State official tries to convince In-N-Out burger chain to move to the Sunshine State

In-N-Out Burger – Courtesy: Shutterstock — Michael Gordon

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis is coming up with a plan to steal one of California’s iconic food chains and bring it to Florida. 

Florida’s elected chief financial officer is trying to convince In-N-Out Burger to leave California for the Sunshine State.

The chain of 378 burger joints on the West Coast and in the southwest is out of sorts with a patchwork of local ordinances in California that require indoor dining establishments to show either a negative test result or proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.

In-N-Out has seen its San Francisco stores closed for failing to screen diners and fears a set of even stricter rules that Los Angeles will impose next month. 

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” said Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out Burger’s business officer. 

Wensinger said it is dangerous and unreasonable to require employees to “segregate customers” into groups of who can and cannot be served or attended.

Patronis, who owns and operates Florida’s legendary Captain Anderson Restaurant and Waterfront Market, wrote the president of In-N-Out Burger this month to give insights and offer support about the struggles an overreaching government creates for restaurants.

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

Patronis told Snyder he was so inspired and impressed by the courage In-N-Out Burger displayed in its opposition to the mandates he was required to write her immediately. 

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

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

He then praised Florida’s pro-business climate and how it loves all entrepreneurs, business owners, and employees. 

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

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

Patronis is still waiting on a response from Snyder over his overtures, but Patronis has moved his campaign to Facebook, where he posted excerpts from his pitch to Snyder. That post has drawn over 800 likes, nearly 100 shares, and numerous comments.

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