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Florida's CFO invites In-N-Out Burger to come to Sunshine State

After one of its restaurants was shut down for not enforcing California's COVID-19 vaccination rules, the chain said it won't become "the vaccination police."

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida is looking to cook up an offer to bring a famous West Coast burger joint to the Sunshine State.

In a letter sent to the president of In-N-Out Burger, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said he'd be "honored" to help the restaurant chain "find the perfect place to start a new In-N-Out story right here in Florida." 

The invitation comes after one of its restaurants' indoor dining was shut down for refusing to check customers' vaccination status. 

The California-based company's Fisherman’s Wharf location — its only one in San Francisco — was temporarily shut on Oct. 14 by the Department of Public Health.

Authorities say it refused to bar clients who couldn’t show proof of vaccination to dine indoors as required by a city mandate that took effect in August.

Officials say In-N-Out ignored repeated warnings to enforce the rule. In-N-Out says the rule would force it to discriminate against customers and says it won't become “the vaccination police."

And, another one of its restaurants also got in trouble in a San Francisco Bay Area county over vaccine verifications. 

The chain's Pleasant Hill location in Contra Costa County was fined for failing to verify the vaccination cards of people choosing to dine indoors with their double-doubles, shakes and fries.

Patronis, who says in the letter he's "pro-vaccine but anti-mandate," wrote he was "impressed" the company was opposing "government overreach." 

He added that Gov. Ron DeSantis has "led our state forward without harsh lockdowns or mandates," noting that DeSantis recently handed down a $3.5 million fine to the Leon County government for firing employees over vaccine requirements.

Patronis says Florida's business climate is "perfect," highlighting "no personal income tax, low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and a fantastic quality of life."

You can read the full letter here.

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