Long story short it's a chain version of the diners you see all across NYC, but with some perks (no pun intended).
First off, Perkins has a very large desert menu and sells entire pies for takeout by the register. The layout of the restaurant is essentially two mirror-image opposite L-shapes with the register/sales counter and waiting area taking up the center and the bathrooms and kitchen taking up the upper corners.
I was seated immediately and given the extremely large menu (even by diner standards). It actually took me a good ten minutes to choose what to order. What's interesting about the menu is that, since this is a chain, the calorie counts are posted, and, since this is a diner, you can actually find about how many calories you're taking in when you visit the mom-and-pop diners.
Needless to say, the calorie counts scared me away from getting fries (~600cal) with my turkey club sandwich (~800 cal), so instead I chose a side salad (~150 cal).
The service was very friendly (my Diet Coke was refilled twice without asking) and quick. Both the sandwich and salad were very tasty. The turkey club is my usual diner order, so I was able to compare, and Perkins' was a notch above what I'm used to. The salad was also better than expected. Let's face it, at a diners you often get a some old semi-brown salad with very little dark green. Perkins' salad wasn't world-class, but it was fresh.
Just about all the meals will run you about $10 - $11 with a drink and tax. Overall this is a very decent place to have a meal.
"In-N-Out remains privately owned and the Snyder family has no plans to take the company public or franchise any units." - In-N-Out "History"How do you capitalize on this geographic restriction out East? Start a clone of course! First, create a brand name and color scheme similar (but hopefully distinct) enough to draw in cravers of the real thing. Then set up your menu in a similar fashion, and you're all set!
Finally, let's get to how the food actually tastes and what the experience is like. Long story short, the burger was very good (perhaps a notch under Shake Shack) and the fries were world class (similar to but a notch above Five Guys). Price was comparable to the other "upscale burger chains", a double cheeseburger and fries will cost you around $8.50. The service staff appeared somewhat confused overall - at one point it seemed they thought they had already cleared my order. The kicker was when the cashier was asked if "Animal Style" was offered here. The response was "Oh, like In-N-Out?" While you can't get "Animal Style" exactly like In-N-Out, the nearly-identical special sauce and liquid cheese is offered on the side.