At a pop-up of American fast food chain In-N-Out in Marineterrein, hundreds of people lined up for burgers on Wednesday afternoon. “All the celebrities from the US say it’s delicious.”
The American chain announced on Tuesday that it will sell burgers at Kanteen25, a restaurant located on Kattenburgerstraat in Marineterrein, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the first time that the chain, which has no branches in the Netherlands, has organized such a pop-up.
“They do it as a promotion,” says Eke Bosman, a snack expert who reviews snack bars in Amsterdam for Het Parool. “In-N-Out is very popular in America, but it’s only available on the West Coast.” According to Boseman, the burger is very popular because it is delicious and cheap. In the US you pay about $4 to $5 for it. Boseman: “In-N-Out has gained cult status. If that happened in Holland for one day, people who have been to America before would go absolutely crazy.”
He appears. The line was about 200 meters long on Wednesday afternoon around noon and included at least 250 people. Those waiting received a wristband. This ensures everyone gets one burger. Some of them were there for more than an hour.
Animal style burger
One of them is food blogger Annie van Zanen (28 years old). She asked on her Instagram channel if anyone wanted to join her. One girl replied. “But she broke her leg, so now she’s inside for the long haul,” Van Zanen says. A blessing in disguise: She was taken to accompany her damaged friend on Instagram.
What puts her in line? “Especially all the celebrities from the US who say In-N-Out is so delicious.” Which celebrities? “Oh, I don’t know that off the top of my head.”
Meanwhile, she’s been receiving tips via Instagram from people who have already come through the line, telling her what to order. “I want an animal-themed burger,” she says. This is a burger with double beef on it. “In the US, this is on the secret list, so I’m curious to see if that’s the case here as well.” Then a boy behind her says: Yes, they have!
Sweet and bitter
In fact, the Animal Style burger with chips appears to be the only combination sold at the pop-up on Wednesday. “It’s sweet and spicy,” says snack maker Bosman. “It’s a sauce that gives the burger a completely different dynamic. A party in the mouth, you don’t see that at other chains.”
Erwan (43) and Diane Cartossen confirm this (“I won’t tell you my age). “The animal way, the onions are fried,” says Dayan. The two often visit Los Angeles and love burgers. “At first we thought it was a scam,” Erwan says. “But then it turned out to be really true. We went straight away, and one of our friends was already here at a quarter to ten.”
Erwan and Diane only had to wait fifteen minutes. They say it’s worth it for the burger, which is around 8 euros. But as fresh as in the US? “No it’s not. In-n-Out is only available on the West Coast, because the meat can be sold within a certain radius. It has to be fresher there,” Diane says.
For Jameson Perry, 27, who grew up in California, this pop-up restaurant feels like coming home. What did he like inside? “I think it’s great to see all these staff wearing their uniforms. It gives a 60s vibe, like you’re in a restaurant. You don’t have anything like that in Europe.”
Whether we can expect an In-N-Out branch to open in the Netherlands soon is still a guess. “Five Guys did it once, too,” Boseman says. He points to the popular American fast food chain Wendy’s, which failed to gain a foothold in the Netherlands because the owner of a snack bar in Zealand used the same name. “If In-N-Out is in Europe for a day every now and then, they can gain brand awareness. That’s smart marketing.”
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