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RESTAURANT SPECIAL '98: THE BEST...THE BEAUTIFUL...AND
THE BIZARRE | AND THE BIZARRE | SO SOCAL

1-800-burger : In-N-Out's hotline gets you there

March 15, 1998|Josh Susong

When Anton Bucher decided he wanted a Double Double, he jumped in his car and drove to In-N-Out. It only took a weekend--from Dallas.

"We have some very loyal customers," says Carl Van Fleet, vice president of operations.

A 2,000-mile round trip isn't always necessary, but one call to In-N-Out's toll-free line (800-786-1000) gets you a representative who can serve as guide to In-N-Out territory, which reaches as far north as Auburn, Calif., as far south as San Diego and as far east as Las Vegas. Customer Service representative Rick Vencill says he's memorized directions to many of the 127 In-N-Outs in his three months of handling calls. While he hasn't gotten any from Texas, a burger-seeker recently called from Oregon. Representatives also handle customer complaints and queries, but Van Fleet's favorite kind of call is one that comes from the hungry driver who has a cellular phone and needs a navigator. "We'll stay on the phone with them and guide them right up to the drive-through," he says. "The only thing we can't do for them is take their order."

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