Chains that refuse to expand outside of a certain area out of loyalty

My father used to drive trucks for Braums. I live in Texas now, but close enough to Oklahoma that we still have lots of braums around here. I don’t care for their food much, but their dairy products are great (and inexpensive).

I love In-n-Out burgers when I’m in California, but this is just kind of dumb. Nowhere is it written in the laws of Supply Chain that you can only have a single supply hub. I’d be happy to sponsor another hub here in Florida, where I’m sure we’re able to supply beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.

Mister Hero used to be Mister Philly, at least when they opened in NY in the late 1980s (I personally know they had at least 4 stores on Long Island, and at least one in Manhattan) - I liked the plain cheesesteak quite a bit, and the wafer fries (to me) were incredibly tasty - haven’t really found any fries like that in any other chain since (and forget the local diner fries - they just suck). The Oceanside outlet held out the longest, but it too succumbed sometime in the late 1990s, and apparently Mr Hero then retreated back to Ohio…

If I ever get the death penalty, I’m getting a brownie fudge sundae for my last meal.

I’m not disagreeing with you, but they feel that having the single supply source means it’s easier to control consistency.

Although I think they recently got a store open in Utah, so I wonder if they’re actually still using a single source. I don’t know.

I was just thinking about this today. If In-N-Out does eventually expand, I believe they will never get very far north because then they won’t be able to have their trademark crossed palm trees outside each restaurant.

I thought they had been packaging their sausage since I was a kid. Their frozen chicken and noodle is very good and their frozen rolls are wonderful.

I can’t speak for sausage gravy since I’m not a fan of anyone’s sausage gravy.

Precisely. I know some chains (In-N-Out, Braums, etc) are limited by logistics. I’m curious about those that can expand elsewhere, but don’t due to reasons that aren’t related to anything financial, logistical or union/labor related. Honey Hut is an example of cross-town rivalry: “I’m going to deny those snooty East Siders my delicious ice cream, because I’m a loyal West Sider!” Blake’s Lotaburger is an example of loyalty to one state, and a sense of obligation to keep it a New Mexico-only institution.

A hypothetical example: the owner of a growing restaurant chain in Michigan refuses to expand into Ohio, because they went to the University of Michigan, and Ohio State is the major rival school. Their blood runs Michigan blue, and the thought of opening an outlet in Ohio is absolutely, positively out of the picture.

In a sort of mixed case, Tastykake’s distribution will forever be limited by the fact that they will not use preservatives and insist on having just the Philadelphia bakery (though that’s moving to new digs soon, apparently). The fact that you can only ship cupcakes so far without using preservatives is a logistical issue, and some Tastykake fans were actually upset when the company switched from the waxed paper wrappers to snug plastic ones to increase shelf life and expand this shipping radius. But the refusal to consider building another bakery anywhere outside of Philly is definitely a local loyalty issue. They identify themselves as a Philadelphia company and aren’t going to trade that part of their image for increased sales.

(They’ll happily take your order by mail, of course, but only within the Continental U.S. :frowning: )

I live smack in the middle of Indiana and I’ve got a In-N-Out just a few miles from my house. Well, it isn’t technically called In-N-Out, but it happens to be owned by some California transplants who happened to work for a certain chain for many years and opened 96th Street Steakburgers here in the MidWest. I’ve taken people from the west coast there and they swear it is the same food. Personally, I think we have better burger options, but if you are in the MidWest and are feeling home sick, or want to know what the hype is all about, you have another option than buying a plane ticket to California.

That’s the Italian place in Lebanon, right? I ate there about 17 years ago on a visit from my home in San Jose. I was surprised when I discovered Sweet Tomatoes out here, especially since a completely different kind of restaurant. Oddly enough, Google still hits on “Sweet Tomatoes New Hampshire” as the Lebanon Trattoria.


God, I loved Mighty Taco…

Souplantation, too. It’s one of the (few) things I miss about living in San Diego…

From another perspective, rapid expansion is a trap.

1> You do good business with a few restaurants and have a loyal following that keeps profits high, so you decide that instead of 2 outlets, you’ll build 12 in the same market. In the process, you take on a great deal of debt, which is problematic in the long run. You also outrun your loyal customer base and need to greatly expand it in order to stay alive, which isn’t always possible. If sales and profits in the new sites doesn’t meet that of the old, you’re screwed and the entire business goes down in flames.

This is one reason why I’ll never invest in the Hot New Restaurant Chain Stock. How many of them survive in the long run? Planet Hollywood anyone?

2> As stated above, you stay in a limited geographic area with a limited store base, and you can control all aspects of production, marketting and distribution. Once you move beyond that, quality control can become problematic and bring down your entire chain.

After mulling over regional chains that seem to be regional only due to logistical or financial difficulties, I finally hit on one that will undoubtedly be regional out of loyalty-- the various Harry Caray restaurants in the Chicago area. They’re a pretty diverse group of restaurants: three Italian restaurants, a sandwich shop, a sports bar/tavern, a seafood place, and a retro lounge. I think Harry Caray could expand into the greater Chicagoland area, parts of WI and IN as well as more of IL, but not more than, say, a 25 to 50 mile radius around Chicago.

They consider In and Out a family business and as such consider quality to be a higher priority than expansion.

I’ll take an “animal style” cheeseburger and my fries extra crispy.

The location is in Washington City, UT, which is only about 2 hours away from Vegas, where they have a rather large In n’Out. That’s probably why they expanded there. If they’re sticking with the single source, I wouldn’t expect to find an In n’Out much north of that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to drive 6 hours down to the south-western tip of Utah–I didn’t realize there was an In n’Out down there!

Or Krispy Creme.

Mmmm…chicken fried steak sandwich, crinkle fries and a chocolate shake…mmmm.

I will have to make a stop there when I go back to Texas for Thanksgiving.

There are a couple in the Reno-Sparks area, about 450 miles north of Vegas. There’s also at least one (in Auburn, CA) on I-80 between Reno and Sacramento

Ivars in Seattle, I dont know why they dont expand beyond the area but the food is great and good quality all the way around.

Taco Time, another Seattle chain that I sort of worked for way back when, real food served fast is kind of their motto, its more expensive than regular fast food but the quality is way way better than crap like taco bell.