Billionaire Lynsi Snyder And Her In-N-Out Empire

On her 35th birthday, Lynsi Snyder made history by becoming the youngest female American Billionaire. Her wealth came after she inherited 97% of the west coast-based fast food franchise In-N-Out Burger. During her ownership, the company not only became one of the top companies to work for, but also increased in value to well over $3 billion.

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In-N-Out has retained its cultural reputation through its celebrity endorsements and its elusive secret menu which makes customers feel like they’re a part of something special.

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But with a history plagued by unexpected tragedy, Lyndsi Snyder’s story is one of perseverance, legacy, and dedication. Her journey reflects that of the restaurant itself, where through innovation and consistency, success was served with a side of fries.

A Brief History of In-N-Out Burger

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Lynsi is a direct descendant of In-N-Out founders Harry and Esther Snyder who first started the humble hamburger stand in Baldwin Park in 1948. 

With innovation and convenience at the forefront, the restaurant became California’s first drive-thru. Harry Snyder developed the now iconic two-way speaker system that allowed customers to order without ever leaving the convenience of their car.

In 1954, the company updated their logo to include the now iconic arrow which symbolized both “pride and unification” for the company.

New Owners in the Family

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In 1976, when original owner Harry Snyder passed away, 128 restaurants were scattered throughout the coasts of California, adorning nearly every exit off the 101 freeway.

His passing left his sons Rich and Guy to take over as President and Vice President of the company respectively.

In 1979, the brothers began to expand the reputation of the restaurant, opening the first indoor dining room. Their contributions continued, ushering in new ideas and business plans including a corporate training center called In-N-Out University, the creation of the In-N-Out Foundation dedicated to preventing child abuse, a company store, an expansion into the state of Nevada, as well as 50 additional locations.

Unexpected Tragedies

After fourteen years of expanding and serving the company, Rich Snyder passed away in an unexpected plane crash on a flight home from Fresno, California after attending a store opening as well as a school play featuring a young Lynsi Snyder.

His passing resulted in Guy assuming the position of Chairman of the Board while Esther, his mother and original owner, returned as President of the company. During Guy’s leadership, the company expanded to more than 100 locations and earned more than $200 million in revenue.

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But tragedy struck again as Guy Snyder also passed away unexpectedly in 1999. With his daughter Lynsi being only 18 years old, Esther took back over the company’s day-to-day operations.

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Lynsi started working for the company at their Redding location, preforming entry level duties like peeling potatoes and working the register. After her father’s death, she took a more hands-on role with the company, serving in the corporate merchandising department.

After Esther’s passing in 2006 at 86 years old, long-time employee and Lynsi’s brother-in-law Mark Taylor took over the company. Lynsi Snyder was set to inherit a majority of the franchise by her 35th birthday.

Lynsi Overcomes Her Own Obstacles

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During high school, Lynsi was targeted for abduction and found herself in some very close predicaments. As a result, she rarely gave interviews and stayed away from public attention. Despite these terrifying experiences, she started working in several different departments of the company, gaining a well-rounded knowledge of In-N-Out’s operations.

In 2010, Lynsi Snyder, granddaughter to Harry and Esther, inherited the still privately-owned franchise, making her America’s youngest Female Billionaire according to Huffington Post.

The Legacy Lives On

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Lynsi has continued to expand the company, opening new stores in several new states and achieving the 300th store goal.

While maintaining the company’s image and quality control standards, she has  simultaneously established her own legacy within the brand. This includes adding hot cocoa to the menu, expanding to states such as Texas, Oregon, and Colorado, and adding new Bible verses to the bottom of fry boats and coffee cups, an idea that originally took hold in 1985 under the direction of her uncle Rich Snyder.

She also started her own foundation through the company known as the Slave 2 Nothing Foundation which helps the victims of substance abuse and human trafficking, two issues that Lynsi has confronted in her own life.

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While several unexpected tragedies and trials have plagued the company and those who run it, Lynsi has proven that no obstacle is too great to overcome.

She has also chosen to maintain the same motto as her previous family members as well, that the company isn’t for sale.

With IPO estimations equaling over hundreds of millions in moveable capital, Lynsi has chosen to defend her families legacy and keep the integrity that she was raised with.

When asked by Forbes if she would ever consider selling the business, she responded, “Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”

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Sources: Forbes, BrooksySociety, YourMoneyMagic, InNOut, Ceros, History, Buzzfeed, USAToday, ABC 7 News, KCET, Laverne Magazine, CelebrityNetWorth, LA Times, NY Times, HuffingtonPost, OC Register, Eater

 

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