When it comes to many of the United States’ best fast-food hamburgers, Whataburger’s hamburgers rank near the top of the list. Whataburger, a privately-held regional fast-food restaurant chain with its headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, was founded by Paul Burton and Harmon Dobson in 1950. The chain, which has 735 stores across the southern United States, is owned and managed by the Dobson family as well as 25 franchisers today.
Whataburger’s core products are obviously various kinds of hamburgers with the specialities being the Whataburger, Whataburger Jr., Justaburger, Whatacatch, and Whatachick’n. The chain’s restaurants also offer a breakfast menu.
Whataburger prides itself on offering the bigger and better hamburger in comparison with its competitors including McDonald’s. Its trademark Whataburger, for example, is made from 100% beef patty served on a large, toasted 5-inch bun. Its other hamburgers are usually variations of the basic Whataburger albeit with additions of cheese, vegetables and other food products.
On its 51st year (2001), Whataburger was declared as a Texas Treasure by virtue of a bill passed during the 77th Texas Legislature Session. By then, the fast-food chain already had 575 stores, which increased to 700 stores across 10 states in 2007 with overall annual revenues of US$1 billion.
With the advertising campaign featuring William Bassett launched in 2003, the chain’s popularity grew. In 2011, the company changed its advertising strategy by using documentary-style ads where employees and customers’ testimonials were used. As of 2011, Whataburger had 728 stores across 10 states – 611 stores were owned by the Dobson family while 117 stores were owned by 25 franchisers.
Free upgrades on Whatameals were used as a marketing tool for its 65th anniversary on 8 August 2015. This was, of course, just one of a long line of promotional tools employed by Whataburger to retain its loyal customers and attract new diners.