What’s Your Secret Sauce? Here’s Ours…

April 12, 2023

Recently, we were heading back to LAX after a market research conference in Los Angeles. We hadn’t had a chance to eat, and while it was getting late for our flight, we decided to stop at In-and-Out Burger for dinner. To our dismay, there was a 40-car line in the drive-thru, but we joined it anyway. The line moved quickly, and within only 15 minutes, the person who would take our order greeted us with a big smile and said, “Hi, my name is Max”

When we indicated we’d never been to an In-and-Out before, he walked us through the entire menu and helped us order. They even asked us where we would be enjoying our meal (the car, at home, etc.). We then proceeded to the next person to pay, who also greeted us with a big smile and their name. Next, we moved on to pick up our order. Everything was perfect, but we had forgotten to order a milkshake (big mistake!). No problem! They gave us the shake and said, “This is on us!” They wouldn’t even accept a tip – just told us to “Have a good day!” As we drove away, we realized they had given us trays and partially unwrapped the burgers to make them easier to eat while we drove, since we told them that we were going to eat in the car.

This friendly and efficient customer service definitely got our attention!

However, as we thought about it more, we evaluated the food itself. The fries were excellent, but the burger was just an okay fast-food burger. So, it’s not just about the food, which made it more likely that the service is part of the brand’s great appeal. But, we wondered, was our experience a fluke?

A little later, we went to another In-and-Out Burger to test our hypothesis. (Oh, okay, we also wanted more of those fries!) We wanted to ensure it wasn’t a regional artifact, that it wasn’t just that people are just more friendly in LA, so we went to a location in Arizona.

We had the exact same experience as in the store in Los Angeles. Without a doubt, friendly and efficient service is In-and-Out Burgers’ secret sauce. In fact, we even commented on the smile of the person taking our order, who replied “We’re right by a hospital, so I never know what is going on in someone’s life. Just want to make sure that I show them a smile”.

Defining and owning your Secret Sauce can create a competitive advantage. As reported in Forbes, “In times of change, uncertainty, and new horizons, it can be valuable to … go back to basics and return to your purpose, values, and what you stand for. This is what makes up your ‘secret sauce.’” 

We know that Research Results’ secret sauce is excellent customer service informed by deep expertise in market research. Take sampling, for example. With so many sample vendors and so much DIY sample available, we know how to get the best sample and how to program for it. You don’t have to become the expert because we are there for you. We’ve already researched and worked with multiple sample providers to identify the best options. Our staff takes the time to understand your sampling needs and find the best solution.

So, give us a try and see if you like our secret sauce!

If you would like to experience In-and-Out Burgers’ secret sauce, email me [Ellen Pieper, ellen_pieper@researchresults.com] before May 15th and be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate for your next visit to In-and-Out Burger!