TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After Governor Ron DeSantis made a pitch for In-N-Out to move to the Sunshine State, the chief legal officer said there are no plans to move their headquarters or open a location in Florida.
Earlier this week, DeSantis spoke to the owner, Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, on the phone after the city of San Francisco temporarily closed one of their restaurants in mid-October over the company’s refusal for customers to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering.
On Wednesday, Arnie Wensinger, the chief legal and business officer, released the following statement:
"The phone call was at the request of Gov. DeSantis and the primary purpose was to establish a business relationship. During that call, Gov. DeSantis graciously invited In-N-Out Burger to do business in the state of Florida. While we are thankful for the gracious invitation, In-N-Out Burger has no plans or intention to expand operations or move its corporate headquarters to Florida."
Back in October, the only In-N-Out restaurant in San Francisco closed for several days after repeatedly refusing to follow that city’s public health mandate, authorities said.
"Our store properly and clearly posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements," In-N-Out Burger’s Chief Legal and Business Officer, 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 added, saying the San Francisco Department of Health's requirements were "unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe" and accused the city of asking restaurants to "segregate Customers" based on vaccine documentation.
After the incident, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis shared on Twitter: "If California doesn’t want @innoutburger then Florida will be glad to take them. In the Sunshine State we support our businesses!"
Patronis also wrote a letter to In-N-Out as well.
"I know how hard it is to turn a profit and make payroll on a good day, let alone when your own government is working to crush your business with absurd mandates. Once I heard the news of your shutdown for refusing to act as ‘vaccine police,’ I knew I had to reach out immediately," Patronis said.
The burger chain is a west-coast staple, but hasn't made it to the east coast of the U.S. The closest location to Florida is about a thousand miles away in Houston.
Fox Business and FOX 11 contributed to this report