Hahn Public Communications for Whataburger
SAN ANTONIO – March 11, 2015 – After several months of training, weeks of practice and countless hours of preparation, teams from just 24 Whataburger restaurants across 10 states are putting their burger-building skills to the test and are going for the gold in the ultimate company challenge.
The 24 Whataburger restaurants will advance as finalists in the company’s “WhataGames” competition, a unique and spirited contest designed to test the skills of Whataburger team members in three categories: operations, corporate history and customer service. WhataGames is a company tradition and a part of Whataburger’s ongoing commitment to deliver a “What a burger!” experience to customers every time.
The 24 finalist teams advanced from a pool of 121 semifinalists, who beat out their competitors among Whataburger’s more than 770 restaurants in 10 states. Semifinalists had to prove their skills through a series of elimination rounds to earn one of the coveted spots at the WhataGames Finals in Dallas next month. Finalists will compete in three days of high-intensity competition for the Gold Medal and the esteemed title of WhataGames 2015 Champion. Whataburger will also award $165,000 in cash prizes to all members of the Gold, Silver and Bronze winning teams, which includes both team members who participated as well as those who stayed back to operate and manage their stores.
“Each WhataGames competition brings its own unique level of excitement, energy and camaraderie,” said Rob Rodriguez, senior vice president of operations for Whataburger Restaurants LLC. “We feel very fortunate to have employees who continue to prove their dedication to their work and fellow team members. WhataGames is an incredibly rewarding experience that takes a lot of discipline and perseverance, and we’re excited to continue the fun at the finals during this year’s Whataburger Family Convention.”
Finalist teams are made up of 13 competitors. Each member of the Gold Medal-winning team receives $5,000, each Silver Medal team member wins $2,500, and each Bronze Medal team member wins $1,000. Additionally, all Whataburger Family Members at the winning restaurants receive 10 percent of the finalist prize amount; $500, $250 and $100, respectively.
In addition, select members of Whataburger’s maintenance team will also compete in WhataGames. Whataburger’s maintenance department plays a major role in making it possible for restaurants to serve customers 24 hours a day, and their commitment to doing their job with pride, integrity and attention to detail is what sets them apart from others in the industry. This April, teams of four maintenance team members from each of Whataburger’s six regions will travel to Dallas for WhataGames, where they will participate in a variety of challenges including a hands-on competition where each team troubleshoots and repairs equipment in the restaurant.
WhataGames Finals are the featured event during the Whataburger Family Convention, which will be held in April at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The games were created in 1996 as a training exercise for operations to better serve customers. The first event hosted less than 500 people, and has grown steadily to more than 2,000 Whataburger team members. The convention is a family occasion, hosting Whataburger corporate and regional representatives, franchisees and suppliers, along with the WhataGames national finalists.
WhataGames Restaurant Finalists 2015
Unit 715, 8922 W. Bell Road, Peoria
Unit 164, 815 Lake Bradford Road, Tallahassee
Unit 861, 3851 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs
Unit 731, 2110 N. Main St., Roswell
Unit 821, 1325 S. Meridian, Oklahoma City
Unit 114, 4111 SW 45th Ave., Amarillo
Unit 777, 3580 W. Alton Gloor Blvd., Brownsville
Unit 373, 909 N. Mechanic St., El Campo
Unit 1050, 2155 Airport Freeway, Euless
Unit 540, 1116 E. Highway 82, Gainesville
Unit 751, 2000 State Highway 26, Grapevine
Unit 599, 1004 FM 1764, La Marque
Unit 669, 7110 McPhearson Road, Laredo
Unit 702, 202 W. Del Mar Blvd., Laredo
Unit 602, 10112 FM 1472, Laredo
Unit 24, 3716 Andrews Hwy., Odessa
Unit 982, 18609 Limestone Commercial Drive, Pflugerville
Unit 962, 121 S. State Hwy. 342, Red Oak
Unit 147, 3202 Sherwood Way, San Angelo
Unit 699, 6391 Babcock Road, San Antonio
Unit 352, 5075 Rigsby Ave., San Antonio
Unit 750, 20550 Interstate 45, Spring
Unit 616, 8909 N. Navarro St., Victoria
Unit 978, 103 E. Hwy. 80, White Oak
WhataGames Maintenance Finalists 2015
Region 2000: Lead Tech Steve Eckles, Jeff Farmer, Bill Castanon, and Scott Foster
Region 4000: Lead Tech Rudy Soliz, Gerald Pacheco, Cristobal Garcia, and Kenneth Douglas
Region 5000: Lead Tech Daniel Salas, Jordan Flores, Luis Alonso, and Gary Michalek
Region 7000: Lead Tech Louie Ribera, Robbie Langston, Gabe Tiscareno, and Cesar Javalera
Region 8000: Lead Tech Hilario Ramirez, John Garrett, Michael Bradford, and Joe Benavidez
Region 9000: Lead Tech Gary Amison, Jaron Barnhill, Bryan Hicks, and Ronnie Croft
ABOUT WHATABURGER:Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: “What a burger!” Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100-percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio with more than 770 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $1 billion annually. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information on the company or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/whataburger.