San Francisco's only In-N-Out Burger has reopened after health officials forced it to close on Oct. 14 for violating a new city health order. It is the city's first restaurant to be closed for COVID-related violations, officials said.
It has since reopened for takeout only; because the establishment refuses to have staff check for proof of vaccination, no one is allowed to eat inside.
“I'm kinda sad I can't eat inside,” said a patron.
Health officials say they issued a notice of closure for the Jefferson Street restaurant after responding to 311 complaints in September about staff not checking for proof of vaccination.
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“They weren't playing by the rules and given over two weeks to comply,” said Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.
She added that if smaller restaurants can follow the rules, so can In-N-Out.
“It's pretty selfish because there are still kids who can't get vaccinated,” said Thomas. “We know there are auto-immune compromised out and exposed and everyone else has complied.”
Customers in line Tuesday said they are glad the doors are open but believe the chain should follow the rules.
“They shouldn't be allowed to circumvent the law everyone else is following,” said a customer.
In-N-Out is also apparently violating health rules in Pleasant Hill.
The Contra Costa County Health Department said it has issued two notices of fines totaling $750 for failing to require proof of vaccination.
The company released a statement saying in part, "We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.”