I’m guessing the name Lynsi Snyder means nothing to you, but it should. Snyder is the thirtysomething president of the iconic In-N-Out burger chain, a company that promoted fresh and locally sourced ingredients long before the first millennial was born. Snyder’s estimated worth exceeds $3 billion, and she could easily be worth billions more if she had the insatiable greed of Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Goldman Sachs’ investment bankers would sell their mothers, spouses, and children for the opportunity to take her company public.
Snyder, whose grandparents founded In-N-Out in 1948, has suffered considerable tragedy. Her father, a former company president, was a drug addict who died at 48 from heart failure. Her uncle, another former In-N-Out president, died in a plane crash after visiting her at school. Snyder also suffered from alcohol and drug addiction.
Here’s why Snyder avoids the limelight and the corporate media prefers not to celebrate her impressive leadership since being named president when she was only 27: Snyder is a God-fearing Christian who credits her religious faith for helping overcome her demons.
There is nothing more anathema to America’s corporate media than a God-fearing Christian.
Three years ago, the California Democratic Party thought they had an opportunity to take In-N-Out down, and the corporate media pounced, promoting a boycott that never existed and was based on sloppy reporting by someone who freelanced for the Columbia Journalism Review no less. I wrote about how a fake In-N-Out news story was hatched on Twitter and made its way into the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times for a PR trade publication. It’s an instructive tale of how dishonest the corporate media is and how delighted they’d be to destroy a company that possibly embodies more truly American values than any other U.S. corporation. You can find that commentary here.
Most companies pay great lip service to how much they love and care for their employees, calling them “partners” to make them feel they are critical parts of the organization. In-N-Out puts its money where its corporate mouth is: It pays its crew members considerably higher wages than McDonald’s and Burger King and they are given opportunities to move up through the ranks into positions paying more than six figures. Treating employees with compassion and respect is good for In-N-Out’s business. According to Forbes, sales of a typical In-N-Out restaurant are nearly double that of a McDonald’s. The company’s profit margin is an estimated 20 percent, compared to 16 percent at rival Shake Shack and 10.5 percent at Chipotle.
In-N-Out’s support for its employees made news again in recent weeks when the company chose to shut down some of its restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area for sit-down eating rather than comply with a local covid vaccine mandate. The restaurant was unequivocal in its opposition to the mandate and its commitment to inclusiveness.
Here’s In-N-Out’s full statement:
On Thursday, October 14, the San Francisco Department of Public Health closed our restaurant at 333 Jefferson Street because In-N-Out Burger Associates (employees) were not preventing the entry of Customers who were not carrying proper vaccination documentation. Our store properly and clearly posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements.
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.
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. 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.
We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.
Demanding that restaurant employees enforce vaccine mandates puts them at considerable risk. There already have been serious incidents, including a hostess at what was one of my favorite restaurants in New York City being attacked after asking diners for proof of vaccination. Multiple flight attendants have been attacked or faced abuse for enforcing the mandate.
A few weeks ago, at about 6 a.m., I witnessed an angry customer blast into the barista at my local Peet’s after she instructed him to wear a mask. The customer went into a tirade about how masks were ineffective and that he was fed up with the government telling him what to do and how to live. The barista was visibly frightened as the customer appeared sufficiently agitated to resort to violence. The barista, who I’d estimate at about 19, wasn’t trained to deal with the situation. She was hired to make and serve coffee drinks.
I felt for the barista, but I also felt for the customer. He struck me as educated and he seemed very knowledgeable about covid, vaccines, and masks. Although the corporate media portrays those who oppose vaccines and masks as moronic anti-Trumpers, many are well-read and educated. They know things like Sweden having better outcomes than most U.S. states, despite avoiding shutdowns and vaccine mandates. The Swedes are fortunate in that their covid czar is an experienced infectious disease expert named Anders Tegnell, whose credentials include a master’s degree from the London School of Hygiene and Epidemiology, which is to infectious diseases what West Point is to the U.S. military.
America’s covid czar is Jeffrey Zients, a political hack with an undergraduate degree from Duke. In addition to botching America’s covid response, Zients doesn’t appear to be all that talented when it comes to politics. A recent Washington Post poll revealed most Americans disapprove of Biden’s performance. Zients is one of Biden’s closest advisors and co-chaired the president’s transition committee, meaning he played a major role in the selection of Cabinet and other key positions.
The other day I experienced what life for the unvaccinated is about to become. A kabob restaurant I frequent denied me entry because I forgot to bring my vaccination ID. I was angry but managed to contain myself because the employee was clearly uncomfortable being deputized as a vaccine mandate policeman.
While I’m fully immunized, I respect the right of those who fear the vaccine and possible risks. If you want to believe the unvaccinated pose a risk to the vaccinated, go argue with Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and whose commentaries regularly appear in the far-left Washington Post and the right-wing op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal.
Even if you disagree with In-N-Out’s position, the integrity of its statement is admirable. It didn’t utilize weasel PRspeak prose and argue that its only concern was protecting its employees. The company reaffirmed its values about providing a great customer experience for everyone regardless of their values. In-N-Out’s packaging carries bible verses but customers wearing crosses don’t get preferential treatment or prices.
Tellingly, some in the corporate media saw another opportunity to decry In-N-Out for supporting Republican causes and arguing by extension it was an enemy of the LGBTQ communities. (In-N-Out also donates to Democratic causes.) If you want to understand why the Los Angeles Times is a deservedly failing newspaper relying on the charity of its billionaire owner, this attempted takedown provides some insight.
Though likely not of great significance to the race- and gender identity-focused Times reporters working in their newsroom located in lily white El Segundo, In-N-Out is among the dwindling California companies committed to remaining in the messed up state. The company recently rejected a personal overture from Florida governor Ron DeSantis to relocate to the Sunshine State. Many other California businesses are hightailing it out of here and moving to Texas, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Oracle, and Tesla. Fortunately for employees of these companies, Texas is one of the few states outside California where In-N-Out is expanding.
In Texas, residents can enjoy their tax-free cake and eat an In-N-Out burger too.