What the sole heiress to the In-N-Out empire and one of the US's youngest billionaires' life is really like

NHRALynsi Snyder, 36, became one of the youngest billionaires in the US when she inherited full control of the burger chain In-N-Out.
  • Lynsi Snyder, 36, is the billionaire owner and president of In-N-Out Burger. According to Forbes, she’s worth $US3 billion.
  • Snyder became one of the youngest billionaires in the US when she inherited full control of In-N-Out in 2017.
  • In-N-Out Burger has remained a family business since Snyder’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, founded the burger chain in 1948.
  • Snyder, the sole heir to the burger empire, inherited 50% of In-N-Out’s shares when she turned 30, and on her 35th birthday she acquired most of the chain’s remaining shares.
  • Snyder is loved by her employees – she has a 96% approval rating and was the fourth-highest-rated CEO of 2018 on Glassdoor.
  • The famously reclusive heiress has been married four times and experienced a spate of family tragedies, including the death of her uncle, followed by the death of her father when she was 17 years old.
  • Snyder has spoken to the media a handful of times over the past decade. Here’s what we know about her family empire and her life.


Snyder’s grandparents opened the first In-N-Out restaurant in 1948.

Source: “CBS This Morning


The original was a drive-thru stand in Baldwin Park, California.

Source: “CBS This Morning


After Snyder’s grandfather died in 1976, her uncle, Rich Snyder, took over the company.

Source: “CBS This Morning


He was at the helm until 1993, when he died in a plane crash.

Source: “CBS This Morning


Today, if you look at the bottom of an In-N-Out soft-drink cup, you’ll find a Bible verse.

Source: “California’s Gold


“JOHN 3:16” is printed on the inside lip of every cup.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Source: “California’s Gold


Mark Taylor, the chief operating officer of In-N-Out Burger, said in an interview that it was something Rich did while he was running the company, adding, “Who are we to undo it?”

Source: “California’s Gold


During his tenure, Rich established In-N-Out University to train entry-level managers from all In-N-Out locations.

Steven B./Foursquare

Source: In-N-Out


Lynsi’s father, Guy Snyder, then replaced his brother.

Source: “CBS This Morning


Guy remained in charge until 1999, when he died of a prescription-drug overdose. Lynsi was 17 at the time.

Source: “CBS This Morning


In a video interview, Lynsi said her father had a drug addiction and had been in and out of rehab facilities since she was 5 years old.

Source: “I Am Second


Her parents divorced when she was 12 years old, she said. Her father had had an affair.

Source: I Am Second


Lynsi said she was very close with her father.

Source: I Am Second


In an interview with I Am Second, she talked about how the death of her father affected her decision-making as an adult.

Source: I Am Second


“My world shattered,” she said. “After my dad died, there was no way I was going to be alone.” She said she would jump from one man’s arms right into the next. She has been divorced three times.

Source: I Am Second


After her father’s death, Snyder married her first husband. She was 18 years old.

Source: I Am Second


“It wasn’t right,” she said. “I paid the price with a divorce and jumped right into the arms of someone else.” Then, she said, she started smoking pot and abusing alcohol.

Source: I Am Second


She said drug and alcohol use was something she had wanted to stay away from because of her father’s addiction, but she found herself using them as an adult.

Source: I Am Second


Snyder said she worried she would “meet an early death” like her father, and she eventually married again, had two children, and later had an affair. The marriage dissolved within six years, she said. “I couldn’t feel like a bigger failure at that point,” she said.

Source: I Am Second


She married a third time and had another child with a man she said married her for money and cheated on her for nearly four years before they divorced. “The first time he cheated on me I thought, ‘Well, I deserve it,'” she said. “It was terrible.”

Source: I Am Second


Snyder married for a fourth time, in 2014, to a former In-N-Out employee named Sean Ellingson. She told an audience at Azusa Pacific University that she met him on the dating app Tinder.

Azusa Pacific University – Chapels/YouTubeLynsi Snyder and Sean Ellingson.

Source: I Am Second,Business Insider, Azusa Pacific University – Chapels


She said the first conversation they had was about their mutual experience with addiction, politics, their spiritual lives, and what their goals were at the time. They both say they have finally found peace through religion.

Source: I Am Second,Business Insider, Azusa Pacific University – Chapels


Snyder credits her turning her life around to her faith — she said that she ultimately decided to spend time with God and Jesus and that faith still guides her today.

Source: I Am Second


Now she and her husband run a foundation called Army of Love. Their mission is to “enlist, train and equip an army of love” to help anyone in need of support.

