Home Christian News In-N-Out Bans Masks for Employees, Notes the ‘Importance of Customer Service’

In-N-Out Bans Masks for Employees, Notes the ‘Importance of Customer Service’

Raymond Shobe from Hesperia, CA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The California-based hamburger chain In-N-Out is known for its “animal style” burger, Double-Double meal, insanely long lines, and its faith-based leadership. The restaurant giant also continues to hit the news for its approach to policies surrounding masks and other COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

A recent employee memo detailed a new policy banning masks for employees. In-N-Out said, “Our goal is to continue to provide save and customer-centric Store and Support environments that balance two things that In-N-Out is known for—exceptional customer service and unmatched standards for health, safety, and quality.”

In-N-Out Burgers Bans Masks for Employees (Unless Medical Note Is Provided)

A recent memo to employees in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah explained a new mask policy, which is effective Aug. 14. The policy does not apply to employees in California and Oregon.

“No masks shall be worn in the Store or Support facility unless an Associate has a valid medical note exempting him or her from this requirement,” the guidelines stated.

The memo began by addressing the company’s pride in customer service. “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.” Details about the guidelines include helping “to promote clear and effective communication” between customers and staff.

Employees who are required to wear job-specific masks—such as in the “patty room” or laboratories—are exempt from this new policy.

All other exemptions, however, will require a “valid medical note.” The company provided further details, stating, “Without disclosing the medical diagnosis or confidential medical information, the medical note should clearly state the reason for the exemption and include the estimated duration, if applicable.”

If an employee of In-N-Out does not follow these new guidelines and wears a mask in the Store or Support environment, he or she can receive disciplinary action, potentially including termination of employment.

While In-N-Out stated that the new policy “will be reviewed periodically” and is “subject to local health authority guidelines,” the public has mixed opinions on the restaurant’s guidelines.

There continues to be a wide range of responses to the pandemic, protocols, and how individuals approach recommendations. Some feel that they’re “the only ones wearing masks” while others are calling for stricter public protocols.

Dr. Lucky Tran, the one who leaked the In-N-Out memo, called for followers to “Please remember to call In-N-Out and tell them that their ban on wearing masks is harmful.” Tran continued, “They are taking calls and sending feedback to management.”