TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Could In-N-Out Burger be headed to Florida?
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is hoping to entice of California's iconic restaurant chains to trade up the Golden State for the Sunshine State.
Patronis recently wrote a letter to In-N-Out's president, Lynsi Snyder, inviting her to consider bringing the burger joint to Florida.
Some In-N-Out establishments in the San Francisco area have been forced to close for failing to enforce area ordinances requiring indoor diners to show either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.
"We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government," Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out's chief legal and business officer, said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. "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."
The statement caught the attention of Patronis, who praised In-N-Out for not bending to "absurd mandates."
"In Florida, we love our business owners, entrepreneurs and employees," Patronis wrote. "We're constantly looking for opportunities to bring businesses to our state, to create jobs and improve our communities. The business climate here is perfect, with no personal income tax, low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and a fantastic quality of life."
Patronis knows a thing or two about the restaurant industry. The fellow restauranteur owns and operates Capt. Anderson's Restaurant & Waterfront Market in Panama City.
"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 right here in Florida," Patronis told Snyder, reminding her that Florida is "free and open for business."
Vaccine mandates are against the law in Florida, which would bode well for In-N-Out executives looking to avoid government interference.
Patronis publicly shared his overtures with In-N-Out on Facebook. The post has been shared 130 times since Monday.
"Maybe we can finally bring In-N-Out burgers to the Sunshine State," Patronis said.
In-N-Out first ventured outside of California in 2000 when it opened a location in Arizona. It has since expanded into Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Oregon, but the easternmost location is in Texas.