The billionaire heiress of In-N-Out has revealed the secrets behind the family’s tragic history of drug abuse, shock deaths and a brutal legal battle inside the company. 

Lynsi Snyder, 41, recently authored a book, The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger, delving into the iconic burger chain’s history and unveiling the secret recipes behind its fan-favorite items that have remained unchanged for the past 70 years.

Snyder, who became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and inherited full control of the company in 2017, is one of the youngest billionaires with a $4.2 billion net worth.

Since its founding in California by Snyder’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, which started as a small drive-thru burger stand, it has gradually expanded to one of the most lucrative food chains with more than 400 locations across the country.

But what lies behind the rise of In-N-Out burger are struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, a history of child abuse and shocking deaths of family members.

Scroll down to see the secret recipes of In-N-Out 

The billionaire heiress of In-N-Out, Lynsi Snyder, 41, revealed the secrets behind the family's tragic history of drug abuse, abrupt deaths, and a brutal legal battle inside the company

The billionaire heiress of In-N-Out, Lynsi Snyder, 41, revealed the secrets behind the family’s tragic history of drug abuse, abrupt deaths, and a brutal legal battle inside the company

Snyder, who became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and inherited full control of the company in 2017, is one of the youngest billionaires with a $4.2 billion net worth

Snyder, who became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and inherited full control of the company in 2017, is one of the youngest billionaires with a $4.2 billion net worth

Since its founding in California by Snyder's grandparents, Harry (right) and Esther Snyder (left), which started as a small drive-thru burger stand, it has gradually expanded to one of the most lucrative food chains with more than 400 locations across the country

Since its founding in California by Snyder’s grandparents, Harry (right) and Esther Snyder (left), which started as a small drive-thru burger stand, it has gradually expanded to one of the most lucrative food chains with more than 400 locations across the country

Harry, a child of Dutch immigrants, served as a clerk in the army’s records department during World War II. He married Esther, who was working at the commissary in 1948.

That same year, the couple moved from Seattle to Los Angeles and secured a small piece of land at what is now intersection of Interstate 10 and Francisquito Avenue in the suburb. 

The first In-N-Out store had no indoor seating. Harry sketched a 10-foot by 10-foot burger stand and installed a two-way speaker box connected to the kitchen for a drive-thru window. 

Harry cooked while Esther sliced onions, managed the books and cleaned up the kitchen. They shaped each patty by hand and butchered their own meat. 

Hamburgers were sold for 25 cents, and cheeseburgers for 30 cents. The restaurant sold two thousand burgers in its first month of operation.

By the time Harry died in 1976, In-N-Out had expanded to 18 locations in Southern California. His younger son, Rich Snyder, took over the business.

Throughout his life, Harry worked hard, Snyder recalled. But he struggled with fatherhood responsibilities after suffering abuse as a child and went on to abuse his own two children. 

‘He had never been shown how to become an exemplary father, and his own childhood abuse had never been dealt with,’ Snyder wrote.

‘It’s difficult to say exactly why he did what he did. Given his own abusive upbringing, I think my grandfather had never known anything different.’ 

Eight years after Harry passed away the brothers began discussing their childhoods filled with physical and emotional pain. 

Snyder remembered the night when Rich showed up unexpectedly at her father’s place, sat down and tearfully said, ‘Guy, when we were kids, we were abused.’ 

Harry, who had been locked in a closet and not fed as a child, had beaten the boys with a wooden ruler or yardstick until it broke, the book claimed.

His older son, Guy Snyder (Snyder’s father), always endured the worst abuse and was sent to a military boarding school away from the family.

Esther and her son Rich founded the Child Abuse Foundation in 1984, which later became the In-N-Out Burger Foundation, to help child abuse victims and prevent others from suffering from abuse. 

Behind the rise of In-N-Out burger are struggles with drug and alcohol, a history of child abuse and shocking deaths of family members. Pictured from left to right: Guy, Esther, and Rich Snyder

Behind the rise of In-N-Out burger are struggles with drug and alcohol, a history of child abuse and shocking deaths of family members. Pictured from left to right: Guy, Esther, and Rich Snyder 

Harry, a child of Dutch immigrants, served as a clerk in the army's records department during World War II. He married Esther, who was working at the commissary in 1948

Harry, a child of Dutch immigrants, served as a clerk in the army’s records department during World War II. He married Esther, who was working at the commissary in 1948

The first store on In-N-Out had no indoor seating. Harry sketched a ten-foot by ten-foot burger stand and installed a two-way speaker box connected to the kitchen for a drive-thru window

The first store on In-N-Out had no indoor seating. Harry sketched a ten-foot by ten-foot burger stand and installed a two-way speaker box connected to the kitchen for a drive-thru window

Throughout his life, Harry worked hard, Snyder recalled. But he struggled with fatherhood responsibilities and constantly abused his two kids because Harry himself was a victim of abuse

Throughout his life, Harry worked hard, Snyder recalled. But he struggled with fatherhood responsibilities and constantly abused his two kids because Harry himself was a victim of abuse

Despite serving as the vice president for several years, Guy spent considerable time away from the business, especially after a motorcycle accident at the age of 26. 

