In-N-Out Burger closes outlet for first time citing ‘ongoing crime issues’

In-N-Out Burger closes outlet for first time citing ‘ongoing crime issues’

Popular fast food chain In-N-Out Burger says it has been forced to close a location for the first time in its 75-year history due to “ongoing issues with crime“ in Oakland, California.

“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,” Chief Operating Officer Denny Warnick said in a statement to The Independent.

The company went on to say that this is the first location In-N-Out Burger has closed, as other locations have just required relocation.

However, they say that this time, due to the “frequency and severity” of the crimes, they were left with no alternative.

While this particular Oakland location has been profitable for the company, Mr Warnick stated that the safety of their customers and associates is their top priority, adding “We cannot ask them to visit or work in an unsafe environment.”

Mr Warnick added that they recognise that the closure will negatively impact their associates and families but they will have the opportunity to transfer to another nearby location or receive a severance package.

While their location is closing, Mr Warnick said they will continue to support local charities in the area through their In-N-Out Burger Foundation and Slave 2 Nothing Foundation.

The last day of business at the Oakland location will be on 24 March.

One loyal customer, Jan Bundy, told CBS he comes to the restaurant at least twice a week, but admits he has witnessed crime near the In-N-Out Burger.

Less than two months ago, Mr Bundy alleges that he was inside the dining room when an attempt was made to steal his truck. While the thieves were unable to take the vehicle, they grabbed all of his belongings he said.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Oakland issued a statement following the closure announcement. Sheng Thao said that she has prioritised increasing law enforcement in the Hegenberger corridor, near where the In-N-Out Burger is located.

"I have prioritized this critical gateway to Oakland and surged police presence and employed technology to deter and respond to criminal behaviour,” Ms Thao reportedly said, according to CBS.

However, Ms Thao did recognise that more needed to be done to quell the crime, despite data released in her statement stating that crime was down toward the end of 2023 in the area.

"More is necessary and I will be working with regional and state leaders to protect this tourist gateway into Oakland," Ms Thao said.