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Chain Is Not Only In-N-Out, It Lands on Top in a Survey

March 06, 2001|LESLIE EARNEST

On its Web site, In-N-Out Burger displays a double-decker burger, a pile of fries and the following statement: "Quality you can taste."

Plenty of people would agree with that statement, according to a survey released Monday by Sandelman & Associates Inc., a Villa Park restaurant research firm.

The Irvine-based chain aced out 75 other fast-food chains for the best overall score. It also topped competitors on taste and temperature of food, quality of ingredients, order accuracy, friendliness and courtesy and restaurant cleanliness. It was the second year that In-N-Out has taken top honors in the survey, which queried 68,600 fast-food users in 62 U.S. markets.

In-N-Out, a small fry compared to McDonald's Corp., has been serving up the basics--burgers, fries, drinks--since 1948. What it's doing seems to be working. Of the patrons who visited the chain in the past three months, 59% said their last In-N-Out experience was "excellent."

But the chain, which makes food to order, did not rate among the fastest of the fast. Topping that category was Papa Murphy's, Panda Express and Good Times.

In a result that will surprise no one, the ubiquitous McDonald's topped the list for convenience.

Leslie Earnest covers retail businesses for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7832 and at

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