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Whataburger at 70!

🕐 2 min read

Seventy years. That’s how long Whataburger has been serving their signature burgers.

August 8, 1950 was the day when founder, Harmon Dobson, opened up the very first Whataburger in a portable metal building in Corpus Christi. This year current CEO Ed Nelson helped launch the delivery of customized Whataburgers to customers’ front doors. Later this week, Whataburger will be unveiling a Whataburger Food Truck at an event supporting educators.

From those humble beginnings in Corpus Christi, Whataburger now has 46,000 employees and plans for expansion into new areas.

Whataburger A-frame design

Here are some of this year’s actions:

This year, Whataburger launched curbside and delivery service, increasing digital transactions to historic levels. With the guidance of a 15-person Strategy Council (a group of tenured Whataburger executives who set strategy and provide counsel for the brand on all major decisions), the company has broken sales records; sharpened our operational excellence; built seven new restaurants (with nine more planned by the end of the year); promoted the president (and 16-year Whataburger veteran) to CEO; launched a new, modern restaurant design that incorporates the company’s iconic Flying W and A-frame accents and served up three new, unique limited-time burgers.

Whataburger is building 35 restaurants (25 company and 10 franchise) in 2021, expanding into new markets (Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee) and adding to long-standing franchisees by partnering with new franchisees for the first time in 20 years.

“From all of us to all of you, thank you for the last 70 years,” said Whataburger CEO Ed Nelson. “And get ready for the next 70. With the help of our tenured leadership team, the Whataburger Family, and BDT Capital Partners, the brand is taking innovative steps to meet the needs of the next generation of Whataburger fans – while still holding true to the things that matter to our longtime customers. Stay safe. We can’t wait to celebrate in person when the time is right.”

Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, with more than 830 locations in 10 states and sales of more than $2.5 billion annually. In 2019, Whataburger was acquired by Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners LLC, a merchant bank that advises and invests in family and founder-led companies, has acquired a majority interest in the San Antonio-based, family-run business.

 Visit whataburger.com for more information.

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