Both Maryland and nearby D.C. are bustling metropolises, and the people in both places have a lot going on. Whether they’re politicians or owners of the many businesses across the state, they are constantly on the move, so eating at restaurants and fast food chains is a part of life. However, one of the most popular food chains in the country, In-N-Out Burger, is not in Maryland or D.C. or anywhere in the vicinity. So, when will In-N-Out hit Maryland or D.C.?
That’s what we’ll look into today. We’ll tell you how the company operates and when or if it’s likely that they’ll head to the East Coast.
Why People of Maryland and D.C. Would Want In-N-Out Burger
The question is, when will In-N-Out Burgers hit Maryland or D.C., but why are so many people asking? The reason is that the restaurant is just that good. Ever since they opened their doors back in 1948, In-N-Out has staked its claim as one of the best burger joints in the country. They started by making it a rule to only cook the cleanest and freshest ingredients. Then, they invented one of the first speaker systems that allowed customers to order from their cars. Over time, they opened many restaurants to meet demands.
It’s a restaurant that’s also special due to its limited menu. They retained the menu that they had when they started. Customers have three choices: a cheeseburger, a hamburger, and a hamburger with two patties. There’s also a secret menu where customers can ask for a grilled cheese sandwich, a burger with four patties, and an “animal style” burger, which is wrapped in lettuce instead of bread. The restaurant also serves fresh fries, milkshakes, and soft drinks.
In-N-Out has also made its fair share of headlines over the years, and many of its practices have become talking points for the people in Washington. Even New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mentioned In-N-Out during an interview in 2022, though they weren’t the most flattering remarks. Still, any publicity is good, so there are also people in Maryland and DC who are excited about the idea of In-N-Out coming to their neck of the woods.
Where are In-N-Out Restaurants Located on the East Coast?
While there is hope for the people of Maryland and D.C. to get an In-N-Out restaurant in their area, it will likely be a while. As it is, there are no In-N-Out Burgers anywhere on the East Coast. Instead, the chain currently only has restaurants on the western side of the Mississippi River. Currently, 394 In-N-Out restaurants are spread amongst 279 cities. However, while that seems like a lot, all those cities are only in 7 states. To get a burger, residents from the East Coast would need to visit one of these locations:
- California (272 locations)
- Oregon (4 locations)
- Texas (41 locations)
- Arizona (34 locations)
- Nevada (23 locations)
- Utah (12 locations)
- Colorado (8 locations)
Why are In-N-Out Restaurants Only in the West?
The In-N-Out company has always had a love affair with California since that’s where they first opened their doors. Over time, they started to migrate to the other states in the surrounding area. One of the reasons why the chain has yet to move to the east is because they have a rule that they will only open new restaurants that are within 300-600 miles of one of their distribution centers. Their current distribution centers are in:
- Baldwin Park, California
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Lathrop, California
- Draper, Utah
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Dallas, Texas
Those centers are west of the Mississippi, and that’s been In-N-Out’s calling card since the beginning. However, the people of Maryland and D.C. received some promising news when it was announced that the company would be building a new distribution center in Franklin, Tennessee, in 2024. Construction of the 100,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to be completed in 2026. Then, after it’s complete, the company will start to build restaurants around The Volunteer State. That’s a promising development because it’s the first facility constructed east of the Mississippi River.
Along with that news, the current In-N-Out owner and president, Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, said that she hears a lot of requests to open restaurants in other states. She hinted that the future is bright by stating that other states would eventually be included in their expansion plan.
That’s why the answer to when In-N-Out Burgers will hit Maryland or D.C. is “sooner than you think.” If the company is willing to start venturing east, then what’s to stop it from going all the way to Maryland and the nation’s capital?
What’s Working In Maryland or D.C.’s Favor?
There are several factors working in favor of In-N-Out heading to the East Coast. As far as Maryland, the population alone makes them a qualified state. As of the 2021 census, Maryland had over six million people. By comparison, Utah has just over three million people, Colorado has just shy of six million, and Oregon has just over four million people. If In-N-Out is looking for a state with plenty of customers, they’ll find that Maryland has more than some other states where they currently operate.
Then there’s Washington, D.C. It's a place full of people who are constantly on the go, and so fast food is likely part of the routine for many. If they’re going to be ordering in and stopping for a quick bite, why not go to one of the most famous burger franchises in the world? Sure, there are less than one million people in Washington, D.C., but the nature of the area could work well for In-N-Out.
However, while there are reasons why In-N-Out could consider opening a distribution center and restaurants near Maryland, there just hasn’t been much news about the company looking at the idea. Most of the time that politicians discuss the chain, it’s in a negative light. Still, anything is possible.
The Best Restaurants In Maryland
Maryland may not yet have an In-N-Out, but there are plenty of other restaurants that the people of Maryland and D.C. can enjoy that you can’t get elsewhere. Here are a few restaurants of which to be proud:
- Woodberry Kitchen – Located in Baltimore, they serve incredible flatbreads and other unique dishes. It’s a classy place to be on a Saturday night.
- Jimmy's Famous Seafood – Also in Baltimore, they serve incredible sandwiches that are loaded with seafood, and they sell the best Bloody Marys in the state.
- Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House – This great seafood restaurant in Stevensville serves the best crab and fresh fish. Plus, they have some of the best fries and onion rings in the area.
- Miss Shirley's Cafe – Located in both Baltimore and Annapolis, this tasty cafe offers great brunch options that include chicken and waffles that are to die for and other southern comfort food. Stop by to try one of their famous morning cocktails.
- Faidley's Seafood – It’s a beloved restaurant in Baltimore. Go there for their unforgettable crab cake and stay for the fries and the salad. You can find them in the famous Lexington Market.
- Iron Rooster – This restaurant has a few locations across Maryland. This is one of the most unique restaurants because they make their own homemade pop tarts in fun flavors. It’s a great choice during brunch.
- Baugher's – This restaurant is located in Westminster, and it’s there where they serve their famous homemade pies and milkshakes. You can also top almost any meal with gravy to make it just right.
So, when will In-N-Out Burgers hit Maryland or D.C.? While it could be sooner than you think, the likelihood is still up in the air. The news of the Franklin facility is promising, but it’s not enough to say that the chain will definitely make its way further east. Only time will tell.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com.