Whataburger Gives Out $90M in Bonuses to Employees After ‘Incredibly Hard’ Year

by John Jamison

Texas has had a rough year.

The pandemic and extreme winter weather have taken a toll on the region. In response, Texas fast-food chain Whataburger offered its employees $90 million in bonuses. The burger joint also provided extra emergency pay and doubled employees’ 401(k) match.

The company refers to its employees as Family Members. Gestures like this seem to support that title. And to be fair, the employees earned it. Despite the challenges of the past year, Whataburger posted record numbers.

Whataburger CEO Ed Nelson made comment in a statement released on Tuesday.

“The past year reshaped how we live, work and play, with the restaurant and hospitality industry being heavily impacted by the pandemic and this year’s crippling winter storms. We are so humbled and grateful for the loyalty of our customers during this time. And we wanted to help ensure that our Family Members and their families were taken care of and thank them for continuing to go the extra mile to serve our guests with great Pride, Care and Love. Our Family Members and guests are the foundation of our success, and we are grateful for both,” he said.

The statement also mentions changes to the General Manager position. They will be referred to as Operating Partners going forward.

“Operating Partners are business leaders who run multimillion-dollar restaurants, take care of their teams, and serve as the face of Whataburger in their communities. They are the hearts and souls of our brand,” said Nelson.

The new title includes six-figure pay with up to 150% bonus potential. Not a bad deal.

Whataburger is Expanding

According to their website, the chain is preparing to expand. They want to move into Tennessee and Kansas City soon. 35 new restaurants will be built over the next two years.

“We’re always excited to hear we have so many fans across the country, and we are looking to open restaurants in Tennessee, Kansas City and our existing markets as part of future expansion plans,” said James Turcotte, Senior Vice President, Real Estate.

The chain is also doing work on its existing restaurants. But promises not to get away from the iconic look.