Source: Army of Love


The couple also started another foundation called Slave 2 Nothing, which focuses primarily on issues of human trafficking and drug abuse.

Source: Slave 2 Nothing, Azusa Pacific University – Chapels


Snyder now owns this Los Angeles home that she bought for $US17.4 million in 2012.

Google maps

Source: Business Insider


The home features 10 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms …

Source: Trulia


… a tennis court, a basketball court, an indoor batting cage …

Source: Trulia


… a putting green and sand trap …

Source: Trulia


… a movie theatre, an infinity pool, and an eight-car garage.

Source: Trulia


The pool is next to a pool house with a barbecue, an eating area, and a sitting area with a fireplace.

Source: Trulia


The house is for sale, with an asking price of $US19.8 million.

Source: Trulia


Snyder describes herself as an “organised, careful leader,” though she says she’s also a thrill-seeker.

Source: Business Insider


“I’m a lot like my dad, a little bit of a daredevil,” she told Orange Coast Magazine in 2014. “I like an adrenaline rush. My dad took me to the racetrack for the first time when I was two or three … Anything with a motor, that was in my blood.”

MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Source: Orange Coast Magazine


In her free time, Snyder enjoys drag racing, a hobby she started when she was 18 years old. “I just love muscle cars,” she told the National Hot Rod Association of why she races. “I love the whole sport. I think that it was kind of an escape and a hobby that was a lot of fun and a connection to my dad.”

Source: NHRA


Snyder named her racing car the “Flying Dutch Fox” in a tribute to her father, who had a car named the “Flying Dutchman.”

Source: NHRA


She said she used “Fox” because when she was little her father called her that. “He told me I was a little fox because I was always climbing on everything and getting into everything,” she told the NHRA.

Bob Johnson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Source: NHRA


Her love of cars goes beyond the racetrack.

Source: “Jay Leno’s Garage


She’s got quite the collection of vintage cars, including this unique 1941 Willys Coupe, with about 1,000 horsepower, which used to belong to her dad. A coupe like this can cost upward of $US130,000.

Source: Classic Cars, “Jay Leno’s Garage


She even appeared on “Jay Leno’s Garage” to talk about it — and about burgers, of course.

Source: “Jay Leno’s Garage


Around the time she started racing, Snyder was the target of two attempted kidnappings, she said. The first was when she was 17 and still in high school. The second time she was 24 and working as a manager at In-N-Out.

Source: Orange Coast Magazine


“I ran across the highway,” she told Orange Coast Magazine, adding that she knew her would-be kidnappers were suspicious because “they had a van with boarded-up windows.”

Source: Orange Coast Magazine


Snyder also told Orange Coast Magazine she has a couple of tattoos, one of which says “hated” in Hebrew. “It references John 15:18, where Jesus says — this is paraphrased — ‘Do not be surprised when the world hates you, for it hated me,'” she said.

CBS ‘This Morning’

Source: Orange Coast Magazine


When asked about her plans for In-N-Out, Snyder told CBS she would never take the company public or franchise its restaurants.

CBS

Source: “CBS This Morning


“The only reason we would do that is for the money, and I wouldn’t do it,” she said in the interview.

Source: “CBS This Morning


Since becoming In-N-Out’s president in 2010, Snyder has opened restaurants in Oregon and Texas, expanding In-N-Out to six states from four.

Google Maps

Source: Business Insider


But she has changed almost nothing else about the brand, which prides itself on offering a simple menu of burgers and fries.

MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Patties, buns, potatoes, vegetables, and everything else you can order from the restaurant is delivered to each location via trucks from its distribution centres like this one. The company says nothing is ever frozen or microwaved.

Google Maps

Source: “CBS This Morning


“My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family, and the fact that they are not here — I have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it,” she said.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Source: “CBS This Morning


The company’s mission is “about the quality, the friendliness, and the cleanliness,” she told “CBS This Morning.” “We keep it simple.”

Source: “CBS This Morning


Despite the buzz around Snyder, who was the face of 2018’s Forbes 400 list and the youngest woman in the group …

ForbesThe Forbes 400 2018 cover.

Source: Forbes


… she has been known to shy away from interviews — something Snyder said was intentional.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Source: “CBS This Morning


The reason? “We want to do what we do best, and that’s serve some good burgers to our customers,” she told “CBS This Morning.” “It’s not about us here — it’s about this,” she said, pointing to the restaurant behind her.

Source: “CBS This Morning

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