Pleasant Hill In-N-Out reopens drive-thru, keeps dining room closed over vaccination violations

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- The Pleasant Hill In-N-Out restaurant partially reopened Wednesday after being shut down Tuesday by the Contra Costa County Health Department for refusing to check diners' vaccination status, a violation of a county mandate.

"In-N-Out submitted a reopening plan (Wednesday) to only have drive-thru and take-out service, no indoor dining," said Will Harper from Contra Costa County Health Services.

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Diners started lining up when the restaurant's window opened at 10 a.m. They were not allowed inside the restaurant.

"I think that's crazy, we should not have vaccine mandates. Both of us have been vaccinated, we don't think people should be vaccinated that don't want to," said the first person in line about herself and her passenger. She did not want to give her name.



"I think the county should put somebody out there to monitor that, it should not be the responsibility of the business owner to monitor who comes in and out of the business," said customer George Gilmore of Walnut Creek.

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Governor Gavin Newsom said he does not want to involve himself in the current issue surrounding In-N-Out and their issues with local vaccination requirements.

"I am not going to get caught up in the situation," Newsom said. "I encourage everyone to take public health orders seriously and I support companies that support our state. I appreciate that they are a headquartered California-based company."

In-N-Out's corporate office says the company refuses to be the vaccination police for any government. Contra Costa County says violating the mandate is creating a public health hazard.

"They have some differences of opinion as it relates to some of these county edicts," Newsom said. "We have to work through them, but throughout this pandemic, there have been thousands of these examples. Some get highlighted some don't."

The county says it issued four citations to the restaurant before shutting it down Tuesday.

Customers expect this will create even longer drive-thru lines at a restaurant already known for long lines. But they say allowing the drive-thru window to open is better than nothing.

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"At least they can be open. I am thankful for that. I am thankful people can still work because people need to work," Gilmore said Wednesday morning.

You can read In-N-Out's full statement on the Pleasant Hill incident here:
On Tuesday, October 26, our restaurant at 570 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill, California, was closed by the Contra Costa Health Services Environmental Division. The reason for the closure is that In-N-Out Associates were not actively demanding vaccine documentation and photo identification from each dine-in Customer before serving them.

As a Company, In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service and to us that means serving all Customers who visit us and making all Customers feel welcome. We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant Associates to segregate Customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason.

We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.


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