There's something a little longer lasting and more collectible up for grabs for In-N-Out fans at this year's Langley Good Times Cruise-In.
In-N-Out Burger, a California-based restaurant company, is making its fourth annual visit to Langley - and specifically Cruise-In this weekend - and they're hoping to bring along 300 of their coveted T-shirts to sell, said Carl Van Fleet, one of In-N-Out Burger's vice-presidents.
Each year, In-N-Out comes north for this one special occasion, crossing the border in time for the Cruise-In. Those who think it's a profit-seeking venture for the popular American Burger restaurant - think again, said Cruise-In president Riccardo Sestito.
It's actually done at a significant expense to the company, he explained, noting that In-N-Out travels up with a team of 10 staff and all the food and equipment necessary, then donates every cent of the money made from the sale of 1,500 deluxe cheeseburger meals at Cruise-In.
To top it off, they contribute a further $2,500 for sponsorship, and this year they're also donating all the money raised from the T-shirt sales to the car show and its charities of choice.
In past years, that participation in Cruise-In has translated to almost $10,000 for this community, said Sestito, expecting this year's contribution will be bigger.
Local car collectors who travel to California have long raved about the In-N-Out burgers, and Sestito said the Cruise-In committee was honoured when the 64-year-old company, owned by the Snyder family, first asked to be part of the show.
He's been excited to have them back - year after year, noting how many car enthusiasts and spectators alike rave to him about how good the burgers are and how they'll happily stand in long lines to get their fill.
Van Fleet said In-N-Out will roll into Langley later in the week and everyone on the team is excited to be coming back to one of North America's most renowned shows.
He noted that his company, and its drive-thrus, have enjoyed a long association with cars and car enthusiasts. So it's fair to say that In-N-Out and Cruise-In share a symbiotic relationship.
"The Cruise-In is a great event, and we are proud and excited to be part of it again in 2012," Van Fleet told the Langley Advance.
"It is also a perfect opportunity for us to, once again, reach out to our customers in Canada while providing philanthropic support at the same time."
Each year, In-N-Out staff and volunteers working at Cruise-In are bombarded with just one question: When is In-N-Out Burger coming to Canada?
"Unfortunately, we do not have any immediate plans to open a restaurant there," Van Fleet said. "But this special event will help us make future decisions."
In the meantime, they are here for one day only, on Saturday, Sept. 8.
In-N-Out Burger will be set up in a new location this year, just off Fraser Highway in the southwest end of the Cascades Casino parking lot.
The T-shirts, which promise to last longer than the mouth-watering cheeseburgers, chips, and drinks that car show visitors devour, will be sold from the Cruise-In souvenir tent located nearby on Fraser Highway. Pricing will be the same as Cruise-In T-shirts, which are $18 for white and $20 for other colours.
In addition to this visiting concessionaire there are a dozen local charities and service groups setting up food stands around the downtown for this popular one-day event.
On top of the money raised directly by Cruise-In, the food vendors raise close to $30,000 that again stays in the community through their respective groups.