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Lynsi Torres: Meet America's youngest female billionaire

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Lynsi Torres, 30, left, is the owner and president of the In-N-Out burger chain rumored to be worth more than $1billion. Very little is known of the heiress, who has no business qualifications, except she has already been married three times and is a huge
Lynsi Torres, 30, left, is the owner and president of the In-N-Out burger chain rumored to be worth more than $1billion. Very little is known of the heiress, who has no business qualifications, except she has already been married three times and is a huge

She is America's youngest female billionaire; runs a hugely popular burger chain which commands a cult-like following and loves outgoing adrenaline sports like drag racing.

But Lynsi Torres, the owner and president of the $1.1billion In and Out Burger chain, is also one of the world's most secretive company presidents and behind closed doors has had a tumultuous personal life rarely disclosed.

As her company has expanded to 280 stores and a billion dollar value according to the latest analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek, Lynsi has been through a whirlwind of marriages - the first at age 17, then to a minister and most recently a drag racer.

Family history: The West Coast burger chain has been family-run since the first restaurant opened in Baldwin Park in 1948

Family history: The West Coast burger chain has been family-run since the first restaurant was opened in Baldwin Park in 1948 by Torres' grandparents Harry and Esther Synder

At the track: With a new hair color Lynsi Torres is rarely seen unless it is to do with racing. The billionaire is an avid drag-racer inheriting the passion, like the fast food business, from her father Guy Snyder

At the track: With a new hair color Lynsi Torres is rarely seen unless it is to do with racing. The billionaire is an avid drag-racer inheriting the passion, like the fast food business, from her father Guy Snyder

Business is booming for the much-loved West Coast burger chain which started with a tiny drive-through restaurant in Baldwin Park, California, in 1948.

Back then modest Harry and Esther Snyder just wanted a small business to provide for their family.

Some 60 years on there are now more than 280 stores across five states while Warren Buffett has even expressed his envy for its business model and desire to own the successful chain.

But as its popularity grows - sales are reportedly up five per cent year on year - very little is known about the woman at the head of the family-run business, 30-year-old heiress and drag racer Lynsi Torres.

She is in many respects an accidental company chief, rising to the top after a number of unexpected family deaths.  

The company’s founder and Lynsi’s grandfather Harry Snyder died in 1976 passing on the company to his son Rich who tragically died in a plane crash at the age of 41.

Lynsi’s beloved father Guy Snyder took on the business but died of a drug overdose when she was just 17.

'Burger Princess': According to a book on the company Lynsi Torres was teased by schoolmates about her father's work. Last year she bought a $17.4million mansion after becoming In-N-Out president

Can I have fries with that? According to a book on the company Lynsi Torres was teased by schoolmates about her father's work. Last year she bought a $17.4million mansion after becoming In-N-Out president

High-life: The home in Bradbury owned by In-N-Out heiress Lynsi Torres has 7 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms

High-life: The home in Bradbury owned by In-N-Out heiress Lynsi Torres has 7 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms

Burger Princess

'Burger Princess': Lynsi Torres reportedly bought her home from former L.A. Dodgers player Adrian Beltre. It is one of the few stories to emerge about the mystery heiress

His mother Esther then took control until her death in 2006 , leaving Lynsi as the company’s sole heir.

With no business training or college degree she was the only person left to keep the 60-year-old chain in the family - her only training was having worked on the weekends at a branch in Redding as a teenager.

The on-going dedication to Harry Snyder's motto ‘the customer is everything’ is as central to the the firm’s success as their double-double cheeseburgers, special sauce and unadvertised secret varieties like the famed 'animal style' .

It never franchises outlets and its trucks deliver patties every day to all their stores from its Baldwin Park headquarters and secondary bases in Dallas and Texas.

'My sense of it, having been there and talked to them, it is more like a family, and once you're kind of in the door, you don't want to leave, and of course they don't want you to leave either,' Bob Sandelman, of Sandelman and Assoc told NBC.

