Friday, April 8, 2011

In-N-Out, beware

Jessica Gueghlein never used to give it a second thought when she wanted a good hamburger — she headed to In-N-Out, that drive-through icon of Southern California car culture.

But her affections have strayed. Lately she's been hitting an East Coast upstart aggressively expanding in California — Five Guys Burgers and Fries. ...

"They will definitely be a competitor to In-N-Out," said Steve West, restaurant industry analyst for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in St. Louis. "The prices are comparable and the product is comparable." ...

Atlanta businessman Kevin Nelson is making a huge bet on Five Guys. His company, Monument Restaurant Group, has bought the rights to open 300 of the restaurants across the country, 140 of them in the Los Angeles area. ...

At dinner on a recent weeknight in Valencia, Dave and Terry Kasparian sampled their first Five Guys burgers. ...

"In-N-Out's got competition now," Dave Kasparian said. "The only thing missing is the drive-through."
--Sharon Bernstein, LA Times, on burger wars

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