During a race in the desert when he was 26, a friend’s motorcycle landed on top of Guy, crushing his arms when they flew over a cliff.

‘Doctors fused his arm and shoulder back together the best they could. They reassembled his body with plates and screws. But Dad never healed completely,’ Snyder wrote. 

Even more concerning was his overuse of prescription drugs that helped ease the pain. He was prescribed Vicodin and continued using a variety of opiates before and after Snyder was born.

Snyder remembered visiting her dad at an ‘old hospital,’ which she later found out was a rehab center, and once had to help him put a cigarette out when he fell asleep on the couch with it in his hand. 

Around the same time, Snyder learned that her dad was having an affair with another woman and caught him on the phone. Her parents divorced when she was just 12 years old. 

Rich, who was at the helm of the business during that time, struggled with drug problems too, including occasional cocaine use and an addiction to diet pills.

Tension between the brothers ensued as Rich tried to buy out Guy’s shares and they disagreed over the company, which had expanded to 93 restaurants.  

The older son, Guy Snyder (Snyder's father), endured the worst abuse and was sent to a military boarding school away from the family

The older son, Guy Snyder (Snyder’s father), endured the worst abuse and was sent to a military boarding school away from the family

Rich, who was at the helm of the business during that time, struggled with drug problems too, including occasional cocaine use and an addiction to diet pills

Rich, who was at the helm of the business during that time, struggled with drug problems too, including occasional cocaine use and an addiction to diet pills

After the opening of In-N-Out's 93rd location in Fresno, Rich was flying back home when the 10-passenger plane crashed with no survivors

After the opening of In-N-Out’s 93rd location in Fresno, Rich was flying back home when the 10-passenger plane crashed with no survivors

Guy was fighting against his addictions and spent little time at the office, until in December of 1993, when Snyder, who was 17, invited her uncle to see her Christmas play. 

‘After the show ended, I saw Uncle Riche and Dad talking. That made me happy. Then something happened that flooded me with joy. As I watched, they hugged.’ 

‘I found out later my uncle had asked my dad for forgiveness,’ Snyder recalled. 

But a short while later after the opening of In-N-Out’s 93rd location in Fresno, Rich was flying back home when his 10-passenger plane crashed with no survivors. 

‘I couldn’t absorb the news. No way, my mind protested. This isn’t possible. Maybe it’s not Uncle Rich’s phone,’ Snyder recalled. 

After what described as ‘the worst night’ of the families’ lives, Esther became president, and Guy took over as executive vice president and chairman.

The stress of running the business and the sudden loss of his brother pushed Guy back into alcohol and drug use. 

He was arrested for public intoxication and illegally carrying a loaded firearm on Christmas Day in 1995. He also had a switchblade knife and marijuana when arrested.

Guy died of an accidental overdose of hydrocodone when he was 48. Snyder was 17 at that time, not even graduated from high school. 

‘My father’s death when I was seventeen rocked me to my core. It felt like my best friend, protector, and defender was gone’ she wrote.  

‘When he was sober, he was the best dad in the world. We had our time cut short,’ Snyder said in a 2018 Forbes interview.

The stress of running the business and the sudden loss of his brother pushed Guy back into alcohol and drug use

The stress of running the business and the sudden loss of his brother pushed Guy back into alcohol and drug use

Guy died of an accidental overdose of hydrocodone when he was 48. Snyder was 17 at that time, not even graduated from high school

Guy died of an accidental overdose of hydrocodone when he was 48. Snyder was 17 at that time, not even graduated from high school

'One headline insisted I wanted my grandmother(pictured) to die so I could be president. I was vicious, cruel stuff, and I'm so relieved it's all behind us today,' she wrote

‘One headline insisted I wanted my grandmother(pictured) to die so I could be president. I was vicious, cruel stuff, and I’m so relieved it’s all behind us today,’ she wrote

Lynsi has been married four times and divorced three, and said each failed marriage led her into ‘the arms of another man.’ 

‘I experienced an aching void in my life, so I sought to fill that void by seeking love and security from others,’ she wrote. 

‘I started smoking pot, drinking too much – things that I’d wanted to avoid after watching my dad’s struggles.’ 

For years after Guy died, the ownership of In-N-Out was held in trust. Mark Taylor, former vice president of operations, became the company’s fifth president and first non-family member to hold the position. 

