Jimmy Patronis urges In-N-Out to come to Florida: ‘I hope your story inspires’ others

The burger chain is fed-up with public heath mandates.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is welcoming In-N-Out Burger to Florida, offering the state as a refuge from California’s “absurd” COVID-19 mandates.

The invitation comes as the burger chain and City of San Francisco lock horns over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate at restaurants. After sparring over the mandate for weeks, the city’s public health department shut down the Golden City’s sole In-N-Out location for failure to comply.

“We refuse to become the vaccination police,” Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out’s chief legal officer, told the Washington Post.

In a letter to In-N-Out Burger President Lynsi Snyder, Patronis – a business owner himself — applauded the move and lamented California’s handling of the pandemic. The state, he wrote, is working to “crush your business with absurd mandates.”

Patronis acclaimed Florida as a place In-N-Out would prosper. He highlighted a recent $3.5 million fine levied on Leon County over vaccine mandates.

“Once I heard the news of your shutdown for refusing to act as “vaccine police,” I knew I had to reach out immediately … I’m impressed by your courage to oppose this government overreach and I hope your story inspires other business owners across the country to do the same,” Patronis wrote.

Patronis is among other state lawmakers and officials welcoming the burger chain to the Sunshine State.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls on Thursday welcomed the franchise with “open arms.”

“Good for In-N-Out for taking a strong stance against big government,” Sprowls tweeted.

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, shared a similar sentiment.

“Please come to Florida,” Pushaw tweeted.

This isn’t Patronis’ first try to lure mandate-frustrated business owners to Florida. Over the summer, Patronis rolled out the welcome mat for Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. He also suggested Florida as a possible place to host the 2021 Olympics and urged the New York Stock Exchange to call Florida home.

Patronis alluded to Musk’s frustration in the letter to In-N-Out Burger.

“We won’t chase you out of the state like California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez did to Elon Musk when she launched vulgarities at him on Twitter,” Patronis wrote. “How did that work out?”

Despite repeated letters and even a welcome to Florida website launched by Patronis, Musk relocated to Texas.

“I just wish he would’ve moved a little father east!” Patronis added.

Patronis serves on the Board of Enterprise Florida, whose responsibilities includes attracting business to the state. A copy of the letter is featured below.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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