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In-N-Out’s Billionaire Owner Takes a Stance Against Rising Food Prices in California

An image of IN-N-Out Burger Owner Lynsi Synder/A large red In-N-Out Burger sign outside a restaurant
Source: Wikimedia/Wikimedia

In-N-Out Burger’s owner and current president, Lynsi Snyder, has voiced concern about California’s escalating minimum wage hikes, which went into effect as of April 1, and declared her opposition to the industry’s inclination to inflate prices. In a revealing conversation with NBC’s Savannah Sellers, she expressed her determination, stating, “I was sitting in meetings going toe-to-toe saying we can’t raise the prices that much. We can’t.” Snyder added that she felt “an obligation to look out for our customers” and said that, unlike competitors, In-N-Out wasn’t quick to raise prices.

Synder took the reins of the company as president at just 27 years old after working up from entry-level positions. Her path demonstrates the commitment she had to her family’s company from a young age, as she worked in the kitchen of various locations because she didn’t want any special treatment. Reflecting on her experiences, Snyder pointed out, “I think that there is a stigma that can come with being the owner’s kid.” Synder’s rise to become one of the youngest female billionaires in history hasn’t taken her focus away from what is truly important to her: customer experience. As fast-food restaurants across California have begun inflating prices due to the new $20 per hour in California, Synder feels a duty to keep dining affordable and has set herself apart from the competition by fighting to do so. 

The New York Post reported that Burger King in Los Angeles was forced to increase the price of several menu items, including their Double Texas Whopper, which saw a 12% increase from $15.09 to $16.89. However, other items, such as the Big Fish sandwich, surged by over 53% from $7.49 to $11.49, leaving many customers shocked. This dramatic rise in prices is a clear sign of the times in the fast-food industry. As competitors’ prices surge, it appears Synder kept her word. One In-N-Out location in Los Angeles made a minor increase in prices by raising burgers by just 25 cents. Whereas the drinks were increased by a mere nickel. Customer Shawn Fields shared with The New York Post, “It’s such a nominal increase.” He further commented, “It seems like a reasonable amount.”

To keep their prices low during periods of inflation, In-N-Out has invested in supply chain optimization. Ultimately, by doing so, the fast-food restaurant can manage rising costs without passing them on to the consumers. Economists suggest that maintaining lower prices not only attracts more customers but also sets a competitive standard that might encourage restraint among other chains (via Faster Capital). In-N-Out continues to build relationships with its loyal fanbase through affordable pricing and community engagements. The fast-food company sponsors local events and charitable causes across the state, reinforcing their deep connection to their customers and in return, they receive loyalty during particularly tough financial periods.


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