Review: Company Offers Two In-N-Out Burgers, Shipped, For $56
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
When I saw the offer, I knew I couldn't refuse.
A new website called Midtown Row was offering the chance for anyone in the United States to buy two In-N-Out burgers, frozen and shipped to them overnight, for $56.
Sure, the cost was outrageous, but the demand is there.
Despite having a cult following, the family-run In-N-Out has 269 restaurants, found only in five states — Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah.
So Midtown Row, which only launched a couple of weeks ago, devised an ingenious PR campaign that supports what they do:
Offering great brands that don't have the most ideal distribution systems — particularly in the coffee, tea and bakery business — to people around the country.
The campaign: offer In-N-Out!
The cost of the burgers was $50 with the site's flat shipping fee of $6 on top of that. For that I'd be receiving two In-N-Out burgers frozen, packed in cellophane, packed in bubble wrap, packed in a box with dry ice in it. I opened up the package and found the warnings — everything from touching the dry ice to the burger itself.
"As a reminder, Midtown Row makes no guarantees or claims on the contents of this box, and bears no liability for any damages caused by improper handling or use of them. Reheat and consume at your own risk."
Um, ok. After taking all the branded wrapping off the burger, I put it into the microwave for five minutes, thawed the sauce (Thousand Island dressing) and took a bite. In-N-Out insists on using the freshest ingredients that are never frozen. I get it now. It didn't have the same taste.
Assuming the perfect In-N-Out burger was a 10, I gave this a 6. The sauce, cheese and bun were actually perfectly fine. The burger didn't taste as good. Where the whole thing suffered was in the soggy vegetables — the onions, lettuce and tomato — which lost almost all their taste thanks to the way they were frozen.
Did this experiment do the real product justice? Of course not, but it tasted good enough that if the dollar figure were lowered by $15 to, say, $40 for two (I don't know if there's a profit margin for Midtown Row in that), I actually think it would be good enough to do a pretty robust business.
Please watch the video (when available) of the live tasting to get a better sense of what it all looked like.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com