business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Fox News reports that fore the time being, every In-N-Out location in Texas - all 37 of them - have been closed. If you want a Double Double, Animal Style or a chocolate shake, you have to go elsewhere.

The closures aren’t permanent. In fact, they hope to have the units open today.

It all depends on getting a shipment of hamburger buns that the company feels are up to its standards.

That’s right. In-N-Out was dissatisfied with the quality of buns that it got - we are assured that it was a quality issue and not a food safety problem - so it decided that it would rather close than serve up burgers on sub-standard buns.

Here’s the company statement: “At In-N-Out Burgers, we have always served the highest quality food with no compromise. We recently discovered that our buns in Texas do not meet the quality standards that we demand. There was and are no food safety concerns. We decided to close all of our Texas stores until we are confident that we can serve our normal high quality bun … We apologize for any inconvenience this closure may cause for our customers.”

Wow. Can you imagine? In-N-Out may lose money because of the closures, but the brand equity it gains - this clearly is a customer-focused statement, strategy and culture - is enormous. Priceless, you might say.

And an Eye-Opener.
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