DRAPER — About 3,200 square feet of Southern Californian's pure iconic culture is coming to northern Utah.
Owners of the trendy IN-N-OUT burger joint recently filed for a construction permit to build one its celebrity-famous restaurants in the Draper Peaks Shopping Center just off I-15 at 12195 South.
It will be Utah's second location, when it's finished by sometime late summer or fall of this year. The first location was built in Washington.
It took 44 years, and the vision of the owners' children, to finally open the business out of state in Las Vegas.
The "look and feel" of the company's age-old swaying-palm-tree branding wasn't too difficult to establish among the relaxed sandal-wearing population in Nevada's warm Las Vegas, admitted IN-N-OUT spokesman Carl Van Fleet Thursday.
But now the coastal-themed company is taking a wider step inland, taking its nostalgic restaurant style, reminiscent of Beach Boy album covers, and plopping it in a snow-famous valley, world renowned for its powdered slopes.
"It will be the same as the ones here," Van Fleet said from California. "The same look and feel and, more importantly, the same customer quality."
But, there will likely be one uncontrollable difference: The Draper restaurant will probably have to go without the company's signature crossed-palm-tree design that is so traditional to California locations. "We're still looking into that," Van Fleet said.
What about crossing oaks?
"I don't think so. But if we can find something close, we'll consider it."
Even without crisscrossing palms, the place is almost surely destined for success. When Draper surveyed its residents two years ago, the trendy '50s-style drive-thru was one of the very top choices on their wish list, city spokeswoman Maridene Hancock said. "Everybody wanted it."
And Draper Mayor Darrell H. Smith said he was pleased his city was chosen as the first northern Utah location.
A national fast-food survey, conducted by Sadleman and Associates, reflected that same desire and awarded the old-fashioned chain its highest customer satisfaction spot in 2008 when 60 percent of customers described their last visit as "excellent."
"That one (survey) was particularly important to us," Van Fleet said. "Because it came from customers."
The 60-year-old, still family-owned hamburger franchise makes its obsession about freshness clear.
"There are no freezers," Van Fleet said. "Not one. It's all fresh."
No heat lamps. No microwaves. No pre-prepared items. And fries are hand-sliced in front of customers.
And just to maintain their strict no-freezing creed, Van Fleet said IN-N-OUT makes its own patties, and restaurants receive beef shipments every other day.
Nothing is more than $2.99 and the menu is half a dozen words deep: cheeseburger, hamburger, double-double, fries, drink, milk shake.
Unless, of course, you include what's on the "secret menu," which is actually not such a secret.
"We never intended anything to be a secret," Van Fleet said. "It's just evolved over time. The items are just a variety of preparation methods."
Since many folks feel that few circumstances are perhaps more embarrassing than ordering a nonexistent item from the "secret menu," dozens of Web sites have documented items in detail, including the popular and sloppy "Animal Style" or "Flying Dutchman," or the no meat versions — veggie or grilled cheese burger.
"What it all means is that we'll make it anyway you want it," Van Fleet said. "It's that simple."
IN-N-OUT has a reputation for paying more than its competitors. Draper pay will start at $10 per hour and Van Fleet said IN-N-OUT is expecting to hire 50 to 60 full- and part-time employees.
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