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America's Greatest Faith-First Corporation?: A Conversation With In-N-Out's Lynsi Snyder

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2023 5:00 am

America's Greatest Faith-First Corporation?: A Conversation With In-N-Out's Lynsi Snyder

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk

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December 7, 2023 5:00 am

For 75 years, In-N-Out Burger has thrived as one of America's most beloved fast food chains...while also remaining a family company and adhering to Christian principles. How does that work? Lynsi Snyder shares with Charlie her faith journey as well as her business journey, and also gives the lowdown on In-N-Out's famous "secret menu," and the time some frat boys ordered a 100-patty burger.

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That's Hey, everybody. Tanner Charlie Kirk, your Lindsey Snyder legend from In-N-Out joins the program.

In-N-Out Burger, you're going to love this conversation. Email us as always, freedom at, and get involved with Turning Point USA. Turning Point USA is the nation's most important organization fighting on the front lines, Thousands of high school and college chapters. You can also join our faith network,, so check it out. All of it right now,

That is Email us as always, freedom at That's freedom at Buckle up, everybody.

Here we go. Charlie, what you've done is incredible here. Maybe Charlie Kirk is on the college campus. I want you to know we are lucky to have Charlie Kirk. Charlie Kirk's running the White House, folks. I want to thank Charlie. He's an incredible guy. His spirit, his love of this country. He's done an amazing job building one of the most powerful youth organizations ever created, Turning Point USA. We will not embrace the ideas that have destroyed countries, destroyed lives, and we are going to fight for freedom on campuses across the country.

That's why we are here. Brought to you by the loan experts I trust, Andrew and Todd at Sierra Pacific Mortgage at When I first went to Los Angeles, I heard stories, legends about a restaurant right after LAX. Growing up in the Midwest, you know, every so often you'd see a kid in high school and they'd be wearing an in and out hat or they'd be talking about it. And there, of course, there are no in and outs in the Midwest.

They're now in Texas. And you would hear about what is this place? What is this burger phenomenon?

And of course, the first time I had in and out, I said, wow, now I get it. It is one of the most impressive companies. It is my favorite restaurant that is open past midnight. And the person who is behind it all, Lindsay Snyder, joins us to talk about her new book and the story. Seventy five years celebrating in and out history, the ins and outs of In-N-Out Burger, the inside story of California's first drive through and how it became a beloved cultural icon.

And I may or may not have gone there at one a.m. on Saturday. Lindsay, welcome to the show. Oh, thank you for having me.

Lindsay, I've got to know you throughout the years. You know, we're both believers. We'll talk about that. But I'm just been so moved by this book and the story, a uniquely American story. Tell us about it.

Seventy five years. Tell us the story of your grandparents. Oh, well, they were both not from California.

My grandmother was from Illinois and my grandfather was Canadian born and migrated to Seattle, Washington, and then came down to California for high school and then back up to Seattle and met my grandmother up there. And, you know, he was they were actually both in the military. He was in the army and she was in the Navy, the waves.

So really cool story. But they both came from very humble beginnings and were working hard. And he was delivering sandwiches and met her. They got married.

They moved to Southern California and he had a dream to start a burger drive through that, you know, people would just pull up and grab their food and go and called in and out. And that's where the legend started. Really, it's just, sorry, not legend, legacy started. It's been incredible to, I guess, try to just carry on what they started because we don't need to change things.

We don't need to try to be like others. It's, you know, they they had it right from the beginning. Keep it simple and focus on the quality and the friendliness and the cleanliness. And, you know, within those three things, the rest kind of follows.

Yeah, absolutely. Excellence, simplicity, no shortcuts to greatness. Tell us the story about how your grandfather used from the military style speed speaker, the kind of two way speaker that he was a pioneer with that.

Tell us about it. Yeah, well, I wasn't there, but but he got the idea of being on the merchant ship or something like that. And he heard the intercom system and thought, wow, you know, why can't we do this so people could place their order and we could already get it going and then hand it to him at the window.

And, you know, this would this would be a great idea. And, you know, he did it and it wasn't it wasn't in the very beginning. I don't remember which year it was. But yeah, I mean, just he was very innovative, a man full of ideas, hard worker. And he had a great partner, my grandmother, who was very sweet, loved people and was a hard worker herself. Started in October of nineteen forty eight, one used grill, two good fryers and one refrigerator. And it really isn't only an America type story. And so between nineteen forty nine and nineteen fifty two, they established five stores across Southern California and the sixth store was about to open.

