SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Whataburger is celebrating its 70th anniversary this week.
The national fast-food chain acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic have presented their own unique challenges, but that "it cannot take away [its] spirit."
"Together, we created new ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and life events," Whataburger said in a release. "We are resilient in our efforts, and we will pull through this together in the spirit of hope, inside and outside our restaurant walls.
The Texas favorite said in a release that as a brand, its 46,000 employees have banded together with a renewed focus on business, their communities, and the future.
In 2020, Whataburger offered curbside and delivery service for the first time ever, which the chain says increased its digital transactions to historic levels. The chain also built seven new restaurants, with nine more planned by the end of this year, and launched a new restaurant design.
The chain says it also hired hundreds of workers in a time when the unemployment rate in the US spiked at almost 15% in April and sits at 11% as of June, the highest it's been in over two decades.
A graph showing the unemployment rate over the last 20 years (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Whataburger says it will be building 35 restaurants -- 25 company and 10 franchise-- in 2021, expanding into Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee and partnering with new franchisees for the first time in 20 years. The chain also plans to unveil its new Whataburger Food Truck at an event on August 6 supporting the nation's educators.
Whataburger also says that it has provided and delivered hot food to first responders and frontline health care workers during this pandemic, as well as awarding $1 million in scholarships for its employees and their dependents.
The restaurant chain will also be launching the Whataburger Feeding Student Success program, which will help students with:
- Resource Rooms: Whataburger will partner with community colleges and universities to build resource rooms to help with food insecurity, like Grambling State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
- Scholarships: The Whataburger Feeding Student Success Scholarship Fund will award scholarships to those attending technical schools, community colleges and four-year universities.
- Hyperlocal Community Involvement: Whataburger will partner with local schools, foundations, organizations and nonprofits to lend time, treasure and talent as they support students in achieving success.
To learn more about the long-standing restaurant chain and what else they're cooking up, click here.
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