With its off-menu offerings, classic burgers, and relatively wholesome ingredients, In-N-Out has carved a spot for itself at the top of the fast food heap. Sometimes, it feels like if you go to the West Coast and don't Instagram an In-N-Out burger, you weren't even really there. But revelations that the chain donated $25,000 this year to the California Republican Party have many swearing off its food — yes, even those delicious animal fries.
According to LA Mag, this isn't the first time the chain has thrown money behind the local Republican Party. In both 2016 and 2017, In-N-Out gave $30,000 to the California GOP. However, it also donated $30,000 last year and $50,000 this year to a PAC called Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, which as Fortune notes, supports "business-friendly Democratic candidates." In-N-Out executive vice president Arnie Wensinger confirmed in a statement today that the company "made equal contributions to both Democratic and Republican" political action committees.
Basically, it appears that the chain is looking out for its own interests by throwing money behind anyone it thinks will further its agenda as a big corporation. What it wasn't counting on was how many of its fans don't want to see any of their dollars end up in the pockets of the GOP, even if it means forsaking their favorite burgers.
In-N-Out isn't the first beloved fast food establishment to reveal unappetizing politics. Chick-Fil-A once publicly opposed gay marriage, donating millions over the years to anti-LGBT organizations and facing boycotts because of it. While the company claimed in 2012 that it no longer donates to organizations that "promote discrimination", a 2017 report by ThinkProgress reveals otherwise.
Prior to this, In-N-Out's good reputation went beyond just food, as they're known for paying workers above minimum wage and providing solid benefits, something most of their competitors don't do. Which may be part of why fans are so crushed to learn the company supports a party with Donald Trump at its helm.