And Harry and Esther then eventually bought out their partner and made it a family business. So just, you know, being born into this and seeing what it has meant for so many different people, you're a steward of this great company, but also it's been expanding with you at the helm. You've done an amazing job of keeping that excellence. You know, it's it's a joke.

No matter if it's Tuesday or Saturday, I drive by the one in Scottsdale and there is a line right around there and the employees are happy and the customers are happy and you could get through in record time. Talk about how you running this company, you know, the challenges that present it, but also you feel an obligation to continue that legacy on. Yeah, you know, it's it I don't feel like it's mine. You know, I really do feel like I'm I'm a steward of what's been given to me.

And and like I said, I feel like, you know, God could take it at any time. I feel like it's, you know, my family's. And I really want to, you know, do right. I want to honor them. I want to make them proud. And I want to really carry on what they started. So for me, that is a lot of, you know, just being a guardian and protective. And, you know, just trying to champion all the things that were so important to them. And it's a big responsibility because as we grow, you know, that job just gets more difficult. You know, how do you keep a family atmosphere and environment when you have almost 400 stores?

Unbelievable. So is that like 380 right now? 385? Is it right near there?

Or 398? And now in Texas, right? And also Colorado. I think I see you in Vegas as well now, which is amazing. So kind of keep on going through the story here because it really is articulated beautifully in the book, which I want everyone to check out the ins and outs of In-N-Out Burger, the inside story of California's first drive through and how it became a beloved cultural icon. In 1989, all of a sudden it continued to grow. And I know that this is where you had some of your fondest memories of childhood when Guy moved your family and your stepsisters.

Talk about that, but also talk about how faith has played a big part of the culture in In-N-Out, Bible verses on paper products, et cetera. Yeah, well, so I was about almost seven, I think when we moved up north. And my sister is actually, they're my half sisters and they're 12 and 16 years older than me.

So they were already out. One was married and the other was out of the house. And so it was kind of just me on a ranch up there as a kid. And I don't know, just something about being out in the woods and exploring by yourself. I feel like I did develop just this relationship with God in that time, because I had known him since I was a kid, but there were really good years up there. And I had my dad up there sober for years, which was really nice. And like you said, some of my best memories. Because we were just a family up there living on a ranch and doing ranch things, catching frogs.

And my dad and I played hide and seek, four wheelers. So yeah, I don't know, my uncle actually got saved in that time while we were up there. And my grandmother had always had her faith.

My grandfather accepted the Lord on his deathbed. He had lung cancer. And yeah, and my dad, his faith was there and kind of grew. I remember him reading all those Frank Peretti books. He was super into those.

And yeah, I mean, even through his addiction, he saw the supernatural battle, for sure. And he shared a lot of those things. So he got really bold after my parents got divorced, and he was running the company. Because my uncle passed away in a plane crash, and that forced my dad to come down and start running the business. And that was really hard. I think he was trying to lean on his faith, but there was a lot of unresolved pain, which I talk about in the book.

Just from his childhood, from the relationship with his brother not being in a great place when he died. So now it's like, okay, leave your family and run this business. and want to give every dollar get the most results. Or maybe you just want to know that a girl making this decision deserves the truth, so that next year at this time, she's picking out a Christmas stocking for her baby's first Christmas.

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Go to right now and click on the Preborn banner. Sorry, Lindsay, I had to cut you off, finish that thought. Yeah, just that my father really had to jump into running the business. We moved down south and that year was horrible for me in school because I'd always been normal, normal kid. There weren't me in and outs where I lived up north and I was just another kid.

When I came down south, people knew who I was and I was treated differently and it was the worst school year of my life, so my dad didn't want me to go through that, so he decided to commute, that we would live back up north and he would just go back and forth. And so that was kind of the end of, I guess, our family unit, then his sobriety. And yeah, so it was, it was tough, but I will say that each member of the family did have their faith.

I know that I believe God took my dad, being merciful, knowing that he wasn't going to win his battle with addiction. And, and for me, you know, my walk has been all over the place. I've had a relationship with Jesus as long as I can remember, but I've been divorced.

I've been the black sheep of the family. I've been, you know, kind of all over. I've been in ministry and then fell away and fell away and then back in ministry.

