In-N-Out Burger set to come to Florida with looser COVID laws, official says



Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis knows a winning recipe when he sees one: he hatches a plan to rob one of California’s iconic restaurant chains and bring it to the Sunshine State.

The state’s chief financial officer is trying to get In-N-Out Burger to leave California for Florida.

The chain of 378 burger stores in the Southwest and West Coast is down with a patchwork of local California ordinances demanding diners inside show either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.

Shirts, shoes and masks:In-N-Out decision not to verify clients’ immunization status sparks political debate on social media

He has seen his San Francisco-area stores closed for failing to screen diners and fears an even tougher set of rules Los Angeles will impose next month.

“We refuse to become the immunization police for any government,” said Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out Burger business manager.

The In-N-Out burger chain is mad after San Francisco closed its indoor restaurants for refusing to verify customers' vaccination status.

Wensinger said it was unreasonable and dangerous to require employees to “separate customers” into groups that can and cannot be served.

Patronis, who owns and operates the legendary Captain Anderson restaurant and Waterfront Market in Panama City, wrote to the president of In-N-Out Burger this month to tell him about the hardships an over-ambitious government creates for a restaurateur. .

“As a small business owner who grew up in a family restaurant, I know how hard it is to make a profit on a good day, let alone when your own government is trying to crush your business with over-ambitious mandates, ”Patronis wrote to Lynsi Snyder.

Patronis told Snyder he was so impressed and inspired by the courage In-N-Out Burger displayed in opposing the warrants he had to write to her immediately.

He explained that Florida shares In-N-Out Burger’s opposition to warrants and how Gov. Ron DeSantis fined Leon County $ 3.5 million for imposing a vaccination warrant on its warrants. employees.

“Now that’s what I call leadership,” Patronis wrote.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, pictured on May 21, 2021, is offering to help California burger chain In-N-Out relocate to Florida.  In-N-Out refuses to screen diners inside for a COVID vaccine as required by local California regulations.

He went on to praise Florida’s favorable business climate and his love for business owners, entrepreneurs and employees. He offered to help Snyder explore the relocation of In-N-Out Burger to Florida.

“As a member of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida, the state’s business development arm, I would be honored to introduce our team to you and help you find the perfect place to start a new In- N-Out here in Florida, ”he said.

“My motto is ‘Florida is for winners’, and I have no doubt your team can win here in the Sunshine State where we stay free and open for business.”

Snyder has yet to respond to Patronis’ overtures. But Patronis ran his campaign on Facebook, where he posted excerpts from his pitch to Snyder. This post drew 800 likes, nearly 100 shares, and dozens of comments.

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CallTallahassee

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