Although they originated in different parts of the country, In-N-Out and Whataburger have several things in common.
According to the websites of both restaurants, meals are made fresh when ordered. Both restaurants use beef patties made with 100% pure beef and no additives, fillers or preservatives. Both are family-owned businesses founded more than 50 years ago.
Despite these similarities, students polled about their preferences said there are a number of differences between the two restaurants.
“I feel like there’s more variety [at In-N-Out]. I went to Whataburger once, and I wasn’t that impressed,” Sharon Fronk, a first-year biology major, said.
Fronk said In-N-Out’s menu was more health-conscious than Whataburger’s because it includes vegetarian and low-carb options.
These meals, along with others, can be found on the restaurant’s secret menu.
Fronk said the secret menu gives customers a reason to keep coming back and rewards long-term patrons.
“You don’t know about it unless you’ve been going there for a really long time,” she said.
However, Xavier Alston, a junior entrepreneurial management major, said he thought Whataburger’s menu was more diverse than In-N-Out’s menu.
“They serve breakfast at Whataburger, and that’s probably my favorite meal. I don’t think they do that at In-N-Out,” he said.
Alston said Whataburger also has more drink options to choose from than In-N-Out, such as orange juice and milk. But he said he thought In-N-Out’s prices were much more reasonable.
“It’s pretty cheap compared to Whataburger,” he said.
Nadirah Shorter, a freshman communication studies major, said she preferred In-N-Out to Whataburger, but felt Whataburger’s menu was more varied.
She said she enjoyed In-N-Out’s veggie sandwiches and french fries and thought the food was generally less greasy than Whataburger’s food. But Shorter said the menu did not have many other options for those who do not eat beef.
“If you don’t eat certain foods, there’s a lot more to choose from at Whatburger, like a chicken sandwich,” Shorter said.
She also said wait times for food at In-N-Out are much shorter than they are at Whataburger, and the restaurant’s menu includes items that can be cooked in a minute or less.
Trent Gilbreath, a senior FTDM major, said he enjoyed Whataburger’s breakfast menu, especially because it is available from 11:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m.
“It’s always nice to eat there after going out at night,” Gilbreath said.
Like Shorter and Alston, Gilbreath said he preferred Whataburger because of the varied choices on the menu.
Sidra Ahmed, a senior finance major, said she thought In-N-Out had a better dining atmosphere than Whataburger.
“I like the uniforms and the quick service. It’s very simple,” she said.
Ahmed said although the menu at In-N-Out is limited compared to Whataburger’s menu, items can be customized in a number of ways to create new meals.
“You can make so many things with just two or three options,” she said.