And now, you know, it's, I'm there now where, where God wants me. And I feel, you know, I've worked out a lot of the issues and things that would pull me from the path before, which were daddy issues, honestly. And so, so talk a little bit about, you got, you forgot your first job at and out at age 17. Did they have you clean in the floors? Tell us about how that contributed to your development of your character and now running the whole company.

Yeah. I did start as a level one and stood in line for, you know, the interviews and it was incredible. I think, you know, the other kids weren't aware who I was for about a month. So it was really neat. It was a brand new store. So I think the experience of starting with a new crew at a new store and working with the all-stars was really, it was fun. You know, seeing that store open and a new community have in and out too was really fun.

And of course they made me take the first customer and I was very, very nervous. But yeah, you know, I, I love working in the stores and to this day, I think, you know, it is a great experience for anyone. It's a super fun environment to work in and you really do become like a family, a team. You know, you're part of your job is to smile at customers and something happens when you're smiling all day. Do you think it makes you happier? Do you think that you end up being happier if you have to smile all day?

I think it does. I think it changed changes your attitude because, you know, there's a discipline in it. And I think that it's kind of putting one foot in front of the other. It's like, okay, if I have to smile, then, you know, I can't just be dwelling on something negative. So, you know, and people that, that have trouble smiling and can't do it, then they might not be cut out for it or not because it is part of the uniform. But we do say that they're contagious and we really try to, you know, foster an environment where there's gratitude and just being grateful for our customers and seeing them as number one.

No, I asked that question because sometimes you act and then you feel how you act, not vice versa. If everyone in and out just acted how they feel, you'd be like, okay, what do you want? You know, my shift is almost over, but you train a culture of joy and happiness. I know that anyone that has enjoyed In-N-Out Burger can say that to be true. Check out the book, The Ins and Outs of In-N-Out Burger, the inside story of California's first drive-through and how it became a beloved cultural icon. And it's no longer just in California. It is quickly becoming a national phenomenon. I could tell you here in Arizona, we have one right near the office, we have one right near the office. There is constant lines and clamoring to get your In-N-Out Burger.

And the menu is simple and it is the envy of all these other McDonald's and Burger King. They don't get it. We're going to talk about that. They say, oh, what is it? Oh, it's high quality because I know that you guys invest in quality first and foremost.

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Go to The book is the ins and outs of In-N-Out Burger, the inside story of California's first drive-through and how it became a beloved cultural icon. So Lindsay, you know, I know you talk about this in the book. There was a time when all of a sudden, you're in charge. Talk about that. That's a lot of pressure and a lot of responsibility.

Yeah. You know, it didn't seem like a switch, you know, was just flipped where, you know, boom, I was in charge. It really felt gradual because, you know, my dad died when I was 17. So then I had trustees. I had an attorney.

I wrote my first will in my early 20s. So, you know, I think it was, you know, me really being involved early on. You know, I kind of laid down some of the things I had wanted to do and just decided to be there for the company. And, you know, I started working in the merchandise department, which is the catalog. It was all of our merchandise stuff where you fax back then. You could fax in your order form.

You could call. You could place the order of the internet or you can come in. And so we had the store and then we had one in Vegas. And so I was in charge of all of that, which was really like managing a little business inside of a big business, which was a great experience, you know, working with vendors and making sure to get the best quality and the better deal. And, you know, so that was a great experience.

And that was in my early, early 20s. So being there and then starting to immerse myself in the operations, going back into the stores, working in almost every department in the company and spending a little more time in some than others and being a part of, you know, operations meetings and then sitting in the VP meetings. So, you know, I was already in, you know, my feet were definitely wet with the day to day ins and outs. And, you know, so there were already some areas where I was weighing in and making decisions and was just very involved.

So by the time we got to that point, it didn't feel like there was a huge shift other than just knowing, okay, you know, this, all of this with the shares and the voting and all of that, you know, all these things where, you know, I thought I was an adult at 18 and then I thought 21, you know, you reach the last restriction age, but no, not for me with having the trust and, you know, the different increments of age and share. So it was, it was that that happened. Well, I just, of course.

Yeah. And Lindsay, you're doing such a powerful job and you have restaurants across the country expanding greater than anyone could have imagined. And everyone I talk to, Lindsay, and they don't know that, you know, I'm a big in and out fan and, you know, that, you know, that we've we've become friends that, you know, they everyone has great things to say about it. They say the service is amazing.

