In-N-Out Just Announced a New Location in Tennessee

Animal style is moving east.

In-N-Out restaurant

Jon Hicks / Getty Images

As some fast food chains have prioritized continued expansion, making sure that you see their logos more often than your oldest kids, In-N-Out Burger has remained stubbornly committed to keeping its restaurants on the left side of the country. The cult-fave burger spot’s 385 locations are only found in seven states — and over 250 of those are scattered throughout California. But on Tuesday, the chain made the by-all-accounts surprising announcement that it would start construction on an office in Franklin, Tennessee, and that would be followed by “future restaurants” in the state. 

In 2017, Carl Van Fleet, the vice president of planning and development at In-N-Out, explained to Business Insider, the company is limited in its ability to expand eastward, as everything is made fresh and never frozen. Van Fleet added, “Our new restaurant locations are limited by the distance we can travel from our patty-making facilities and distribution centers." However, all that appears to be changing. 

“We are very excited to provide Tennesseans with our quality burgers, fries, and shakes,” In-N-Out owner and president Lynsi Snyder said in a statement. “In every decision I make, I always consider what my family would want. I have no doubt that my grandparents, dad, and uncle would be proud of this decision to grow our Associate family and serve even more amazing Customers beginning in Nashville and the surrounding areas.” 

In-N-Out Burger will invest over $125 million to construct the 100,000-square-foot office space in Franklin, a city about 25 miles south of Nashville, and the project will create 277 new jobs in the area. Construction on the building will start by late 2024 and is expected to wrap within two years. And, most importantly for Animal Style aficionados, the first In-N-Outs east of Texas are also expected to open "in and around Nashville" by 2026. Snyder told The Tennessean, they may start with two restaurants — with both opening on the same day — and "probably have a third" soon after. 

"I'm proud to welcome In-N-Out Burger, an iconic American brand, to the Volunteer State," Tennessee governor Bill Lee said. " Tennessee's unmatched business climate, skilled workforce, and central location make our state the ideal place for this family-run company to establish its first eastern United States hub. We thank In-N-Out for planting roots in Williamson County and creating new jobs for Tennesseans."

Snyder, the only grandchild of In-N-Out founders Harry and Esther Snyder, told The Tennessean that she fell hard for the state after vacationing there. "We came here years ago, actually East of the smokies, but came back out to Pigeon Forge and Nashville and fell in love. There was one other state definitely interested and wanting us there, but we chose Nashville," she explained.

That other state she mentioned could've been Florida: on a phone call last November, Governor Ron DeSantis set up a call with Snyder to talk about In-N-Out expanding into the Sunshine State. "The primary purpose [of the phone call] was to establish a business relationship," Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out's chief legal and business officer, said at the time. "While we are thankful for the gracious invitation, In-N-Out Burger has no plans or intention to expand operations or move its corporate headquarters to Florida."

Although that had to sting for Double-Double-loving Floridians, there is a bright side: a road trip to Tennessee is a lot easier than one to Texas. 

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