Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
There's a certain smugness about In-N-Out customers.
They think they're members of a progressive little club whose members sneer, just a little, at those who drift to McDonald's or Burger King. (Actually, I only go to In-N-Out occasionally, but thank you for asking.)
They wander in and ask for their burger Animal-Style, as if this is some sort of Masonic handshake, when the truth is everyone knows about it.
Still, when the league tables emerge In-N-Out is often to be seen right at the top.
Which is why the latest rankings from customer experience management company Market Force might come as an affront to Animal Stylists everywhere.
Last year, Market Force's examination of customer satisfaction declared that In-N-Out was the victor across all fast food emporiums.
This year, the fresh and picky chain is still the favorite burger joint. It has, however, been slightly trounced by, gasp, Chick-fil-A.
Yes, the chain with Bible verses on its wrappers has been defeated by the chain that closes on Sundays.
The views of 7,600 consumers were elicited in this survey and, as Food and Wine magazine reports, Chick-fil-A enjoyed a 79 percent Composite Loyalty Index while In-N-Out could muster a mere 73.
Should you be unfamiliar with the Composite Loyalty Index, it tries to tie together two glorious strands: whether the customer was pleased with their latest foray into a restaurant and whether they were so pleased that they'd recommend the experience to someone else.
Because I know In-N-Out customers can be sensitive types, I burrowed into the figures to see where improvements might be made.
Here's an area.
On Staff Friendliness, Chick-fil-A beat In-N-Out by 82 to 73.
On Overall Cleanliness, the chickenists beat the burger cultists by 82 to 71.
And then we come to Food Quality. In-N-Out didn't even come top in burgers here. Five Guys beat it by 72 to 71.
Chick-fil-A enjoyed a 78.
I've been saving one more slap in the face till last.
This year, In-N-Out didn't even come second overall. That honor went to Raising Cane's.
The Louisiana-based chicken fingers restaurant only finished one percentage point behind Chick-fil-A.
What is In-N-Out to do? Suddenly start selling, perish the idea, chicken?
Close on Sundays too to create greater societal salivation?
In-N-Out did beat Chick-fil-A in Value For Money Spent, so there's hope.
Oh, but In-N-Out people have always touted their brand as the best and now they must suffer as Chick-fil-A begins to crusade across America.
What can I offer to assuage their feelings?
Well, McDonald's and Burger King came bottom of the burger chains. So there's that.