Few words are more synonymous with In-N-Out Burger—the California-based restaurant chain that boasts a cult-like following among fast-food fans—than “meat.” And while the past 67 years have seen the company expand considerably on the West Coast, the restaurant’s menu has rarely changed, remaining stacked with towering mounds of all-beef patties.
“We individually inspect every single chuck we receive to make sure that it meets our standards,” the company's website reads. “Then our highly skilled, in-house butchers remove the bones. We grind the meat ourselves and make it into patties ourselves.”
In-N-Out takes its meat seriously.
With that in mind, vegetarians and vegans have been trying for years to coax the fast-food chain into adding a meatless burger option to its menu to no avail. But now, a Change.org petition has garnered over 18,000 signatures, representing the best chance for In-N-Out to expand its vegetarian items past a haphazard grilled-cheese sandwich and some French fries.
Veggie burgers, in particular, have become a hot commodity in recent months. Earlier this year, Momofuku’s David Chang announced his partnership with the plant-based “Impossible Burger,” serving the item at his restaurant Nishi. Still, In-N-Out is infamous for its stubbornness—serving a trim, no frills standard menu—and is unlikely to make changes that would only benefit a majority of its customers.
Even so, the petition is quickly approaching 25,000 signatures, at which point it will be presented to the company’s president, Lynsi Snyder, according to Eater. A similar petition from an activist named Ari Solomon gained traction in 2013, but petered out at roughly 8,400 signatures.
Some vegetarians are even questioning how much difference a veggie burger on the In-N-Out menu would truly make.
“As a vegetarian myself, this is a stupid petition,” one user wrote. “Why, as a vegan, would you want to support a company that slaughters cows by the thousands? I wouldn't ask Lucille's BBQ to make me vegan ribs. I just won't eat there.”