While In-N-Out celebrated the grand opening of their 304th store in Medford, Oregon, CBS was on the scene to grab a quick interview with the notoriously reclusive heiress, Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, for some firsthand insight on the company’s past, present, and future. “It’s not about us here, it’s about this,” she explained, gesturing to the latest, packed restaurant.
Since its debut in 1948 as the first drive-through burger restaurant, In-N-Out has managed to remain in the family, avoiding the sometimes demoralizing pitfalls of massive franchising. At cost of a paycheck, this method has earned the joint a loyal, supportive following and, most likely, its key to longevity. “No way… My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family and the fact that they’re not here, I have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it,” explained the heiress when asked if she would ever go public. After her uncle Richard tragically passed in a airplane accident, her father, Guy, assumed control of the company, and passed away from an overdose of painkillers six years later.
This left Lynsi as the sole heir of the gold mine. Now, to her, In-N-Out serves not as an income source, but as a connection to her lost family—more tangible than cherished memories. Even though she plans to “keep it simple” without going public, one can’t help but wonder if her impending $1 billion inheritance may contaminate her genuine intentions, seeing as she won’t receive the full sum for two more years when she turns 35.
Check out the rare interview below:
Words by Todd Knaak.