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In-N-Out’s Billionaire Heiress Has Burger Empire Defying Vaccine Mandates

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It’s not a big secret that In-N-Out burger has been owned and operated by one conservative, Christian family since it started in 1948 with Esther and Harry Snyder.

The Snyder Family – Harry and Esther with sons, Guy and Rich. Photo via  In-N-Out Facebook.

They are the only fast-food chain I know of that prints bible verses on their soda cup rims.

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In 1976 after founder Harry Snyder died, the burger chain then passed to his sons Rich and Guy Snyder, and the boys grew the chain from a few dozen locations into more than a hundred locations around California.  Today, In-N-Out has 335 locations in seven states (its newest location is in Colorado), and it continues to grow under its newest CEO, Guy Snyder’s daughter and Burger Heiress, Lynsi Snyder.

In-N-Out owner Lynsi Snyder.  Photo: In-n-out.com

Lynsi Snyder is a fascinating character, one part Paris Hilton, one part Stephanie McMahon, and one part born-again hellraiser.  Snyder’s been married four times, had four children, opened dozens of restaurants, started a band and a non-profit focused on addiction,  and successfully evaded two kidnapping attempts, all before the age of 40. (read more about her incredible life here.)

Forbes estimates her net worth to be $4.2 billion dollars.

Lynsi Snyder  is a member of the rock band .48 Special, made up of In-N-Out employees. (Photo courtesy of In-N-Out)

Syner’s father Guy died of a drug overdose when she was a teenager.  After her own struggle with substances in 2019 Snyder told The Christian Post, “I was calling out to God as my third marriage was failing. I was in a place where I felt I couldn’t do ministry because my own heart and home were a mess.”

The Christian Post also wrote in her interview, “The mother of four pointed out that many churches are “afraid” to talk about spiritual warfare and demons, but Christians must be equipped to handle the demonic and prepared to battle the forces of darkness.”  Snyder is also quoted saying, “The battle over souls is being waged in the heavenly,” she said. “We want to be on the front lines of this battle to save the lost and bring fallen Christians back to their first love.”

Lynsi Snyder Forbes Cover 2019

Apparently, God wants Snyder to save her customers and employees from vaccines, and to make sure the current pandemic lasts a lot longer.

June survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) showed that 44 percent of white evangelicals were either hesitant about or would outright refuse a Covid-19 vaccine.

A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll also in June found that vaccination rates among white evangelicals trail behind the general population.

I don’t know if vaccine hesitancy is more a conservative/political thing, a distrust of government thing, or perhaps more of a religious thing, but have you seen a map of COVID hotspots in the USA lately?  It looks just like a map of counties that voted for Trump in the last election.


Map of Coravirus ‘hotspots’ by county in USA. Map NYT source https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html


Then again, what do I know?   I believe in science and listen to medical experts.  I also live in a liberal bubble with a close to 90% vaccination rate…AND I haven’t spoken to Jesus in years.

Last week San Francisco’s Department of Public Health shut down the city’s only In-N-Out location at Fisherman’s Wharf, according to a statement by the burger chain’s chief legal, Arnie Wensinger.  City officials said that the chain was not enforcing city vaccine-verification requirements.

In-N-Out, San Francisco. Currently closed.

Basically, no one working at In-N-Out was checking proof of vaccination at the door.  This was not by accident, In-N-Out was purposely ignoring the law as well as warnings from the SFDPH to act in accordance with the city-wide mandate.

In-N-Out spokesman Wensinger read a statement, “After closing our restaurant, local regulators informed us that our restaurant Associates must actively intervene by demanding proof of vaccination and photo identification from every customer, then act as enforcement personnel by barring entry for any customers without the proper documentation,” read Wensinger.

He continued “As a company, In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service and to us that means serving all customers who visit us and making all customers feel welcome. We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” he stated.

Right. So our bars and restaurants are acting like the ‘alcohol police’ when they check your date of birth before serving you?  What fascists we’ve been all along!

America, been checking ID’s for decades.

If In-N-Out instructed its San Francisco employees to ignore proof of vaccine, it’s pretty safe to say they are ignoring it in other locations as well.   This reporter has personally been to the In-N-out in Daily City in recent weeks (purely for journalistic reasons and not to eat some delicious double-doubles with animal-style fries) and I’m sad to say that no one asked to see my vaccine card there either.

But San Mateo County DOES NOT have a proof of vaccination requirement for indoor dining.

Back in August hundreds of Bay Area eateries volunteered to require proof of vaccination for inhouse diners, out of respect for the safety of their own employees.   By the following month, SF had a citywide mandate, asking all indoor venues to check the vaccine status of their patrons.  But statewide mandates vary wildly.


It is indisputable that covid-19 vaccines help protect you from getting seriously ill from Covid and greatly reduces the chance of you spreading the disease.  This is not a political statement, it is scientific fact.


The greater question is, will In-N-Out’s vaccine defiance spread?  Given that vaccine mandates vary by county, it is not yet clear what local authorities in each county will enforce.

For example, neighboring Contra Costa County, which includes cities like Richmond and Walnut Creek, has passed rules requiring indoor diners to either show proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test.  But none of the In-N-Out locations in Contra Costa County have been shut down yet.

Next month, the city of Los Angeles will require that eateries, shopping malls and many other indoor venues to check customers’ vaccination status.  Will health departments across LA close down indoor dining at In-N-Out?  Will burger patrons be forced to do drive-thru only?  The horror!

It’s unclear whether In-N-Out requires employees who serve food to be vaccinated, but I’m going to guess…no.

 

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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1 Comment

  1. November 11, 2021 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    Burger Stand

    To San Francisco’s In-N-Out
    the City’s dealt a mighty clout—
    the terms that they presented:
    no Double-Doubles, shakes or fries
    (if Animal or otherwise)
    for those undocumented.

    “We’ll shut you down!” the City yelled.
    “The law was made to be upheld!
    No burger is above it!”
    So, handing them a side of spread,
    the In-N-Out politely said
    “go take your law and shove it.”

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