SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Whataburger is looking to open future restaurants in Kansas City and Tennessee, and will begin franchising for the first time in nearly two decades, the company confirmed Tuesday in an exclusive interview with the San Antonio Business Journal, which is a sister publication of the Kansas City Business Journal.
James Turcotte, senior vice president of real estate for the San Antonio-based burger chain, said the company is examining the Kansas City market for its next phase of expansion, following rumors that swirled last week. He also said the chain is exploring locations in Tennessee and other Eastern markets, especially the Southeast.
While Kansas City transplants from the Texas and Oklahoma areas have hankered to get a Whataburger, the effort received a huge boost after Texas native Patrick Mahomes joined the Kansas City Chiefs.
In 2018, early in what would be an MVP season, the quarterback let it be known that his favorite ketchup is from Whataburger. When the chain took to Twitter to offer a care package, Mahomes responded that “I just want a store in Kansas City!”
Now less than two years later, it looks like the company will finally grant that wish.
According to the company, the chain opened its first store on Aug. 8, 1950. His goal was to make a burger so good that with one bite, customers would say, “What a burger!”