San Francisco’s sole In-N-Out is under investigation again after reports that diners have been allowed to eat inside — which would be a violation of a health department directive to stay closed indoors until the restaurant agrees to check customers’ vaccine cards.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health is investigating In-N-Out at Fisherman’s Wharf after receiving a complaint that the restaurant was letting customers eat inside, despite being permitted only for takeout and outdoor dining following violations of the city’s indoor vaccine mandate. Eater SF first reported the investigation, which was confirmed by the health department.
In-N-Out did not respond to a question about whether people have been allowed to eat indoors at the San Francisco location. Spokesperson Kathleen Luppi said all orders are being packaged for takeout there and signs have been posted at the doors and at every table to communicate that the restaurant is closed for indoor dining. The restaurant has not been cited, she said, for serving people indoors.
The popular burger chain drew national attention — both condemnation and praise, including the latter from former vice president Mike Pence — for defying San Francisco’s vaccine requirement for indoor dining, which the company called “unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe.” The health department shut the Jefferson Street restaurant down for several days on Oct. 14 after issuing repeated warnings for not checking customers vaccine cards. It reopened last week, In-N-Out said at the time, for takeout and outdoor dining only.
The health department declined to say whether In-N-Out could be shut down again. They are “investigating further and will take next steps to address any observed violations,” according to a statement provided to The Chronicle.
In-N-Out’s Pleasant Hill location was also shut down this week for failing to check vaccination cards despite Contra Costa County’s indoor vaccine mandate. The burger spot “posed an immediate health hazard,” the Contra Costa County health department said.
San Francisco, Berkeley and Contra Costa County are the only Bay Area agencies currently with indoor vaccine requirements for businesses such as restaurants. Indoor dining is known to be one of the riskiest activities for the spread of the virus, and some health experts say that asking for proof at restaurants can be one of the keys to improving public …….