On March 23rd, In-N-Out Burger filed a restraining order against a YouTube creator for a series of "pranks" in which he impersonated the CEO of the company.
Cody Roeder, a 27-year-old YouTuber whose channel "Troll Munchies" has over 600,000 subscribers, posts videos featuring pranks involving hidden cameras and onlookers reacting to planned stunts. This time around, Roeder may have gone too far. According to the Orange County Register, Roeder is being sued by In-N-Out for $25,000 in damages for allegedly causing "significant and irreparable harm" to the fast food chain's reputation.
On March 13th, Roeder put on a suit and visited an In-N-Out in Van Nuys, California, telling employees he was the acting CEO of the chain and demanding a free burger and fries to perform a "taste test" on his "surprise visit". The rightfully skeptical employees didn't buy it, and Roeder went on his way when the manager of the location called the police.
Not to be deterred in his mission to "troll" restaurant workers and patrons, Roeder showed up at a different In-N-Out in Burbank the next day under the same guise, and began making a scene about an "urgent health issue" relating to contamination at the location. When the employees at the Burbank restaurant didn't fall for it either, Roeder proceeded to grab a burger out of the hands of a bystander (who is believed to have been in on the stunt), throwing it on the ground, calling it "garbage", and stomping on it in front of customers.
Roeder, who also runs a verified Twitter account under the same @Trollmunchies handle, has posted similar videos at Taco Bell and Ralph's supermarkets.
According to the Orange County Register, In-N-Out Executive Vice President Arnie Wensinger described how troublemakers have been using restaurant chains to make a scene for clicks and views: "We have recently seen an increase of visitors to our stores, who are not customers but instead are intentionally disruptive and who then try to promote themselves through social media. These visitors have unfortunately used deceit, fraud, and trespass to their own advantage, and in each instance, they have attempted to humiliate, offend, or otherwise make our customers or associates uncomfortable."
We can't blame In-N-Out for putting their foot down on pranksters causing disruptions, and hopefully this sets a precedent so we can all sit and enjoy our burgers in peace from now on.