The West Coast burger brand In-N-Out is pushing back against San Francisco’s vaccine mandate with a feisty message that is juicier than one of its delicious burgers. “We refuse to become the vaccination police,” the burger joint said.
The burger company’s resistance to the vaccine mandate was laid out by the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Beloved California burger chain In-N-Out is firing back against San Francisco’s vaccine mandate. The company blasted the city after the Department of Public Health temporarily shut down its Fisherman’s Wharf location on Oct. 14. for not checking customers’ vaccine cards. It’s the only San Francisco restaurant that’s been closed for violating the indoor vaccinate mandate, the health department said.
Despite multiple warnings, In-N-Out employees continued to let customers into the restaurant without verifying their vaccination status since at least late-September. (The city’s indoor vaccine mandate for businesses, including restaurants, went into effect on Aug. 20). In-N-Out acknowledged the enforcement violation, calling San Francisco’s indoor vaccination requirement “intrusive, improper, and offensive” governmental “overreach.”
“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” In-N-Out’s Chief Legal and Business Officer Arnie Wensinger said in a statement. “It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason.”
One of the burger joint’s locations was actually shut down temporarily over non-enforcement of the vaccine mandate, but was subsequently re-opened without indoor dining.
“The Department of Public Health said it asked In-N-Out to correct the violations multiple times since late September, after a complaint was filed with the city’s 3-1-1 service center line. After an initial visit on Sept. 24, health inspectors returned on Oct. 6 and found that the In-N-Out was still not enforcing the vaccine mandate. The public health department said it “attempted multiple times to bring the business into compliance with the health order” before shutting In-N-Out down last Thursday, Oct. 14.
“The business was instructed to cease all operations on site immediately because of the threat it poses to public health,” the Department of Public Health said in a statement.
That is what actual resistance means: Putting your money where your mouth is (and where a burger should be).