My favorite hamburger is the basic In-N-Out burger, and I love their fries too. I just wish I lived closer to one of their Arizona stores. The hamburger chain was created by Harry and Esther Snyder who were the sole owners until Esther’s death August 4, 2006. Harry died in 1976. The Snyder’s had two sons, but both died before Esther leaving granddaughter Lynsi Martinez as the sole heir to the family fortune.
A 2006 lawsuit filed by In-N-Out executive Richard Boyd opened the door briefly on the closely held chain “with allegations of a renegade heiress plotting to seize control of the $450 million dynasty.” The lawsuit was settled and sealed so the terms are not public.
Boyd’s court filings portrayed Lynsi Martinez . . . as the spoiled granddaughter of Esther Snyder who sought to break with the chain’s regional strategy and bring the fast food eatery’s “Double Double” to a national audience.
For more, see the LA Times story In-N-Out: Can perfection survive:
The Snyders established a line of succession skipping over their older son, Guy, in favor of the more stable Richard. That well-laid plan dissolved with Richard’s death in a 1993 plane crash. The inheritance passed to Guy, who had a history of drug abuse and died from an overdose of a prescription painkiller in 1999. With Esther’s death seven years later, majority control became vested in two family trusts. It will pass after 2011 to Guy’s only natural child, his daughter Lynsi Martinez, 27.