October 15, 2004

Burger King for a Day

Yesterday was the opening day of the new In-N-Out Burger in Carson Valley. A while ago I started keeping a page on my website that followed the construction and put up pictures of how things were coming along. I never expected it to make much of a splash, I just wanted to get on the top of Google and keep people up to date. But then, probably because it was at the top of Google, it got discovered by Denny Warnick, who was coming over from the Bay Area to become general manager of the restaurant. And since he hadn’t moved here yet, he used my site to keep track of the construction. (It’s similar to the e-mail I got from a Bay Area engineering firm that was working on the Ormsby House, and used my site to cut down on their on-site visits.)

Anyway, to thank me for my efforts, Denny told me to come to the invitation-only pre-opening party, where all the food was on the house. And he also made me the official “first customer” on opening day, before they had even unlocked the doors. Again, with everything on the house. So the past couple of days have seen me stuffing myself with free burgers. We were also interviewed for “Burger Television”, which I’m guessing is some kind of in-house video newsletter for the company. I sure don’t have that one in my cable lineup. I’m always petrified that I’ll freeze up when a video camera is pointed at me; my mind always goes blank when I have to talk to more than one person at a time. Sometimes I don’t do so well even one-on-one. But my wife assured me I did a good job. I think she’s a little biased, and I’m glad I don’t have to watch the tape.

I guess it pays off to work on this website. A couple of free burgers isn’t much, but it’s something. And we’re not huge In-N-Out fanatics, not even close to some other people. Case in point: the first paying customer, who was in line right behind us. During his interview with BTV he described how he would drive to Vacaville, over three hours away, to visit the In-N-Out there, and order 40 burgers at a time. He was wearing an In-N-Out Hawaiian shirt (I didn’t even know they made those) and watching the counter while jotting something down on a notepad. It was apparent that this guy is a bigger fan than I am, but I have the website, so I got to be treated like royalty. I almost felt like he should have taken my place. But then again, he didn’t go around taking pictures and putting them on the web like I did. So I didn’t feel too bad. During his interview he kept referring to himself as the “first customer on opening day”. Every time he said that I had to make a silent footnote: first paying customer. Paying customer.

Now In-N-Out settles in to the realm of the mundane. It used to be a thrill to come across one while we were travelling. Now that we have one in our backyard it has become just an everyday part of life. And yet, maybe, isn’t that how it should be?

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (1)

Comments RSS - Trackback - Write Comment

  1. Christopher Baus says:

    In n’ Out is like a cult. I personally don’t get it.

    Posted October 15, 2004 @ 7:53 pm

Write Comment