Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Founding family sells control of Whataburger

Texas restaurant chain Whataburger has more than 800 locations in 10 states Texas restaurant chain Whataburger has more than 800 locations in 10 states
Shannon Reynolds | 15 June, 2019, 07:38

The All-Pro reacted to a tweet from the Austin American-Statesman on Friday stating that the Texas-based hamburger joint, a staple of the Lone Star State, has been sold to BDT Capital Partners.

BDT, the release states, is a "merchant bank specializing in family and founder-led companies".

"As the brand embarks on a growth and expansion plan, we decided the time was right to promote new leadership to carry the company forward", stated Whataburger President/CEO Preston Atkinson, in a recent press release. It invests in family-owned companies worldwide. "They have a track record of success with businesses as special as ours that want to grow, while preserving culture and family history".

The Whataburger headquarters will remain in San Antonio, and leadership isn't expecting to make any major changes. After all, a quick internet search indicates the closest Whataburger to Chicago is almost 700 miles away, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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"Together, BDT and the Whataburger team will begin exploring expansion plans - while staying true to the brand it has been over the past 69 years", Whataburger said in a statement about the sale. Davis says the goal of trying to expand from being a regional chain does bring some risk, but the company has been doing well in a fast-food industry that has been stagnating. "Let's hope it does not get Chicago'ed", said customer Derreck Wells.

According to the Statesman, Tom Dobson, part of the Dobson family that co-founded Whataburger alongside Paul Burton, will retain minority ownership in the company.

"They would be insane to mess with this formula that has worked", Davis said.

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