Growth Mentality Earns Top Honors for Ana Jara Arredondo
As businesses across the country stumbled at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Operating Partner Ana Jara Arredondo from El Paso led her Whataburger restaurant to new records.
Under her leadership, the team shattered sales goals.
Delivering weekly sales records despite limited dining room hours -- and keeping her team motivated and engaged throughout the year -- helped Arredondo become the 2020 Operating Partner of the Year. She was recognized at the Whataburger Corporate and Supplier Awards Dinner in March 2022 – and pocketed $25,000 in prize money for her efforts.
“I’m honored, and this will be an unforgettable day in my life,” Arredondo said. “I feel incredibly happy to take this home to my team. It’s for me and my team.”
Arredondo has been with Whataburger for more than 16 years – 14 as an Operating Partner. Her restaurant – Unit 1085 at 12302 Montana Ave. in El Paso – has the highest sales volume in the region. She has been in this restaurant, her third, for more than six years. And while Arredondo started her Operating Partner career in smaller Whataburger restaurants, she jumped at the chance to open this store as its Operating Partner in 2016.
Now she’s making sure other Whataburger Family Members have the same chance she did.
“The thing I love about my job is giving opportunities like someone gave me,” Arredondo said. “Seeing Team Members go on to be Team Leaders, Team Leaders get Manager positions and some of them becoming Operating Partners … that’s what I really like about my job.”
Arredondo also serves on Whataburger’s Leadership Council, a group of leading Operating Partners that advise the business on strategy and operations improvements. The role allows her to share her expertise and be an advocate for other leaders in the company. “I think success as an OP is about believing in yourself and remembering that somebody else believes in you,” she said.
She channeled that energy in 2020, leading her team during the early days of the pandemic.
“For me, it was maintaining a positive attitude for my team,” Arredondo says. “Seeing them there, working so hard to care for our guests, pushed me to be their standard bearer. I could not let them down because they didn’t let me down.”
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. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio with more than 900 locations across its 14-state footprint and sales of more than $3 billion annually. Whataburger is a 2022 Top Workplaces winner. The brand has more than 50,000 Family Members (employees) and more than 60 million customers who like to customize their Whataburgers just like they like it. Visit whataburger.com for more information. To apply for Whataburger jobs, visit whataburger.com/careers.