I was 16 years old when my love affair with In N Out Burger began. I was young, naive and angry at the world. I was forced into slave labor, I thought. I didn’t belong in a burger joint, I thought.
My parents forced me to get a job. They even went as far as actually filling out the application and scheduling an in-person interview with the store manager.
I said all the wrong things and he hired me on the spot. I was distraught. I played sports and was in all advanced classes, why did I have to make french fries too?
I cried on my way to every shift. I didn’t stop crying until the day I realized how fortunate I was to have to work as a hobby. I was humbled on the spot. People chose this place as their lifelong career and that was truly something to admire.
In N Out Burger taught me how to mop, clean bathrooms, smile at all times, look people in the eye, but most importantly, how to live a life full of integrity and service.
It always hung proudly on the wall. One of In N Out’s core values “INTEGRITY,” alongside an In N Out definition of the word. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is watching. It’s easy to do the right thing when others are watching but it becomes much more difficult when the only person watching is you.
And service, well it is not as simple as it sounds. Service is something In N Out culture taught me along the way. The customer is always right. No matter what. Now that was hard to grasp. Customer’s were oftentimes wrong, but at In N Out, they were “right” regardless. This taught me to always turn frowns upside down. This taught me that great service brings great results.
These values were instilled within me by force. My parents forced me to work, In N Out forced me to excel at service and integrity. Are things that are forced upon us always bad? Definitely not. Are these values something I still hold close to my heart? Most definitely. I do the right thing when no one is watching at all times and live a life full of gratitude and service. And that’s the power of In N Out Burger…