News

: In-N-Out defies San Francisco vaccine mandate: ‘We refuse to become the vaccination police’

An In-N-Out restaurant in San Francisco was briefly shut down by the health department for not enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate, causing the burger chain to retort: “We refuse to become the vaccination police.”

The In-N-Out Burger at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf — the chain’s only location in the city — was shut Oct. 14, KRON-TV first reported Tuesday. It has since reopened, but without indoor dining. San Francisco has one of the toughest vaccine mandates in the country, requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, which went into effect Aug. 20.

In-N-Out said it posted signs at the restaurant stating the vaccine requirement, but its employees were not enforcing compliance.

Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out’s chief legal and business officer, lashed out at the city’s vaccine mandate in a statement Tuesday.

“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,” he said in a statement emailed to MarketWatch. “We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. 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.

“This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.” 

The San Francisco Department of Public Health told Eater and the San Francisco Chronicle it has asked In-N-Out on multiple occasions to comply with the proof-of-vaccination rules, following a public complaint. Its refusal led to the temporary shutdown.

In-N-Out appears to be the most prominent opponent of enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate, which otherwise has rolled out fairly smoothly. While some have complained about COVID restrictions hurting businesses, California’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has fallen to 1.9%, its lowest since July 3. San Francisco’s test-positivity rate is 1.64%, leading the city to drop some of its mask requirements last week.

San Francisco is one of the few cities in the country so far requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, along with New York City. In-N-Out’s stance may trigger a bigger brouhaha next month, when the city of Los Angeles’ similar vaccine mandate goes into effect. In-N-Out has five locations in Los Angeles proper, and many more in surrounding cities, some of which are considering similar mandates.

In-N-Out has more than 350 locations, mostly in California and the Southwest.

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in:News