The User Experience of In-N-Out's Menu

Added on by Bryan Clark.

The secret highlight, the real reason for any great Californian roadtrip is that it’s a chance to indulge in a local delicacy: In-N-Out. There are all kinds of mystery and myth around the company, but I’d like to posit one more great thing about the place: they have the world’s best-designed menu.

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If you’re a new customer, you only have to answer one simple, obvious question:

“How hungry are you?”

All of the menu items are the same: they’re burgers, with different quantities of meat and cheese. That’s it. There’s no mystery to it. If you are new to the In-N-Out experience, there’s no time lost staring at a big menu, and worrying that you’re going to pick a bad menu item. 

There’s only one menu item. You can’t make a bad choice here.

For “advanced users”, of course, there is the secret menu: the culinary equivalent of a keyboard shortcut, a way to try out varieties on the classic. Add some sauce, order a grilled cheese, get your fries done extra-crispy; it’s all up to you.

But if you’re a new customer, you’ll walk away feeling like you got to try California’s classic burger; you only had one choice to make, and it was easy. You’ve now experienced the tradition of In-N-Out, and it was painless. You feel like you know it well.

For those repeat customers, they feel just a bit clever. And once you find out about the secret menu, you’re that much more inspired to come back.

In-N-Out. Famous for their burgers, (although nothing beats Dick’s Drive In in Seattle!) but also home to the world’s best menu design.

(Image: Flickr)