The Tray Rule In-N-Out Employees Must Follow

In-N-Out Burger might be famous for its "animal-style" fries, but the restaurant chain doesn't actually prefer things messy. In fact, a Reddit AMA reveals that the corporation and its franchisees impose a set of employee standards to ensure consistency and quality for diners.

Among those rules are that cooks won't put more than four cheese slices or four patties on a single burger (via the Reddit AMA), regardless of how adamantly a customer asks for more. Some employees also shared on a separate Reddit thread that male employees have to wear the paper hats as long as they are working inside. Those workers did clarify, though, that male employees can wear the red hats for sun protection if they are working outside.

The house rules span beyond the employee uniforms and burger composition, though. They concern every element of customers' experiences while at the restaurant, all the way down to the serving trays.

Trays are valuable real estate

According to the Reddit thread, In-N-Out has capacity limits for its serving trays. The employee sharing their secrets stated that the limits for one tray are two burger-and-fry combinations. For burgers, the limit is six. For fries, the restaurant's policy prohibits placing more than four orders on a single tray. Should an order include more than those amounts, employees have to use subsequent trays. Don't worry if that means your order will feature more trays than you have free hands to carry them. The In-N-Out employee says they are happy to help you carry a large order to your table.

Why this rule? As the employee on Reddit shared, In-N-Out values presentation. Any more food on the tray would make the tray look crowded and detract from the visual appeal. As Eat North explains, people "eat with their eyes" first. Research has shown that the appearance of food can impact how it tastes. For example, people who sampled a white wine dyed red reported very different flavor notes than people who tasted the same wine without the dye (via Eat North). Thus, In-N-Out is making sure your eyes are satisfied with your meal before your taste buds rejoice.