Journalist Gabe Schneider sparked calls for a boycott against the In-N-Out Burger restaurant chain after tweeting a public filing showing that it had donated funds to the California Republican Party. It also started the now viral hashtag “#boycottInNOut.”
Many fans of the restaurant, Californians and others alike as well as those that identified as Democrats (or simply not Republicans), were outraged to learn that their favorite restaurant was supporting Republican ideals with their donations. Californians were particularly displeased by the news that the beloved burger chain had taken sides ahead of the upcoming elections in November. Many tweeted about their displeasure that a restaurant had chosen to become political, especially at such a significant juncture in the current political climate.
“Et tu In-N-Out?” tweeted Eric Bauman, the California Democratic Party chairman. “Tens of thousands of dollars donated to the California Republican Party… it’s time to #BoycottInNOut — let Trump and his cronies support these creeps… perhaps animal style!”
However, many supporters of the Republican party celebrated news of In-N-Out’s donation and support, including Antonio Sabáto Jr., who tweeted, “More of a reason to go and eat a great Burger!! Two please.”
Others, die-hard fans of the cult restaurant chain, which has a huge fan base considering it only has franchises open in six western states, tweeted out about the topic as well, arguing that they do not care what In-N-Out chooses to do with their money as long as they keep serving tasty burgers. Others argued that in the time of Trump, they had to enjoy what pleasures the world had left.
Like Chick-Fil-A, In-N-Out’s creators are also devout Christians, and while their religious values are not a secret, the latter’s values are not as blatantly flaunted as those of Chick-Fil-A. Those that eat at In-N-Out may or may not have noted the bible verses printed on the wrappers of its burgers. However, the religious values of its administration do not necessarily mean that the restaurant aligns with the Republican party, as Chick-Fil-A’s do.
Fortune did point out that this is not the first time that the chain has made a political donation. LA Mag reported that in 2016 and 2017, the restaurant made donations to the Republican Party of $30,000. And in contrast, that in the past, they have also donated to Democrat Party causes such as pro-business group and Democratic PAC, “Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy,” which was created in 2009 by David Townsend. When In-N-Out donated to this Democratic PAC, their donation was significantly larger at $50,000.