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Whataburger: A Texas Treasure

Ashley Davis, Writer

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Whataburger, the regional fast-food chain with an incredible cult following, opened its first restaurant sixty eight years ago. In that time, the restaurant has established more than 800 locations across ten U.S. states, including Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and several more.

Whataburger, starting out as a small burger stand, opened in Corpus Christi. Harmon Dobson and Paul Burton, its prestigious founders, had the vision of offering a burger so large, its customers would exclaim “What a burger!” in response to seeing its five-inch bun, beating the current restaurant standard of four inches.

The idea and brand caught on, though business only earned $191 during its first three days opened.

In 1967, Dobson unfortunately died because of a plane crash. His wife, Grace Williamson, raising his three children, took over the business and continued to run it in the same fashion as her late husband.

Williamson, leading the Whataburger company, continued to nurture and increase the business until Dobson’s son, Tom Dobson, took over the corporation in 1993. Remembered by both family and patrons across the nation, Williamson sadly passed away in 2005.

Shortly after Tom Dobson’s take over, Whataburger celebrated the induction of its biennial Family Convention. The Family Convention, promoted by the WhataGames, acts as a tremendous event in which Whataburger employees (known as Family Members) compete in team games that showcase the individual locations, knowledge of the company’s history, and commitment to important values.

Designated by the 77th Texas Legislature as an official Texas treasure, Whataburger continues to expand and exalt itself on its core values of serving customers with pride, care, and love decades after its beginning. Formed by over 40,000 Family Members and the many guests that support the chain, Whataburger, still family-owned and operated, continues to expand and give excellent service to the thousands of guests visiting its locations each year.

As the best burger restaurant in the U.S., Whataburger truly lives by its slogan: “We build a bigger, better burger.”

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The School Bulletin of New Caney High School
Whataburger: A Texas Treasure