And so Lynsi, who has half ownership of the company through a trust and stands to get full ownership at 35, was pushed to the fore - but has managed at the same time to keep a remarkably low profile.

‘I have no clue about her,’ said Janet Lowder, a Rancho Palos Verdes, California, restaurant consultant, told Bloomberg. ‘I was even surprised there was a granddaughter.’

What is known about the young company president is that she's had a tumultuous personal life.

Raised in Shingletown, California, she attended a private Christian high school and has two half sisters on her mother’s side. According to Stacy Perman's book on the family Lynsi was teased by schoolmates who dubbed her the 'burger princess'.

She has been married three times, first to her child sweetheart Jeremiah Seawell at the age of 17 who she divorced two years later.

Drag-racer: One of the few times the extremely private Lynsi Torres is seen in public is on the track of her beloved drag-racing. In-N-Out sponsor a car and she is often spotted at the track

Drag-racer: One of the few times the extremely private Lynsi Torres is seen in public is on the track of her beloved drag-racing. In-N-Out sponsor a car and she is often spotted at the track

Success story: In-N-Out now has over 260 restaurants and is reportedly worth over a billion dollars. It started out as one drive through diner in Baldwin Park in 1948

Success story: In-N-Out now has over 260 restaurants and is reportedly worth over a billion dollars. It started out as one drive through diner in Baldwin Park in 1948

She remarried in 2006, this time to Richard Martinez who became a minister and with whom she had twins – a boy and a girl.

The couple divorced in 2011 and she married again that year. Her current husband is drag racer Val Torres Jr. who has two daughters from her previous relationship.  

One of the rare stories which emerged about Lynsi – now Lynsi Torres – is her reported purchase of a $17.4million home in Bradbury, California last year.

According to Realestalker.com she bought the 7 bedroom, 16 bathroom, luxury home from former L.A. dodgers player Adrián Beltré.

She is a huge fan of her new husband’s sport, a dangerous hobby inherited from her father, a huge drag racing enthusiast who left his only child a collection of 27 cars.

Refusing interviews: On a rare public occasion Lynsi Torres attended the opening of an In N Out Burger in Allen, Texas, pictured in 2011. She said she didn't want to be interviewed but was 'ecstatic'

Refusing interviews: On a rare public occasion Lynsi Torres attended the opening of an In N Out Burger in Allen, Texas, pictured in 2011. She said she didn't want to be interviewed but was 'ecstatic'

Success story: Lynsi Torres will own all of In-N-Out burger when she is 35. It is the envy of the business world as its profits continue to go up despite the economic downturn. It started from one restaurant, left Success story: Lynsi Torres will own all of In-N-Out burger when she is 35. It is the envy of the business world as its profits continue to go up despite the economic downturn. It started from one restaurant, left
 

Success story: Lynsi Torres will own all of In-N-Out burger when she is 35. It is the envy of the business world as its profits continue to go up despite the economic downturn. It started from one restaurant, left

She has raced and won herself many times and is a member of the National Hot Road Association.

In a rare public comment she spoke to Dragracecentral.com about her love of the sport when launching the company’s sponsorship of a new car last February.

‘I am so excited that In-N-Out Burger is back in drag racing,’ she said.

‘My father had a passion for drag racing and that passion lives in me. Drag racing has played a big role in In-N-Out's history and it is also an important part of my family history.’

She is often seen watching from the sidelines.

She also made a rare appearance at the opening of a North Texas In-N-Out outlet in 2011.

But with trademark and fitting shyness she failed to advertise her presence.

She told the one local reporter present: 'I'm ecstatic but I don't know if I want to do an interview'.

 
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Subscribe to comments feed Comments (2 posted)

avatar
SHEHU 02/06/2013 03:28:55
I wish you the best, and i hope you will continuously help people the way (Billgate) used to do
avatar
RON 02/10/2013 12:09:26
WOW !!
total: 2 | displaying: 1 - 2

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