San Francisco's Only In-N-Out Temporarily Closes After Defying Vaccine Mandate

    The restaurant said it refuses to become "the vaccination police for any government."

    In-N-Out Burger Sign.
    Adobe Stock
    San Francisco's vaccine mandate went into effect on August 20.

    An In-N-Out store in San Francisco was temporarily shut down October 14 by the local health department after not appropriately enforcing the city's vaccine mandate. 

    The restaurant, the only In-N-Out in San Francisco, reportedly did not turn away customers who couldn't produce proof of vaccination and ignored multiple warnings, according to the San Francisco Department of Health. Officials said October 14 was the final notice of violation. The health department visited the restaurant on September 24 after a complaint, and after following up on October 6, inspectors found the restaurant was still violating the mandate. 

    The location has since reopened for takeout only, but the chain has not changed its stance on vaccine requirements. 

    Arnie Wensinger, the brand's chief legal and business officer, said the store posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements, but health officials told the restaurant that employees must "actively intervene by demanding proof of vaccination and photo identification" and "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 said in a statement. “We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business.”

    San Francisco's mandate, which requires customers and workers at restaurants and bars to show proof of vaccination prior to entry, went into effect on August 20. The order doesn't apply to takeout customers or those not eligible for vaccination. San Francisco's mandate states individuals must have both doses, and does not provide the option of using a negative COVID test. Major markets New York City, New Orleans, and Los Angeles have also implemented their own vaccine mandates.