Some fast food fans are now “out” on California fast food staple In-N-Out Burger.
The popular burger chain donated $25,000 to the California Republican Party this week. In response, state Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman tweeted “it’s time to #BoycottInNOut.”
The tweet has thousands of likes, retweets and responses, with some vowing to take their business elsewhere. Others say they plan on eating at In-N-Out even more often now.
“I’m out here directly as a result of the call for a boycott of In-N-Out Burger,” says Scott Wenz. “I like this place but I live on the lower east side of Santa Barbara. But I will be coming out a minimum of twice a month, just to come out of my way, just to tell them ‘this is our answer [to the boycott].'”
Even some who aren’t fans of the burger chain say a boycott isn’t justified.
“If you wanna boycott them because of their food or traffic jams that’s fine, but more power to em,” says Tom Hogenson, who lives near the In-N-Out Burger on Calle Real in Santa Barbara.
In-N-Out has donated to the California GOP before, donating 30 thousand dollars each of the past two years.
The company has also donated to a pro-business political action committee that supports moderate democratic candidates, including $80,000 in donations this year.
In-N-Out’s executive vice president Arnie Wensinger released a statement in response to the call for a boycott, saying in part: “In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates.”
Those employee benefits make In-N-Out a popular restaurant chain for many, even in the midst of political controversy.
“I went to culinary school, it was one of my first jobs,” says Michael Funkhouser. “And my chefs always said that if you can’t do anything else, go to In-N-Out because they pay a lot of money and take really good care of their employees. So i’m kind of a fan of In-N-Out.”
Gail Teton-Landis, the Chair of the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County responded to the news as well, saying “it’s good to know where a company donates and to support companies whose campaign policies you also support.”
With midterm elections set to heat up this fall, now even Double-Doubles and Animal Fries find themselves in a political crosshairs.