Despite being one of America’s most popular chains, the family behind In-N-Out continues to have a decidedly quiet public role. But now it seems that Forbes has caught owner Lynsi Snyder in a moment of reflection, sitting her down for an on-the-record conversation about the chain’s culture, past, and its prospects for the future.
The discussion is notable because Snyder typically refuses most interview requests, and is rarely seen in public. As the only child of Lynda and H. Guy Snyder, and the sole grandchild of Harry and Esther Snyder who founded In-N-Out in 1948, the 35-year-old Snyder is now one of the country’s youngest billionaires, and oversees the entire company as majority stock owner. Here are six of the most notable quotes from the interview.
On maintaining her family’s wishes within In-N-Out’s culture: “I felt a deep call to make sure that I preserve those things that [my family] would want. That we didn’t ever look to the left and the right to see what everyone else is doing, cut corners or change things drastically or compromise. I really wanted to make sure that we stayed true to what we started with. That required me to become a protector. A guardian.”
Menu changes: “It’s not [about] adding new products. Or thinking of the next bacon-wrapped this or that. We’re making the same burger, the same fry. We’re really picky and strategic. We’re not going to compromise.”
Snyder spoke briefly about the relationship with her father, who passed away in 1999 at age 48. “When he was sober, he was the best dad in the world. We had our time cut short.”
The company’s expansion plans: “I don’t see us stretched across the whole U.S. I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas—draw a line up and just stick to the left. That’s in my lifetime,” Snyder says. “I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town. I like that we’re unique. That we’re not on every corner. You put us in every state and it takes away some of its luster.”
Will she ever sell the mega chain, or take on a partner? “We’ve had some pretty crazy offers. There’s been, like, princes and different people throwing some big numbers at us where I’m like, ‘Really?’
What truly motivates Snyder: “It’s not about the money for us. Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”