Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Appeals to In-N-Out Burger To Leave California and Move to the Sunshine State

Toby Hazlewood

The restaurant chain refuses to enforce COVID regulations

On October 28th, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis contacted the CEO of famed Californian burger restaurant chain, In-N-Out Burger, suggesting that they relocate to Florida. The offer has been extended in the wake of multiple In-N-Out restaurants being forced to shut down for not abiding by the state's COVID vaccine checking policy.

In a letter to In-N-Out CEO Lynsi Snyder, Patronis was keen to point out the many advantages that Florida has to offer businesses:

“[I] grew up in a family-owned restaurant and worked there for more than 30 years. 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." - Jimmy Patronis

We aren't the vaccine police

Various of the chains outlets in the San Francisco area have been forced to close for failing to enforce requirements for indoor diners to show either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.

In a recent statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, In-N-Out's Arnie Wensinger had this to say:

"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."

Come to Florida where there are no rules

In-N-Out's plight caught the attention of Patronis who was quick to point out that no-such mandates exist in Florida - something that might alleviate this issue for the burger chain. However, there are other factors that may prevent the move.

The move of a business in its entirety across the country is impractical to say the least. Then there are the jobs that would be lost in California for many of the 16,000 staff working in the business and its various outlets. Finally, there's the issue of the pandemic which the Californian measures are intended to prevent or minimise.

Florida has seen 59,495 deaths from 3.6 million cases since the pandemic began, and has just 60% of citizens currently vaccinated.

California has had 72,026 deaths from 4.9 million cases, and has 61% of citizens vaccinated. However, the population of 39.6 million, almost double that of Florida (at 21.9 million).

As such, Florida has witnessed 2,716 deaths per million citizens and California, just 1,818 per million citizens. It might then be argued that the COVID controls in California were worthwhile!

It seems unlikely that the burger chain will move, as much as it might seem like a good publicity stunt by Florida's Chief Financial Officer!

What do you think about the number of COVID cases in Florida compared to California? Do you wish that more had been done to prevent the spread in Florida, or are you glad Gov DeSantis has acted as he has? Let me know in the comments section below.

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