In-N-Out Burger doubles down on choosing "smiles" over health

We recently brought you news of In-N-Out Burger's policy that forbids employees in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Texas to wear a mask at work—unless they have a doctor's note explaining why they should be allowed to mask. Well, the company has recently doubled down on this policy, despite criticism from the general public as well as from infectious disease specialists such as Dr. Judy Stone, who, according to NPR, stated that the policy violates the CDC's COVID-19 recommendations.

But In-N-Out doesn't seem to care. The company's CEO Denny Warnick recently reiterated in a statement to SF Gate that smiles are what they company cares about (apparently smiles are more important than preventing the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19). SF Gate quotes Denny Warnick, CEO of In-N-Out Burger:

"At In-N-Out Burger, we've communicated with our smiles since 1948, and a smiling Associate helps to set a warm and inviting atmosphere in our stores," Warnick wrote. "We believe that wearing a mask literally adds a barrier to communication — much of which is nonverbal — and promotes a more distant and disconnected environment."

SF Gate further explains:

Warnick said the new policy will go into effect Aug. 14 in areas where "local regulations allow." "We are introducing new mask guidelines that emphasize the importance of customer service and the ability to show our Associates' smiles and other facial features while considering the health and well-being of all individuals," the notices said. "We believe this policy will also help promote clear and effective communication both with our Customers and among our Associates."

Sorry, In-N-Out, you're on the wrong side of history–and public health–here. As much as I love a good animal-style burger, this anti-mask, anti-public health stance will prevent me from ever eating at In-N-Out again. Who's with me?