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February 26, 2024

In-N-Out Closes Oakland Location, Citing Rampant Crime and Safety Concerns

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Jan 22, 2024

In-N-Out Burger announced over the weekend that it will permanently close its Oakland location in March, citing issues with crime and safety that have plagued the restaurant. This marks the first time in In-N-Out’s 75-year history that the company has closed a restaurant due to crime.

Timeline of Events Leading to Closure

The East Oakland In-N-Out location on Hegenberger Road has faced crime and other issues for years, with the problems escalating recently:

  • October 2021: An employee was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot after closing for the night.
  • December 2022: Employees walking to their cars after late shifts were attacked on three separate occasions over the span of a few weeks. One victim was hospitalized.
  • January 2023: The restaurant began closing earlier in the evening due to safety concerns for late-night employees.
  • Last week: An attempted daytime robbery resulted in gunfire, though no one was injured.

In-N-Out Vice President Denny Warnick cited these “very frightening events” along with other crimes targeting employees as reasons for closing the location:

“We refuse to continue operating in an environment where our Associates, Customers and Brand face such ongoing issues.”

Details of the Closure

In-N-Out made the official closure announcement over the weekend, stating that the Oakland restaurant will permanently close in March 2024.

Key details:

  • Last day of operation: March 15, 2024
  • Employees affected: Approximately 80 full- and part-time In-N-Out associates currently work at the Oakland location.
  • Reason given: Repeated issues with crime and ability to safely operate.
  • New positions: In-N-Out states that all employees will be offered positions at other locations.

This restaurant on Hegenberger Road opened in 1976 and was one of In-N-Out’s earlier expansions outside its home base of Los Angeles.

The Oakland closure is a blow to the community, as the beloved California-based chain has always maintained a loyal East Bay customer base.

Financial Impact and Reaction

While this single restaurant closure will likely not greatly impact In-N-Out’s overall profits, it does set an alarming precedent.

If crime and safety issues force closures at additional locations, the financial ramifications could compound. However, when asked if more restaurants are vulnerable, In-N-Out president Lynsi Snyder affirmed that they currently have no plans for other closures.

Here’s how In-N-Out’s closure announcement was received:

  • Customers: Mostly disappointment and frustration over losing their favorite burger spot; many blame local leadership for uncontrolled crime.
  • Employees: Fear over current safety on the job; uncertainty over transfers to new locations.
  • Oakland residents: Anger at worsening, “out-of-control” crime rates driving away business.
  • Business leaders: Worry that In-N-Out’s high-profile exit could accelerate business exodus due to safety concerns.
  • Politicians: Mostly silence so far from city leaders and state politicians over In-N-Out’s reasons for leaving Oakland.
Reaction Sample Quotes
Customers “This sucks. Now I have to drive all the way to San Leandro.”

“Oakland is just lost. Who’s going to be left?”

Employees “I’m looking over my shoulder when I take out the trash at night.”

“I’ve already had 3 friends quit over not feeling safe.”

Oakland Residents “Our city leaders don’t care about crime until it starts costing jobs.”

“In-N-Out was part of Oakland. So sad they couldn’t stay.”

Business Leaders “First the retailers leave downtown, now this. What business is next?”

“Does Oakland even want jobs and economic growth anymore?”

What Happens Next?

While the East Oakland In-N-Out will serve its last burgers on March 15th, this is unlikely the end of the story:

  • Increased scrutiny: In-N-Out’s statement and closure will refocus attention on Oakland’s ongoing issues with crime, public safety, and loss of business. Politicians will face renewed public pressure on these topics.
  • More potential closures possible: As the first to take such drastic steps due to safety concerns, In-N-Out may spur other retailers and restaurants – especially chains and franchises accountable to corporate overseers – to reevaluate dangerous locations.
  • Law enforcement staffing strains highlighted: Some blame lack of police presence along Hegenberger Road and inadequate patrolling around the Oakland Coliseum (which In-N-Out anchors) as contributing factors. The closure underscores urgent need to combat attrition and fill OPD vacancies.
  • Economic and city budget fallouts likely: Loss of In-N-Out’s tax revenue deals another blow to Oakland’s budget shortfall. Continued public safety issues and business exits threaten jobs, property values, tourism spending, and the city’s comeback image.

In-N-Out’s announced exit in March closes the book on an iconic Oakland location with nearly 50 years of history in the city. While residents say goodbye to their beloved burgers, local leaders must grapple with fixing systemic issues laid bare by this business’ unwillingness to risk employees’ safety any longer.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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