Snyder revealed that a person was working to pit her and Taylor against each other, and ‘started a war against the company’. 

She did not name the person, but referred to the lawsuit filed by Richard Boyd, one of In-N-Out’s vice presidents and co-trustee of two-thirds of the company stock, in 2016. 

Boyd accused Snyder of trying to force out Esther, Snyder’s grandmother, and attempting to fire him unreasonably. 

The chain fired back, alleging fraud and embezzlement of company funds, and accusing Boyd of revealing trade secrets in his lawsuit. 

A settlement was reached out of the court, and Boyd was permanently removed from his role. Snyder is not allowed to reveal details about the legal battle but said it was ‘terrible.’ 

‘One headline insisted I wanted my grandmother to die so I could be president. I was vicious, cruel stuff, and I’m so relieved it’s all behind us today,’ she wrote. 

Lynsi Snyder, pictured winning the National Hot Rod Association's Lucas Oil Drag racing series event in 2012, became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and took full control of the company in 2017

Lynsi Snyder, pictured winning the National Hot Rod Association’s Lucas Oil Drag racing series event in 2012, became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and took full control of the company in 2017

Expanding to more than 400 locations across eight states, not much within the burger restaurant has changed

Expanding to more than 400 locations across eight states, not much within the burger restaurant has changed

Buns are baked with slow-rising dough, Meat is delivered daily without being frozen. Heat lamps, microwaves and freezers are strictly banned

Buns are baked with slow-rising dough, Meat is delivered daily without being frozen. Heat lamps, microwaves and freezers are strictly banned

By 2007, the company had opened locations in Arizona and Nevada, achieved significant success, and expanded to 200 restaurants. 

Snyder became the president of In-N-Out in 2010 and took full control of the company in 2017. The expansion has been slow but steady. 

‘I don’t see us stretched across the whole U.S. I don’t see us in every state. Take Texas- draw a line up and just stick to the left. That’s in my lifetime,’ Snyder said. 

‘I like that we’re sought after when someone’s coming into town. I like that we’re unique. That we’re not on every corner. You put us in every state, and it takes away some of its luster.’ 

Despite expanding to more than 400 locations across eight states, not much within the burger restaurant has changed. 

Buns are baked with slow-rising dough, meat is delivered daily fresh without being frozen. Heat lamps, microwaves and freezers are strictly banned. 

‘I felt a deep call to make sure that I preserve those things that [my family] would want. That we didn’t ever look to the left and the right to see what everyone else is doing, cut corners or change things drastically or compromise,’ Snyder said. 

‘I really wanted to make sure that we stayed true to what we started with. That required me to become a protector. A guardian.’ 

The not-so-secret menu of In-N-Out

Animal Style: The burger of your choice with lettuce, tomato, and a mustard-cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread, and grilled onion

The Flying Dutchman: Two slices of cheese melted between two burger patties. No buns. No veggies

Protein Style: Your favorite burger wrapped in hand-leafed lettuce instead of a bun

Tomato Wrap: Similar to Protein Style, except tomatoes come where the buns usually are 

Grilled Cheese: A grilled cheese sandwich is made with two slices of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, spread, with or without onions on a freshly toasted bun 

Double Meat: Two 100 percent American beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, with or without onion 

3 X 3: Also known as a Triple-Triple, it’s three American beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, three slices of American cheese, with or without onion

4 X 4:  Also known as a Quad-Quad, it’s four American beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, four slices of American cheese, with or without onion

Buns: You can request no toast or extra toast 

Added chopped chilis: Add some heat to your burger or fries 

Extra Everything: Extra lettuce, extra tomato, extra onions, extra spread. This could be on a hamburger or on the side 

Cut in half or quarters: For little kids, anyone who loves a smaller portion, or for sharing with a friend 

Cold Cheese: Some customers love their cheese unmelted 

Veggie Burger : Two buns piled with hand-leafed lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions, spread, and pickles upon request 

Neapolitan: Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry milkshake, all in one cup but not swirled 

Black and White: Chocolate and vanilla milkshake 

Root beer float: Root beer and vanilla ice cream in a cup

Well-done fries: Extra crispy 

Cheese fries: Just fries and cheese 

In-N-Out stickers and paper hats: always free  

(Source: Lynsi Snyder’s The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger)

You May Also Like

The Best Low-Calorie Dinners at 15 Major Restaurant Chains

Finding low-calorie meals when dining out can be a challenge, especially at…

How to Get Six-Pack Abs After 50

While the notion of sculpting six-pack abs might seem daunting for those…

Anti-Ageing Mantra: Can Eating Less Slow Down Aging?

Highlights: Caloric restriction may slow biological aging by preserving telomere length…

The Best Walking Workout To Build Lower-Body Strength — Eat This Not That

Are you on a mission to build lower-body strength and tone your…