Burger aficionados in the Oregon capital may have had a moment of excitement over the weekend, when a sign appeared on a downtown building announcing that the cult California burger chain would be setting up shop in the city.
Unfortunately though, In-N-Out confirmed to the Oregonian that the sign was a fake. While it doesn’t exactly scream “hoax”, it does appear to be simply a color print-out on letter-sized paper, stapled onto some plywood — not exactly authoritative, by any means.
But more interesting than the fake sign was the response that the Oregonian received from In-N-Out when asking about the sign — the company’s Vice President of Operations told the newspaper that his team has scouted Salem.
“We have looked at and evaluated a few sites in Salem and the surrounding area.”
The VP said the company had not looked at the site where the sign appeared, suggesting that in any case, an In-N-Out for Salem would be something coming in the more distant future — he said it was “too early to speculate” about if or when there would be any opening (and it certainly won’t be opening this June) — note the use of “if”.
Any expansion to Salem would be a drastic jump north for the beloved burger slinger — its two Oregon locations are in Medford and Grants Pass. That’s not to say an expansion is impossible, but it’s important to note that In-N-Out has a policy of not freezing its food, including for deliveries. That means any new location needs to be within reach of an In-N-Out distribution center — no more than 300 miles, according to a Business Insider story about the chain’s expansions in 2017.
On the other hand, the company has clearly said it has an interest in expanding further into Oregon, even if it has been saying that for a few years now.
- In-N-Out Burger has been scouting locations in Salem [The Oregonian]
- Will In-N-Out Expand North of Medford? [EPDX]
- Why In-N-Out Burger won’t expand to the East Coast [Business Insider]