Monday, November 16, 2009

Commodites, Competition, and In - N - Out Burger.

UPDATE: Went to the In - N - Out on University Pkwy today. It's like Disneyland, huge line and nothing but smiles everywhere I looked. I can honestly say that I've never seen so many people be so excited in Orem before.

Got the double double with grilled onions, way good, pretty cheap. Awesome.

It was about 30 minutes from the time I got in line to the time I got my food, but it went by pretty fast. From what I could see there were 800 workers there, all smiles in their cute little unis.

I really do appreciate In - N - Out's devotion to customer service. Usually at a fast food joints some dead-eyed teenage worker gives me the figurative bird as I order. it was nice seeing employees who actively care about satisfying customers, and who seem to give a crap about their jobs.

And now, back to the original post...

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give it up for Chadder's!

For all of you outside of Utah, let me give you the scoop.

In 2007 a place called 'Chadder's' opened in American Fork. I remember going in there with my friend Will and both of us being a bit uneased by the how much of a In - N - Out burger rip off the place was. Just stunning in its rip-off-ness.

We ate, we weren't real impressed, but hey, some dude making his place like In - N - Out because In - N - Out wouldn't come to northern Utah (they think they're so big). A second Chadder's opened in Provo earlier this year (in what use to be Hogi Yogi on 9th).

Apparently their was a lawsuit brought and settled that same year, Chadder's could still exist if they changed the names of their some of their menu items (I hadn't realized they ripped those off as well) and they voluntarily added a color to their design.

Later, officials from Draper approached In -N - Out officials in California and asked them to come to Draper. From there, and this is a pure rumour, since they were coming northern Utah they might as well open stores in American Fork and Orem to shut down those dirty Chadder's guys.

So, finally, after years and years of Utah residents eagerly awaiting for this beloved burger chain to grace us with their presence, they finally are coming to foil an adversary.

Part of me is thrilled, they're opening soon (in the parking lot of the Barnes and Noble, kitty corner from University Mall) and I'll probably go sometime next week to check it out.

The other part of me is just a bit annoyed. Seriously? It took some guy ripping you off to come here? You're coming to shut some business down? Why didn't you come just because, oh, I don't know, 700,000 people were dying for you to come to here! Why did they even give Chadder's a chance to open?

Another part of me is a bit remorseful for all the places that business will be hurt by their opening. Yeah yeah... (semi) free market economy and all that. I'm not so sad about any McDonalds or Burger Kings that lose business, and that new Five Guys (which I kinda love) will be fine, but what about the Mom & Pop places (there's a place called 'Stumpy Burger' on center street, and a place called 'Sammys' on 1st W. that are bound to take a BIG hit) that can't hack it? I realize that business is business, but I still have a twinge of regret for the jobs and money lost by those businesses.

So, if you have a second, drop a thank you card to Chadder's for cheesing off the In - N - Out suits enough to finally come here, and maybe I can get over my issues enough to box out the 10,000 nineteen year olds, order my double-double with grilled onions, push an old person out of their table and taste the commodified burgery goodness. Don't worry Mom & Pop joints, my heart will be with you while my money is In - N - Out.


  1. While it did take ages for them to get here (I know they're still family owned and had some supply chain issues in getting their fresh produce and meat this far away from their base), I'm hoping that they grind Chadder's into the ground. Any company that can only compete under the "we're a blatant rip-off of another company" corollary shouldn't survive.
    Also, the first casualty of In-N-Out coming has already happened - EZ Take Out just north of there shut their doors about when they started building the In-N-Out. Wise move I say.

  2. I welcome In-N-Out to the Wasatch Front. During college I often found myself making the drive to the happiest little corner in the Bay Area. In this little retail center there was an In-N-Out, a KrispyKreme (when they first hit the scene) and a Costco. Good memories. However, here are my two favorite burger joints in the valley. First, you guys may disagree because you lived in Heritage Halls, but the Creamery on Ninth does it for me. There's something wholesome about that place and the children's meal for three bucks is a steal. Second, JCW's at the point of the mountain. This one is new to my list. The pastrami burger is great. Both of these joints have an endless supply of fry sauce (very important). Speaking of pastrami burgers, the Little Acorn is one of those timeless mom and pop places that fills a need after a round of golf. Especially when you win the long drive contest and some fool ends up paying for your lunch. At least that's how I remember it.

  3. I too love In-n-out dearly. I often frequented that very same little corner in the bay area as Kirk. I'd make a stop at Costco and then get a chocolate milkshake for Roxie and I to share. If only we were there a few years earlier Kirk and I could have shared a moment.

    I can't think that the only motive In-n-out have in coming to the Wasatch front is to squash Chadder's. I believe they've been making the move up here for a while. Long before Chadder's set up shop. Why would they come to Saint George and then just stop there? I think it was always in the plans to come here. I may have to wait a year until the lines die down (remember when KrispyKreme opened?!) but I'll be right there with the rest of them.

  4. I heard EZ take out went under because of crappy 'new' management... but that's pure rumor. The timing seems little too convenient... I think I would just cut and run myself.

    The Little Acorn is great. I don't remember who bought lunch and who received lunch that day, but did Kirk buy for Mikey? I'm just guessing here. I've always meant to try JCW's, for no other reason then those are Jed's initials (Jed and I had that conversation when we passed one in American Fork). I've got good memories of going to Ripples with my mom when I was younger. I thought it was famous because it was in 'The Phone Call'.

    I, like Carrie, thought that the whole shut down Chaddar's thing was untrue, but the fact they're opening in American Fork is a bit suspect to me. Why on earth would they open in that jerk-water-burg if not to shut down chaddar's? That place is almost as bad as Eagle Mountain...

  5. Oh, man. I loved the phone call. Sweet Ripples....

  6. Rats, I've never been to In'N'Out.