In-N-Out Burger is suing a YouTube prankster who donned a cheap suit, claimed to be the company's CEO, and made a scene at two of its restaurants earlier this month, the OC Register reports. The gag, which was orchestrated by Cody Roeder and posted to the YouTube account Trollmunchies, involved trying to dupe In-N-Out employees into believing the chain's new chief executive had arrived to conduct a taste test of its burgers. It also showed Roeder haranguing employees and throwing a "contaminated" burger on the floor, as an angry corporate CEO might when presented with tainted product.
Now, Roeder and his alleged accomplices, who've all been named in a lawsuit filed March 23 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, are together entering the great pantheon of people sued by family-owned burger chains. In-N-Out is seeking damages of over $25,000 and the imposition of a restraining order which could potentially deprive Roeder of delicious cheeseburgers and the prospect of more online fame. The order seeks to ban Roeder and his co-conspirators from all In-N-Out restaurants.
In a statement provided to the Register, In-N-Out Executive Vice President Arnie Wensinger described how the suit was preceded by a string of incidents in which trolls have tried to wreak havoc in its restaurants:
“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.”
Trollmunchies, which has a Youtube page boasting 627,595 subscribers and a verified Twitter account that preaches "peace love and positivity" in its bio, has also posted prank videos at Taco Bell restaurants and Ralph's supermarkets. At the time of publication, Trollmunchies hadn't returned a request for comment.
The suit cites two instances in which Roeder allegedly pranked In-N-Outs in Van Nuys and Burbank, CA. In the latter incident, portrayed in the video above, he poses as the ex-husband of In-N-Out CEO Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, claiming to have assumed control of the company. The manager on duty at the time wasn't fooled, and promptly asked Roeder to leave. It's been speculated that the bearded man in the video is one of Roeder's accomplices, due to his repeated appearances in Trollmunchies' videos.
Whether Roeder will be allowed to return to any In-N-Out in the future, clad in corporate CEO attire or not, is clearly hanging in the balance along with his bank account.