- In-N-Out Burger will open an undisclosed number of restaurants in Tennessee in 2026, the company announced Tuesday. These plans mark the California-based chain’s first expansion east of Texas.
- The company will open restaurants “in and around Nashville” with the help of an Eastern territory office in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of fast-growing Nashville, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement on Tuesday. In-N-Out will invest $125.5 million to establish the office, per Lee’s statement.
- The broader Nashville market would give In-N-Out access to several nearby universities, including Belmont, Vanderbilt and Tennessee State University. This proximity would give the chain access to its historic target demographic of consumers aged 18 to 24 years old.
In-N-Out’s fiercely loyal fan base could disrupt the fast food burger landscape in greater Nashville.
“This expansion is significant for our Company,” In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder said in a statement. “For many years, we’ve heard requests from our Customers in Tennessee to consider opening locations near them, further east than we’ve ever been.”
In November, a Market Force survey of over 5,100 customers recorded In-N-Out as the number one restaurant in the burger category with an overall satisfaction score of 80%, nearly twice that of McDonald’s (41%).
Despite a relatively small footprint for a fast food player — it operates 385 restaurants in just six states outside of its native California, including Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oregon and Colorado — the company benefits from strong brand intimacy thanks to its commitment to fresh ingredients and a relatively unchanging menu. In-N-Out credits its lack of franchised units for fostering this consistency.
But the Volunteer State has seen other cult favorite burger chains recently plant their flag, as well. Texas-based Whataburger entered Nashville last year, drawing hours-long lines of customers.