San Antonio, TX

Has Whataburger changed since it was acquired by an out-of-state corporation?

Ash Jurberg

Whataburger is a Texas institution.

The beloved Texan burger chain opened its first restaurant in Corpus Christi in 1950. The company moved its corporate headquarters to San Antonio in 2009 and now has almost 900 restaurants and 50,000 employees across 14 states. And while the company is still based in San Antonio, in June 2019, a majority stake in the company was sold to BDT Capital, a Chicago-based investment company.

And now customers are asking if this has led to changes in the quality of the food and customer service of the staff at Whataburger.

A post today on Reddit had users commenting on the changes in Whataburger in recent years, and most agreed it hasn't been for the better.

"There are a lot of things changing at Whataburger and not for the better. IMO All the food has changed in the last few years. Hairy_Afternoon_8033"

One Reddit user who said they were an ex-manager at Whataburger agreed.

"Ex-manager here, after the buyout everything started tanking for the worse. WB used to be the most amazing fast food joint to work at, the bosses and area managers genuinely cared for their employees and the quality of the food and experience for the customers, but now it's all about profit margins. The culture entirely fell to pieces and now that the food/times/service is finally catching up, I just can't bring myself to eat there knowing what's going on behind the scenes these days" maelstrorn

Another user compared the sale of Whataburger to what has happened at other food businesses such as Panera and Olive Garden.

"This is typical behavior of a firm after a leveraged buyout by a hedge fund. Other examples in food: Panera Bread, Olive Garden, La Madeline, Maggianos, etc etc. The second a company is sold from an initial family or partnership into a private equity or goes public, they only care about quarterly returns. If levered, they really care because they have to cut the business operations enough to pay for the debt. It goes from a business to an investment; and customers/employees get treated as such." jediwashington

Now it's time for your thoughts on the subject.

Your thoughts

Do you agree with these comments? Has Whataburger changed since being bought by an out-of-state company? Do you still eat at Whataburger?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

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San Antonio, TX

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