(RightIsRight.co) – Driven by concerns over the escalating crime rates that have jeopardized the safety of both employees and customers, the only In-N-Out Burger establishment in Oakland announced it will close its doors in March.
Despite 18 years of operating profitably within the community, the decision prioritizes safety over financial gains. In a weekend announcement, Denny Warnick, the Chief Operating Officer of In-N-Out, detailed the challenging circumstances leading to this resolution.
“Despite taking repeated steps to create safer conditions, our Customers and Associates are regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies,” Warnick expressed, highlighting the unsustainable conditions faced at the Oakland location.
Shared by CBS East Bay, the statement emphasized the dire position the restaurant found itself in, caught between financial success and escalating insecurity that has come to characterize the local environment.
“Additionally, this location remains a busy and profitable one for the company, but our top priority must be the safety and wellbeing of our Customers and Associates – we cannot ask them to visit or work in an unsafe environment,” Warnick stated.
Recent data from the Oakland police painted a grim picture of the local crime situation, marking the transition into the new year. Robberies saw a substantial increase of 38% from 2022 to 2023, according to ABC 7 Bay Area. Additionally, the reports noted a 23% rise in burglaries and a 44% spike in motor vehicle theft, underscoring the deteriorating public safety landscape that ultimately influenced In-N-Out’s decision to close its Oakland outlet.
In light of the closure, In-N-Out has offered its Oakland employees the option to transfer to another location within the company’s network or to accept a severance package. Warnick’s message conveyed a sense of regret over the impact of the closure on the local community and the company’s workforce.
“We are grateful for the local community, which has supported us for over 18 years, and we recognize that this closure negatively impacts our Associates and their families,” he concluded, acknowledging the broader ramifications of the decision beyond the immediate operational concerns.