It's joy. And it's in an industry that typically gets, let's just say, insulted a lot. Oh, you know, fast food. And I know that you don't love that label, but, you know, it's it's restaurant with high quality and good food quickly. But Lindsay, it's obvious that your leadership is making a mark.

The Bible verses on the cups, the slave to nothing foundation. Talk about that, because in an era where people running companies tend to go away from their values, you're doubling and tripling down. Tell us about that. Again, you know, I think that's just that sense of responsibility because there's there's two parts. You know, there's the part of stewarding this and continuing the legacy for my family. But the bigger part, of course, is, you know, my my calling and walk with with the Lord. And, you know, he's the one that I want to make proud and ultimately serve. So, you know, I feel like I'm able to do both pretty cohesively.

I feel like I can honor my family and continue their legacy and, you know, carry the torch for them and also stand up for what's right and make sure that we're keeping our customer, you know, our customers number one and also taking care of our people. So so talk about the slave to nothing foundation. The more I've learned about the effort, the anti sex trafficking on the side of every in and out bag is information hotlines for people to fight against human trafficking. I know this is a passion project of yours. Lindsey, tell us about it.

Yeah. Slave to nothing, you know, was something that my husband and I really had on our hearts and we were both affected by addiction. He has now lost two brothers.

I lost my father. And, you know, so we just we just knew that that was something that we wanted to fight from our first conversation. And, you know, so the time was right. We decided to start slave to nothing. And the two was the part that God slipped in and just said, you know, you're going to also fight human trafficking and use this platform you have.

And so we said, OK, so that's what the two stands for, is that there's two different things in there, which is not very common for a 501C3. So we have January to really focus and have our can drive and talk about human trafficking and and fight that. And then in October, that's the month for preventing substance abuse and fighting addiction. So we have an event in both of those months. And then we also have the can drive in the stores both of those months.

And as well as as well as our Internet Burger Foundation that was started in the 80s, we have a can drive and events for that, which is April. I know one of the reasons why you have had to be careful expanding and growing is your transparency supply chain, but also being close to ingredients. Tell us about this, Lindsay, because, I mean, it's tempting to say, OK, we're going to expand to Philadelphia and we're going to expand to Detroit. But you want to be very careful about quality because that's what makes In-N-Out In-N-Out.

It's not just the good location near LAX, right? It is the quality. And talk about how you've been able to maintain that world class quality thanks to your leadership in Colorado, in Utah, in Texas. Tell us about it.

Yeah, well, you know what? We have really, really high standards. We have wonderful, loyal vendors. And with those vendors, we build relationships where they really understand what we're about and our expectations. We're very careful and meticulous.

I think when it comes to even the produce, you know, my grandpa was his nickname was Hamburger Harry because he would go to the butcher, pick the meat himself, you know, he would get the produce. I mean, there was just a very hands on, very involved, making sure we're getting the best. And so we tried to keep that today. We don't want to cut corners and compromise our quality as tempting as it might be for everyone with, you know, costs and everything going up.

But we just, we can't, you know, it's part of who we are. So we continue that. And like you said, we only have a few warehouses. So, you know, we have to be able to reach with delivery every other day.

So, you know, there's a way so far we can go. We have a warehouse here in Southern California. We have one in Northern California. We have Texas. And with those, you know, we're able to reach, well, you can see seven states, but soon to be eight. So, yeah, it's limiting, but it's also good because we don't want to be in every state. And, you know, some people think, oh, wow, they're growing so fast. And really, we're not growing fast. I think what it is, is we're just, we happen to be hitting some new markets close together, which is exciting for a lot of people.

But we do have a very methodical, strategic approach to our growth. And does In-N-Out University still exist? Is that still a thing? Yes. Tell our audience all about that. It's the place where the quality and the excellence is taught. Tell us about it.

Yeah. So the In-N-Out University is in Bolden Park, California. It's right next to store one, which is very close to where the original store one was. And it's a building that has a whole team of people devoted to training our associates. And there's, I mean, a full department of just, you know, whether it be training materials that goes on to learning modules for them to watch inside the stores, or classes for people that enter management to come to.

