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In-N-Out Burger announces first-ever plans to shut down California store over 'ongoing crime'

The signs points to an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Alhambra, California, on August 30, 2018.
The signs points to an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Alhambra, California, on August 30, 2018. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

For the first time ever, the only fast-food chain in America that serves Bible verses with its burgers is closing a store location in Northern California due to “ongoing issues with crime.”

In-N-Out Burger will shutter its store located in the Bay Area near Oakland International Airport next month following a wave of robberies, car break-ins, and other crimes, according to The Associated Press.

The announced closure of the Oakport Street location marks the first for In-N-Out in its 75-year history.

"We have made the decision to close our In-N-Out Burger location in Oakland, California, due to ongoing issues with crime,” said Denny Warnick, In-N-Out’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “Despite taking repeated steps to create safer conditions, our Customers and Associates are regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies.”

While Oakland, in general, has seen a rise in violent crime, more than 1,300 incidents were reported near the location since 2019, outpacing all other store locations in Oakland, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In fact, Warnick said, the store “remains a busy and profitable one for the company, but our top priority must be the safety and well-being of our Customers and Associates — we cannot ask them to visit or work in an unsafe environment."

Employees who are affected by the closure will be offered the chance to either transfer to another In-N-Out location or receive a severance package.

The closure will not affect other In-N-Out locations in Alameda, San Ramon, and other cities in the East Bay. In-N-Out will also continue its charity work in Oakland, according to Warnick.

Known for its famous Double-Double burger and “animal-style” french fries, In-N-Out includes references to Bible verses on its packaging, including Revelation 3:20, John 3:16, Matthew 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 13:13.

The practice of including Bible verses on the bottom of their cups started in the 1980s under Rich Snyder, the son of founders Harry and Esther Snyder, who wanted to find a better way to reflect the company's Christian beliefs.

CEO Lynsi Snyder continues to incorporate biblical principles into her role as owner of In-N-Out, telling CP in a 2019 interview that she strives to “maintain what we’ve started with: Not compromising the quality of product, service, or standards.”

In recent years, Snyder has added two more verse references to In-N-Out packaging: Proverbs 24:16 (“ ... the wicked shall fall into mischief”) to the fries container and Luke 6:35 (“But love ye your enemies, and do good”) to coffee cups. 

“It was my uncle Rich who put the Bible verses on the cups and wrappers in the early ‘90s, just before he passed away,” she recalled. “He had just accepted the Lord and wanted to put that little touch of his faith on our brand. It’s a family business and will always be, and that’s a family touch. In later years, I added verses to the fry boat, coffee, and hot cocoa cups.”

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