Safety Concerns Prompt Closure of Iconic California Burger Joint

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In-N-Out restaurant sign in California stock photo

Image: Jorge Villalba, iStock

Need to Know from SafeWise
  • Closure of iconic Oakland location: In-N-Out Burger is closing its Oakland restaurant, a move considered unprecedented as the company has never permanently shut down a restaurant in its long history.
  • Rising safety concerns: The closure is driven by a significant increase in criminal activities around the Oakland restaurant, including car break-ins and thefts, reflecting a broader trend of rising crime in the city.
  • Heartfelt decision: While the closure is undoubtedly saddening for fans (and employees) of the Oakland location, it underscores the company's commitment to the safety and well-being of its patrons and employees, emphasizing that safety always comes first.

In-N-Out Burger, the legendary California-based fast-food chain known for its delectable burgers and secret menu items, has made headlines recently—but this time, it's for an unhappy reason. The company is set to close its Oakland location, and it's not due to business troubles or financial woes.

As per emerging reports, the primary reason behind the closure is concern about increased criminal activities near the restaurant. The restaurant is the only In-N-Out location in Oakland, close to the Oakland International Airport. The news of its impending closure has left fans and burger enthusiasts across the region shocked and saddened.

In an official statement, Denny Warnick, the Chief Operating Officer at In-N-Out, announced that the Oakland restaurant would cease its operations as of March 24. This development is particularly significant as In-N-Out, a family-owned company founded in 1948, has never permanently closed a restaurant in its entire history, or so it is believed.

While rare, the closure underscores the gravity of the situation that has led to this momentous choice. Security guards near the In-N-Out have reported numerous car break-ins daily. This trend has extended beyond the restaurant's premises, as Oakland has witnessed a 38 percent increase in robberies and a 23 percent rise in burglaries between 2022 and 2023.

Social media has also played a role in shedding light on the security issues plaguing this In-N-Out. Disturbing videos posted online, like an Instagram video from September, reveal brazen acts of vandalism and theft occurring in the restaurant's parking lot. In the video, individuals are captured smashing car windows, looting luggage from the trunk, and making a swift getaway.

In-N-Out's decision to close this restaurant is unique because the company owns all its locations and doesn't franchise. This independence allows them to prioritize customer and employee safety over financial considerations. The closure serves as a reminder that, even for iconic brands, the safety and well-being of patrons and staff must always come first.

While this decision is undoubtedly disappointing for fans of the Oakland location, it reflects the company's commitment to the safety and security of its patrons and employees. In-N-Out's closure of the Oakland restaurant serves as a stark reminder of how important it is to be proactive when it comes to safety, even in the world of fast food.

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Disclaimer: Portions of this article were assisted by automation technology. All content therein has been augmented, thoroughly edited, and fact-checked by our in-house editorial staff of human safety experts

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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