Newsom Responds To In-N-Out’s Refusal To Monitor Customer Vaccination Status

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Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom recently commented on the burger chain In-N-Out’s refusal to comply with local government mandates.

Newsom appeared to stand by the chain due to its California roots when he was asked about the conflict during a visit to Oakland, California, to tout the COVID booster dose.

He said he wouldn’t “get caught up in the situational issues,” but noted the chain is “one of our great, home-based businesses,” and he has “great respect, admiration” for them.

He referenced a few years ago when the company “doubled down on their commitment” to California, so he said he wanted to “double down” on his commitment to the chain, while acknowledging the existence of differences of opinion “as it relates to some of these county edicts,” noting “we have to work through them.”

He added, “…there’s been thousands of examples like this, some get highlighted, some don’t. In this instance, there’s an East Bay chain that there’s a little bit more friction and frustration, [in] San Francisco, there was a week or so ago.”

“Other parts of the state, [that’s] not the case,” Newsom added. “But I encourage everybody to take seriously local health orders and I encourage everybody to support businesses that support this state. I appreciate that they’re a headquartered California-based company.”

As The Daily Wire reported, In-N-Out made headlines last week as one of its restaurants in San Francisco, California, was recently temporarily closed for not enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate that requires patrons to provide evidence that they have been immunized against COVID-19. 

The location was reportedly opened again, but indoor dining was not available.

As reported by Fox News:

The San Francisco Department of Public Health closed the Fisherman’s Wharf In-N-Out location on Oct. 14 after the popular burger joint did not check the vaccination status of customers, which violates an August mandate from the city requiring indoor diners to show proof of vaccination.

In-N-Out, which operates 358 locations across the western United States, is owned by devout Christian Lynsi Snyder and is well known for including Bible verses at the bottom of soda and milkshake cups.

As reported by KRON-4, “In-N-Out said it properly posted signs of local vaccination requirements but refuses to strictly enforce them.”

“Our store properly and clearly posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements,” In-N-Out Burger’s Chief Legal and Business Officer, Arnie Wensinger said in a statement to Fox News at the time. “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.”

“‘We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,’ Wensinger declared, slamming the San Francisco Department of Health’s requirements as ‘unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe’ and accusing the city of asking restaurants to ‘segregate Customers’ based on vaccine documentation,” Fox News added.

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

Since the first location made the news in refusing to check customers’ vaccination status, the chain has reportedly “closed indoor dining at five locations in California’s Contra Costa County over a mandate requiring businesses to screen customers’ health information,” The Daily Wire reported.

“The Contra Costa County health department said Wednesday that In-N-Out had decided to close indoor dining at all of its restaurants across the county rather than enforce the health department’s COVID-19 orders, according to the San Francisco Gate. The county mandated in September that certain businesses must ensure customers 12 and older have received a COVID-19 vaccine or negative test for the virus before entering,” The Daily Wire noted.

“In-N-Out restaurants in the county will continue to serve customers on a takeout and drive-thru basis, but will be shutting its indoor operations rather than comply with the county’s health order. The fast food chain has been a vocal opponent of the county’s and other similar mandates, receiving several fines and being forced to temporarily shutter two locations,” it added.

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