California fast-food icon In-N-Out has a legendary reputation for high quality, low prices, and friendly service. In recent months, the company has made a point of opposing overreach by Democratic legislators in Sacramento and local California governments.
The burger and fries giant is fighting back by politely declining to enforce Los Angeles County mandates requiring customers to show COVID vaccination before being served. Refusal to comply could result in fines up to $5,000, which is not likely to deter In-N-Out as it asserts a leadership role for local businesses objecting to the rules.
Due to oppressive mandate requirements, In-N-Out has already closed its indoor dining rooms in northern California’s Contra Costa County. It remains to be seen whether the leftist bureaucrats in charge of Los Angeles County are willing to go to war against one of the most popular companies among residents.
In October, the company acted in open defiance of San Francisco’s requirement of proof of vaccine for diners by refusing to check customers. Officials responded by temporarily closing down the only store the chain operates inside the city.
The new mandates taking effect in Los Angeles County apply only to stores inside the city limits of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. In-N-Out is so far indicating that it will not comply. Last week, a local CBS reporter visited five In-N-Out Burger locations in Los Angeles and was never asked to show proof of vaccination to enter or sit in any restaurants.
In-N-Out has been headquartered in Irvine and based in Southern California since the 1940s. The company has recently expanded to Nevada, Arizona, and Texas.
The popularity of In-N-Out throughout Southern California is hard to overstate, and the outcry that would result from a severe protest by the company against unlawful and stupid mandates would be hard to predict.