Not to start today off on a sour note, but apparently a bunch of folks contacted by The Harris Poll for some burger research came away with the conclusion that East Coast interlopers Five Guys is a better overall burger chain than In-N-Out. The annual statistics on came out as part of this year’s EquiTrend Study, and for the first time the California-based In-N-Out sagged to the second spot, right behind D.C.-area favorite Five Guys.
According to Business Insider, the must-be-flawed study tracks the preferences of those polled across a number of categories, including overall quality and brand familiarity. As one vice president of The Harris Poll says in a statement to Business Insider, that second part — national recognition — has been a boon for Five Guys over the years as they expanded from the Eastern Seaboard across the country. In-N-Out, meanwhile, remains family-oriented and small by comparison, tackling expansion much more judiciously and sticking primarily to the West Coast and Southwest.
More locally, In-N-Out has faced its own competition issues with the rise of Shake Shack, a New York City chain currently operating a handful of locations around town, from Glendale to Century City and beyond. Hopdoddy and other regional names have made their own mark (and local heros like The Great White Hut are sticking around too), but for greater Los Angeles there’s still no more iconic — and arguably important — burger than In-N-Out, period. Just ask Anthony Bourdain.
Now, for comparison’s sake, below are several side-by-side burger comparisons pulled from Flickr, showing the difference between In-N-Out and Five Guys.