People lined up to eat “burgers for breakfast” as the famed fast food chain In-N-Out Burger opened its newest Colorado location in Lone Tree, near Park Meadows mall.
The restaurant, located at 9171 Westview Road, began serving food around 8:30 a.m. during In-N-Out's Feb. 22 grand opening.
For Holly Houston, stopping by was a spur of the moment decision when she noticed cars in the drive thru for the first time. The Douglas County woman had been watching the restaurant's construction, she said, looking forward to trying it at a location closer to home.
“I've been waiting for this one to open,” she said.
Company spokesman Denny Warnick said the building has been ready for weeks and could have opened as early as December.
In-N-Out waited until COVID-19 cases improved at the company's other Colorado locations, which became outbreak sites after opening, and for cases to trend down in the surrounding community, Warnick said.
“We just thought it would be wiser to wait until both those results had improved to open another location,” he said.
Lone Tree employees were tested for COVID-19 before opening day and would be tested again after, he said. They were also assigned teams, which worked in specific sections of the kitchen to lessen how often people crossed paths, he said.
The Lone Tree location employs 80 people so far and will continue hiring, he said.
COVID-19 precautions weren't the only kind in place for the burger joint's south metro debut.
After large crowds turned out at previous Colorado grand openings, Warnick said In-N-Out worked with the City of Lone Tree, the Lone Tree Police Department and a third-party, traffic-control company, Colorado Barricade, to devise a traffic plan at the company's expense.
“We don't like to presume that we'll be very busy but from the crowds that we had in Aurora and Colorado Springs,” Warnick said, “we wanted to be ready.”
A spokeswoman for the City of Lone Tree provided a statement saying the city is excited In-N-Out came to town and is prepared for potential traffic around the restaurant in coming days. The city has a “queuing map” showing people how to get in line for the drive thru and how to access neighboring businesses, both available online. Find out more at cityoflonetree.com/projects/in-n-out-burger/
“We urge anyone visiting In-N-Out or the neighboring businesses to refer to these maps and follow all signage on site,” the statement said.
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