers to In-N-Out’s famously spartan menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and, for meat-shunners, a tomato and special sauce-spiked grilled cheese that’s pretty hard to hate. I don’t usually take up pet causes, but I was an Angeleno for five years and In-N-Out news is news to me. I’ve spent a lot of time nudging my car around the line for an Animal Double-Double to hoover while I drive with my knees.
Largely research-less online surveys estimate California’s vegetarian population at around 8%. 8% of 35 million is…online calculator…2.8 million. That’s a lot of people, moreso if you count people who only avoid red meat. Let’s assume that a good chunk of that demographic, as proud Californians, would give a hoot about In-N-Out’s veggie burger addition. And In-N-Out would simply have one more thing to be proud of, I mean, they were the only chain in Fast Food Nation to come out smelling like roses (and Maillard reaction).
Now the opposition. The single best part of an In-N-Out burger is the freshly ground beef, never frozen, delivered every day without fail. The fries are made fresh, too. Veggie burgers, by nature, come frozen. They’re really delicious made by hand, but are impractical to fit into In-N-Out’s well-oiled burger (and grilled cheese) works. I understand this, as well as their unwillingness to compromise on using fresh ingredients.
So what’s more important: catering to an undertapped crowd or not fixing things that ain’t broke?
More burger analysis on Food Republic: