In-N-Out Stands Firm: California Wage Law Met with Price Promise

In a recent interview with NBC’s TODAY, In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder assured customers that the beloved West Coast burger chain would not experience significant price hikes in response to California’s new minimum wage law. Effective April 1, the Fast Act raised the starting wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour, up from the previous $16 standard.

During discussions within the company, Snyder emphasized the importance of maintaining affordable prices, stating, “We can’t raise the prices that much, we can’t.” She expressed a deep commitment to serving customers and ensuring their satisfaction.

Furthermore, Snyder confirmed that In-N-Out has no intentions of implementing mobile ordering options, citing concerns about potential impacts on the customer service experience. Additionally, she reiterated the company’s stance against franchising or becoming a publicly traded entity.

While some adjustments have been made at individual locations, such as a recent 25-cent increase in burger prices and a 5-cent increase in drink prices at a Los Angeles location, these changes remain minimal compared to competitors’ responses to the wage increase.

In contrast to In-N-Out’s approach, other fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Chipotle have announced plans to raise prices to offset the impact of the wage hike. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski acknowledged the inevitable short-term challenges for franchisees in California, while Chipotle’s Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung indicated potential price increases ranging from mid-to-high single digits.

Additionally, recent reports from Business Insider highlight the pre-emptive layoffs of over 1,200 delivery drivers by two major Pizza Hut operators in California ahead of the Fast Act implementation.

In-N-Out’s commitment to maintaining affordable prices amidst economic shifts underscores its dedication to customer satisfaction and distinguishes it from competitors grappling with the implications of the new minimum wage law.