“I felt a deep call to make sure that I preserve those things that [my family] would want. That we didn’t ever look to the left and the right to see what everyone else is doing, cut corners or change things drastically or compromise. I really wanted to make sure that we stayed true to what we started with. That required me to become a protector. A guardian.” – Lynsi Snyder (CEO, In-N-Out)
The CEO of the popular burger chain, In-N-Out has lately become one of the most popular names in the global food industry, she has literally taken over the world of fast food companies and has received a lot of appreciation. The business was started by Lynsi’s grandparents but Snyder took it towards global domination and transformed the business into a billion-dollar business that is spread around over 500 locations in the world. Undoubtedly, In-N-Out became the most successful fast-food chain which made Lynsi the world’s youngest female billionaire in the year 2012.
Success did not come easy to Snyder who had to deal with a lot of challenges at a young age, her parents got separated when she was just 12, Synder also had to fight substance abuse at a young age. In her struggle of battling alcohol and marijuana overdose, Lynsi also had two marriages by the age of 22 with the first marriage ending only after three years. Snyder would divorce her second husband after seven years of their marriage but her second marriage gave Snyder her first two children. When Snyder felt that she had no support at all, life struck her with another moment of grief as her father died in 1999 due to an accidental drug overdose. With so many obstacles in her ’20s, she took the only opportunity that came her way and she turned into a major success! She was provided the opportunity to work for her family business and Lynsi put her heart and soul into it and eventually thrived. Lynsi started with her In-N-Out Burger career playing the role of a line cook in the restaurant’s Redding, California location alternating between kitchen and cashier work. Lynsi’s grandparents, Harry Snyder and Esther Snyder in 1948 with her father Harry Guy Snyder had founded In-N-Out Burger and her grandparents were also managing the business before his untimely death; so now we know where she got her fighter spirit from!
Lynsi moved to the In-N-Out Burger’s headquarters in Baldwin Park during her first marriage to take up a job at the company’s corporate merchandising department. Lynsi got to know about the different departments and familiarized herself with the operations under the mentorship of her grandmother. At the time, In-N-Out burger locations had grown to quite 200 locations around the United States, particularly within the West Coast.
“I don’t see us stretched across the whole U.S. I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas—draw a lineup and just stick to the left. That’s in my lifetime,” Snyder stated. “I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town. I like that we’re unique. That we’re not on every corner. You put us in every state and it takes away some of its luster.” – Snyder on the expansion of In-N-Out.
HER JOURNEY TOWARDS BECOMING A BILLIONAIRE
Snyder was offered to be the company’s 6th president in the year 2010, taking over the role from her brother-in-law Mark Taylor who was designated as the chief operating officer. In the duration of her role as the president, the company was generating $500 million in annual revenue. The number was predicted to grow even further as In-N-Out Burger continued to expand in the country.
On being appointed as the president, Snyder inherited her father’s share of the company that was leading her to be the 50% majority owner of In-N-Out Burger. As Snyder inherited her father’s wealth and also with the burger chain’s fast growth, this made her a billionaire in less than two years after she took charge of the company. Bloomberg Billionaires Index noted Snyder as the youngest female billionaire in the year 2012 after her restaurant estimated a valuation of $1.1 billion. Lynsi Snyder’s net worth as of March 2021 is $3.6 billion.
After making so much progress, Snyder became the sole owner of the family business in 2017 after she inherited the estate of her grandmother (who was earlier In-N-Out’s president) who passed away in 2006. Currently, Lynsi is in complete charge of the business together with an executive committee and she has mentioned this numerous times that she has no plans to sell and transfer company ownership to other people even if it was to her children.
Maintaining it as a family-owned business and as the third generation of Snyder’s running In-N-Out Burger, her family values and essence have been the main reason why it has remained successful for seven decades. Every company expands at some point or the other with hundreds of locations locally and abroad, the company believes in running all of its stores under one roof and has strictly maintained a “no franchise” policy which has worked out for the company. The company has also maintained its image as a private company despite numerous calls and questions raised for it to go public. All the In-N-Out recipes, including the best-selling “Double Double” (two beef patties of two oz. each and two slices of cheese) and “Animal Style” (two beef patties, mustard, and onions) burgers have remained to be made with the same style for years.
Talking about her motivation and plans, Snyder has expressed her views, “It’s not about the money for us. Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”
In-N-Out truly is not just about the money as Snyder also runs the In-N-Out Burger Foundation the aim of which is to support children who have faced abuse and neglect. Lynsi has also helped with the Healing Hearts & Nations (HHN) which is a non-profit organization that guides leaders to provide counseling to the underprivileged communities of Africa and India.
Despite facing a huge load of struggles, Lynsi has never given up hope and has always believed in herself, she has given herself second chances as she knew that she was onto something much bigger in life, which she has clearly proved with In-N-Out. Lynsi’s journey is all about gathering up the courage and not just fighting all the battles in life but also winning them.