And there is, there's different levels. So when someone wants to be a fourth manager, they have to go to the classes. And it's a whole series of different classes and different, you know, I would say professors, but really, they're just, you know, In-N-Out experts, people in the company that come and teach different classes. And it's amazing, I went through the fourth manager's class, actually, it was a great time.

And some of those relationships and people that were in there are still with the company and their managers today. And it's pretty neat. But yeah, it's very thorough. And there's certifications, there's graduations. And, you know, we're very big on training. And that's something that my uncle put an emphasis on starting in the 80s. And just, you know, saying training is our future. And just the focus and the amount of time you spend investing these people makes a difference in the future. Amen.

The book is the In-N-Out, the In-N-Out of In-N-Out Burger, the inside story of California First Drive-Thru and how it became a beloved cultural icon. The holidays and big family feasts are upon us. But in DC, it seems as if there's no bigger turkey than Senate Bill 1339. S1339 is Bernie's latest attempt to sneak in a backdoor takeover of more of our health care. He falsely claims it will lower prescription drug prices.

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Go to All right, Lindsey, what is your order at In-N-Out? What do you get? I have a few different ones. Are we saying just my favorite? Walk us through all the different vibes, the moods.

If you have an 11 a.m. meeting, a 3 p.m., a 1 a.m., or what is your go-to? What is your desert island In-N-Out order burger? That makes it simple, actually. Yeah, double meat, extra spread, pickles, chopped chilies only. Okay, now you can't tell us what the spread is under, right? You can't tell us what it is. It's a somewhat secret combo from the recipe unchanged since 1948, right?

Yes. Now, so I get this question all the time. What is the deal with the secret menu? It's not so secret. It's secret. They have this kind of hidden menu.

Tell us the back story on this whole thing. Well, I think it's, yeah, I mean, it was the secret menu because, you know, certain things would trickle out, but it's really been, you know, things that the customers, they were just trends, you know, things that they kind of created. And, you know, of course, with the internet, that's, I think, what made it not so secret because it's been spread all around.

Ha, spread. Anyway, I think, you know, going back in the 60s was where the animal style started and that story also in the book. But, you know, and then when everyone decided to cut carbs, that's when the protein style thing took off.

You know, they were doing, I don't know, how do you try to remember which diet it was, but maybe Atkins. It was, yeah. That's the one. Yeah.

And then the animal fry. My goodness. I think we also thank the internet for that one because, you know, people decided, oh, have you had this?

Have you tried this? And then everyone starts ordering it. So, and many of them have become favorites. So, yeah.

The not so secret menu. Now you double meet, you can do a three by three, a four by four. I've even heard rumors of a five by five, but I don't know if that's within standard operating procedure. Is it, Lindsay? Are they allowed to go that high?

They can, yes. There's actually, there's been, I think it was a college fraternity that did like a hundred by a hundred, but obviously they had to order it a little differently, but I saw pictures. It was pretty gross. Then obviously the grilled cheese protein style and animal style. So just in closing here, the book, I want everyone to check it out.

The ins and outs In-N-Out Burger. Lindsay is a patriot. She's a believer and the gospel shapes this company. It is a source of light in a very dark world. Lindsay, other things you want to share with our audience here as our time comes to a close? You know, I just, I think that the most important thing of course is knowing God and, and loving him and allowing his love to change your life. And, you know, I will say I was a believer most of my life, but I still had things that would just catch me up or pull me away from him, strongholds. And, and so I can't put enough emphasis on people just dealing with things, especially even around, you know, the holidays and all of that, just dealing with any unresolved pain or sin in your life. And, and just knowing that there's people that you can trust and that God can, you know, transform us and that renewing your mind is so important because I think in faith, you know, just that discipline and knowing that you don't have to think what the world tells you to think. You don't have to be broken or labeled and that you can really be transformed by renewing your mind through the Spirit. Amen.

Romans 12, two, one of my favorite verses, do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The book is excellent, but honestly, the restaurant I love even more and they're both great though. So check it out this Christmas season, go to In-N-Out, bring your family, bring your friends and get the book, The Ins and Outs of the In-N-Out Burger. Lindsay, you're doing a wonderful job continuing the legacy and onward to another 75 years. God bless you. Thank you. Thanks so much for listening. Everybody email us as always freedom at

Thanks so much for listening and God bless. Wild up and don't get me started about the reindeer right selves. The shop floor just isn't a happy little place.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-07 06:10:49 / 2023-12-07 06:24:44 / 14

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