Remember the story on the Maryland mom-n-pop burger joint called Grab-N-Go we reported about a few weeks ago? The one being sued by In-N-Out for infringement? It's been going around the Internets that they told The Reg they had no idea what In-N-Out was until they were slapped with the suit.
Whether you believe that it is conceivable someone on this Earth has never heard of In-N-Out is fodder for Internet speculation with no shortage of acrimonious snark (just read the comments if you don't believe me). But consider this: how many Californians have heard of Steak n' Shake, a beloved east coast chain that has practically no presence west of Nebraska?
Also consider that the closest In-N-Out to to Aberdeen, Maryland, is over 1,400 miles away in Texas. But the closest Five Guys? Just a short 12 mile jaunt to nearby Bel Air, Maryland. In fact, there is a cluster of at least a half dozen Five Guys in the area, which may lend some credence to the opinion of some observers that Grab-N-Go was inspired more by Five Guys and less In-N-Out.
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This, of course, begs the question: if it's not so easy to tell whether a place is similar to Five Guys or In-N-Out, why isn't In-N-Out going after Five Guys, arguably their biggest and most able competitor? Or perhaps that question answered itself.
And psst...don't tell In-N-Out, but not more than a few clicks from Aberdeen, in a town called Havertown, PA, there's a restaurant called "In & Out Pizza" that has, so far, escaped its wrath.