She and Richard had shared a common religious devotion. It was Richard who selected the biblical citations that appear on the underside of the chain's drinking cups, hoping they might make a difference in someone's life. Under Richard, In-N-Out had expanded from 18 restaurants to 93 as it pushed into Nevada.
Esther's relationship with Guy was different. Guy, seven years older, was often at odds with Richard.
"When Richie started putting [the Bible references] on the cups, Guy had just got done making up these T-shirts with a girl sitting on top of a Double-Double [burger]," says Jake Jefferson, a close friend of Guy's. "But he didn't want to bring them out because of the thing with Richie. They are in still boxes somewhere. They never came out."
Guy assumed the top post at In-N-Out after Richard's death and kept the company growing. But Guy had long battled with drugs and, in early December, he was found dead in bed at his mobile home in Lancaster. An autopsy determined that he had died of an overdose of a painkiller.
Preserving the Culture
Esther Snyder refuses to talk about Guy, but the pain is still visible in her face.
As for now, Snyder said, she plans to slow In-N-Out's rate of expansion a bit. Beyond that, she said, she hopes the company's way of operating will endure, just as it has for more than half a century.