Texan Chain Sold To Chicago Firms; Fans Not Happy With Move

Daniela Kelly August 04, 2019
 Texan Chain Sold To Chicago Firms; Fans Not Happy With Move

Whataburger owners recently sold a majority of stake in the restaurant to BDT Capital Partner, which are based in Chicago. And, Texans are not happy with the decision or move.

Whataburger attempted to reassure its customers, saying they are always going to be Texan, representing the state the way that makes their fans happy.

Still, many of Whataburger’s fans have taken to the Internet to express their outrage and disappointment. JJ Watt, defensive end for the Texans, tweeted that everybody needs to chip in and buy back Whataburger, making sure to keep the honey butter chicken biscuits available throughout the day and change nothing about the restaurant – not even the ketchup. His tweet has been retweeted over 20,000 times.

While its headquarters will stay in San Antonio, the Whataburger team and BDT have looked at expansion plans.

According to BDT Capital Partners LLC owner Byron Trott, the restaurant doesn’t have the kind of exposure that Shake Shack and In-N-Out Burger have. His group wants to change that so that it becomes a household name.

Preston Atkinson, Whataburger CEO and president, said the company was excited about its partnership with BDT due to their respect and admiration of the brand that’s Whataburger built. He said they would like to preserve the brand and help to grow competitively. Atkinson said BDT has no plans to change the recipe for the restaurant’s success.

Harmon Dobson came up with Whataburger, selling his products at a roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950. Today, there are more than 800 locations in 10 states with 700 alone in just Texas.

His son, Tom Dobson, will continue on the chain’s board of directors. And, chief financial officer Ed Nelson was endorsed to become the chain’s president.


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