In-N-Out Burger Championed by Conservatives Over Restaurant's Vaccine Stance

A number of Twitter users have defended In-N-Out Burger for its stance after it was ordered to temporarily close its only San Francisco outlet for not complying with COVID vaccination proof requirements.

In August, San Francisco became one of the first major cities to require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to dine indoors and enter bars, gyms, theaters, and entertainment venues.

On October 14, officials from the city's Department of Public Health shut down the location at 333 Jefferson St. in Fisherman's Wharf, because it would not stop customers who did not have vaccination documentation from coming inside.

It reopened the following day for takeout only but is the only restaurant in the city that has been closed for violating the mandate, the Associated Press reported.

In-N-Out's chief legal and business officer, Arnie Wensinger said the mandate forced it to "segregate customers" into those who could and could not be served, "based on the documentation they carry."

"We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business," Wensinger said in a statement. "This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive."

In-N-Out's response to being shut down by San Francisco:

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business.”

— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) October 19, 2021

I just left #InNOut in Burbank because I want to support them https://t.co/Bz4CeBWXZZ

— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) October 20, 2021

Had In-N-Out one time when in LA. Pretty good. I will do all I can to spend more money there now after they stood up against tyranny.

— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) October 20, 2021

In-N-Out is the best. Wish we had them on the East Coast. https://t.co/UDEFbGIi8c

— Robbie Gilbert 💎 (@rwgpost) October 20, 2021

In-N-Out Burgers EPIC Response to San Francisco Shutting Down Their Restaurant is the Best Thing You’ll Read This Week! https://t.co/sZJllWfguP

— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) October 20, 2021

Some took to social media to show their backing for the chain, owned by devout Christian Lynsi Snyder, which has 358 locations across the western U.S. and often includes Bible verses at the bottom of drink cups.

Republican California state assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who has opposed vaccine mandates, tweeted the story which others weighed in on.

Talk show host Joe Pags tweeted: "Had In-N-Out one time when in LA. Pretty good. I will do all I can to spend more money there now after they stood up against tyranny."

Jennifer Van Laar, managing editor of the political blog RedState, tweeted: "I just left #InNOut in Burbank because I want to support them." And Katya Sedgwick wrote: "Wow! I know what I'm having for lunch."

Heidi Hall tweeted: "Glad to see businesses taking a stand and we will support companies that support human rights." Another user wrote: "In-N-Out is the best. Wish we had them on the East Coast."

Matt Couch, political analyst and founder of the DC Patriot website, tweeted to his 524,000 followers: "EPIC Response to San Francisco Shutting Down Their Restaurant is the Best Thing You'll Read This Week!"

The San Francisco Department of Public Health defended its enforcement action, saying vaccination is "particularly important in a public indoor setting where groups of people are gathering and removing their masks."

It said that the chain had been warned several times about non-compliance of vaccination proof requirements, including during visits by officials to the location on September 24 and October 6, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Public health inspectors had attempted "multiple times to bring the business into compliance with the health order," the statement said, which forced the issue of a "Notice of Violation and a Notice of Closure."

The San Francisco In-N-Out outlet has been the only scene of conflict between the fast food chain and COVID rules enforced by local governments.

None of the In-N-Out locations in neighboring Contra Costa County, where similar vaccination proof rules apply, have come into conflict with public officials, the LA Times reported.

Newsweek has contacted In-N-Out Burger and the San Francisco Department of Public Health for further comment.

IN-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles
The IN-N-Out Burger outlet in Hollywood, Los Angeles is shown in this illustrative image. The branch of the chain in San Francisco was closed for not complying with COVID proof mandates. Getty