TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary provided some details Tuesday about a phone conversation the governor had with the president of In-N-Out Burger a day prior.
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary, described the phone call to Lynsi Snyder-Ellington as a “productive conversation,” though she added she was not in the room.
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“As you may have heard, In-n-Out has closed a couple of locations in California due to vaccine passport requirements. This is what prompted the discussion about opening locations in Florida,” Pushaw said in an email to News 6.
The fast-food chain has been butting heads with health officials in northern California over vaccination mandates. One location in San Francisco had its dining room shut down for refusing to check customers’ vaccination status, according to CBS News.
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“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” Arnie Wensinger, the chain’s chief legal and business officer, said in a statement reported by CBS News.
The main hurdle to In-N-Out’s expansion to the Sunshine State is the fact that all of the chain’s suppliers are on the West Coast, according to Pushaw.
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“Of course, Florida also has some of the highest quality farms and cattle ranches in the country, and the governor discussed this with the president of In-n-Out. If they can identify suppliers for all their ingredients here, which we believe is possible, In-n-out (sic) could expand to Florida,” the press secretary added.
The phone call was preceded by a letter to Snyder-Ellington from Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, encouraging the iconic California chain to set up shop in Florida.
“The business climate here is perfect, with no personal income tax, low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and a fantastic quality of life,” Patronis’ letter read.
Pushaw said the governor was “willing to help” In-N-Out find the proper suppliers to make the move to the East Coast.
“(DeSantis) would welcome this great company to Florida, the best state to do business, where freedom has a home,” Pushaw said.
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