ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida's Chief Financial Officer is trying to attract California-based In-N-Out Burger to Florida. However, the gesture could have less to do with juicy burgers and more to do with politics surrounding coronavirus health policy.
The City of San Francisco shut down the popular West Coast hamburger chain for refusing to check the vaccination status of customers. That prompted Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis to send out the welcome wagon.
"If California doesn’t want @innoutburger then Florida will be glad to take them. In the Sunshine State we support our businesses!" he tweeted.
General view of the In-N-Out Burger on Sunset Blvd on October 21, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
"We see business after business moving to Florida," said developer Chuck Whittall, CEO of Unicorp National Developments.
Whittall said the CFO is right.
"I think it’s good to show the country what a great state Florida is. Our COVID cases are next to nothing. Our governor has played all this correctly and it’s really shown the difference in a state like Florida versus California."
The Florida Department of Health reported 58,803 total deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, based on data released in the last weekly report (Oct. 15-21), while California – a state nearly twice the size of Florida in population – reported 71,182 total deaths since the start of the pandemic, based on data released on Oct. 26. In the same report issued on Tuesday, California logged a total of 4,631,162 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic while Florida reported 3,635,126 total cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.
Coronavirus politics aside, burger fans seem to like the idea of luring the California chain to the East Coast.
"They’re fantastic! I say bring it, I’d love to have In-N-Out Burger here in Orlando," said Rich Stein.
Pernell Bush said, "Come on out In-N-Out Burger!"
But not everyone would go.
"We’re both vegan," Trevor Lindsey told us.
With so many new places opening, Whittall said In-N-Out Burger would be the perfect addition.
"We brought White Castle here – the first one in the state of Florida. We brought the first Portillo's to Central Florida. We would love to bring In-N-Out Burger here!"
In-N-Out Burger said it disagrees with any government overreach. We connected the hamburger chain about coming to Florida, but we haven't heard back yet.
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.