Florida has a few options for Floridians who want a quick hamburger that is fresh and not frozen.
However, one franchise that Florida does not have much of is Whataburger, which also serves fresh hamburger patties and was called one of the best regional fast-food restaurants by KVVU in January of 2023.
According to First Coast News, Florida currently has around 40 Whataburger locations, with more on the way. (Many of the locations are in north Florida.) And some locations have left the Sunshine State in the past.
This article will look at where Whataburger left, where it is coming back, what you should order there, and what ratings diners give Whataburger.
Why Whataburger Previously Left Some Areas of Florida: In 2009, Whataburger pulled out of central Florida. Specifically, Tampa, Orlando, Ocala, and Gainesville lost stores.
According to The Gainesville Sun, the company cited low sales. At the time, Whataburger spokesperson Pam Cox told the Sun:
"We've been working on those units for some time now and hoping to bring those around, but they're no longer a financially sound investment for the company. Twenty-one thousand people rely on us for their livelihoods. We have to consider the health of the entire company."
Where Will the New Locations Be?: According to First Coast News, the Jacksonville area was scheduled to get four new stores in the summer of 2023, and What Now Jax says that northeast Florida will be getting 12 stores in all.
In addition, two new stores are planned for St. Augustine, according to The Jacksonville Daily Record reporting in the summer of 2023.
Reporting in June of 2028, The Orlando Sentinel says that there are plans to open 99 restaurants in areas of Florida such as Daytona Beach, Central Florida (Orlando and Tampa) over the course of seven years. This is in addition to those coming to the Jacksonville area.
What are Popular Foods at Whataburger?: Guilty Eats reports that the "best" item at Whataburger is the patty melt, followed by the grilled chicken sandwich, and the milkshakes.
Interestingly enough Fast Food Data Fact's data of Whataburger's most popular items is mostly in alignment with the above, as the grilled chicken sandwich was listed as the most popular menu item followed by the banana pudding shake.
If you grew up eating Whataburger as a child, you most likely remember the original Whataburger, which is still offered.
Is Whataburger Reasonably Priced?: Considering prices for most fast food restaurants at the current time, Whataburger is reasonably priced. For example the "what a meal" which consists of a Whataburger, fries, and a drink is $8.79. The grilled chicken sandwich meal is $9.49. The patty melt meal is $10.39
What Do Reviewers Say About Whataburger?: TripAdvisor reviewers of the location on Pensacola Boulevard give Whataburger 4 out of 5 stars. One reviewer called it "the best fast food in the area." Some said that eating at Whataburger reminded them of growing up. Many enjoyed the shakes.
A couple of reviewers took off stars saying that the food wasn't "fast" and that wait times were too long.