Local Business

To Be or Not to Be? A Whataburger in Lake Charles?

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Whataburger in San Marcos at dusk, Saturday October 10 2015.

Whataburger in San Marcos at dusk, Saturday October 10 2015.

Lake Charles has already had the privilege of having a Whataburger! But a lot has changed, and our city is growing at a fast rate! The big industries that have come to Lake Charles causing a boom in population and the need for new businesses. So, is it sufficient to say that a Whataburger would be one of the most desired establishments wanted in this area? I’d have to say yes; the Whataburger rumor has been and on-going thing from the inception of Developing Lake Charles.

57634e059e507.image_I set out on a mission around the beginning of December to get all of the Whataburger rumors straight and have been in contact with the corporate office on more than one occasion. After today’s conversation with, Brandon, up at the corporate real estate office; he said he was willing to listening to what the Lake Charles residents wanted, and I was going to share a blog post on Developing Lake Charles and show him what kind of reaction we got from it. We also mentioned possibility getting a petition signed to help encourage them to bring their establishment to our rapidly growing city!

I know that when I’m traveling and I’m anywhere near a Whataburger I be sure to make it part of my menu, no matter what time of day it is!! So, lets make this blog post go viral so we can show them the support our city will offer them if they bring a Whataburger to the Lake Area!! So please comment and share!!! :)

Here is a little info I pulled from the Whataburger Website …

90d2bdbaf161dfe3b5258db4dbe149d2Since 1950, we’ve proudly served a bigger, better burger.
Over six decades ago, an adventurous and determined entrepreneur named Harmon Dobson had a bold idea: to serve a burger so big that it took two hands to hold, and so good that after a single bite customer couldn’t help but exclaim, “What a burger!” He named his humble burger stand, located on Ayers Street in Corpus Christi, Texas, “Whataburger.”

008ff08ea5e2d70921a79295f268ff2aToday, our founder’s original vision still inspires everything we do. We’re still family owned and operated. Each and every Whataburger® is still made to order—when it’s ordered. We still use 100% pure beef and serve it on a big, toasted five-inch bun. We still greet our customers with a smile 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And while we now serve hot, fresh food at more than 800 Whataburgers across the country, that burger stand in Corpus Christi is never far from our hearts.

A Man with a Dream.

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The golden age of drive-ins and American automobiles was just getting started back on August 8, 1950, when Harmon Dobson opened Whataburger #1. This tiny burger stand offered something people had never seen: a burger that was so big, they had to hold its five-inch bun with two hands. It was an instant success, and Harmon began to expand the business to other markets. In 1955, Harmon married Grace Williamson and became Whataburger’s “First Couple.” Together, they raised three children: Hugh, Lynne and Tom. By the end of the decade, Harmon would open Whataburger #21 in Pensacola, Florida. It was the first Whataburger restaurant outside the state of Texas.

 

Change, Growth – and Tragedy.
By 1960, Whataburger® had 17 restaurants scattered across Texas, Florida and Tennessee. A year later, the first of the familiar orange and white striped A-frames was built in Odessa, Texas. The menu grew as well, with French fries and hot pies being added in 1962. Tragedy struck the Whataburger family in 1967 when a plane crash took the life of Harmon Dobson. The Dobson family and their extended Whataburger family rallied around and supported Grace as she took over the business.

 

200 Restaurants and Growing.
The ‘70s was a decade of Whataburger milestones. Under the leadership of Grace Dobson, the company thrived and grew. The number of locations doubled to more than 200 restaurants, spanning 12 states. The first drive thru was installed in 1971. The Whataburger Jr.® was added to the menu, as were jalapeños and onion rings. And a new building design, which retained the spirit of the original A-frame, was unveiled. This is the era in which country music legend Mel Tillis started appearing in television commercials for the company, a role that would continue through the ‘80s.

 

Bigger Menu, Longer hours.
At the end of 1980, Whataburger opened its 300th restaurant. Two years later, three Corpus Christi locations began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, much to the delight of hungry patrons. New menu additions soon followed, including the Breakfast on A Bun®, Whatachick’n®—and the now-famous breakfast Taquitos. The beloved Nickel Mug—now a classic piece of Americana—debuted as a promotion which was supposed to last 1-year but ended up running for 14. And by the end of 1989, Whataburger was serving hot and fresh food at 440 different locations.

 

A Torch is Passed.
Whataburger saw a change of leadership for the first time since the 1960s as Tom Dobson, Harmon’s son, took over as President and CEO. A host of new menu items was unveiled, including the Whatameal®, the A.1. ® Thick & Hearty Burger®, cookies, biscuits, chicken strips and more. The company also passed the 500-store threshold, making it the nation’s eighth-largest hamburger chain. The very first WhataGames, the company’s biennial burger Olympic competition for Team Members, was held. And on May 6, 1999, Whataburger by the Bay opened in Corpus Christi as a tribute to Whataburger’s upcoming 50th anniversary. Boasting 6,000 square feet, stunning water views and a life-size bronze likeness of Harmon Dobson, this flagship restaurant is a fitting tribute to an amazing man.

Still Family Owned & Operated.
By the company’s seventh decade, Whataburger had grown from a single burger stand in Corpus Christi to an 800-restaurant chain that spanned every state from Arizona to Florida. The All-Time Favorites menu, featuring four of the most loved specialty sandwiches from over the years, made its debut and was greeted enthusiastically by Whataburger fans. Despite all of these changes, we’re still sticking to what got us here. Serving it hot and fresh, 24/7. Treating our customers right. Being proud of everything we do. And never forgetting where we started. We’re still family owned and operated, with Tom, Lynne and Hugh leading the company just like their father and mother did before them.

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