15:34 PM

Houston Team Claims WhataGames Gold

Mansfield and Copperas Cove seize silver, bronze

Heading into the WhataGames Finals, Operating Partner Melissa Steady said her strategy was simple: Consistency.

At the 2022 event finals, with the gold medal around her neck, she was proven right.

Steady, who heads up Unit 472 in Houston, led her team to the gold medal with a blend of consistency, belief and hard work.

“I believed in them,” Steady said. “They have worked so hard, and they did everything right.”

As for the hard work? “It paid off,“ said Team Member Fedir Cruz. “Tonight, it all paid off.”

WhataGames tests the skills of Whataburger’s Operating Partners and their teams as they run a restaurant, serve up bold flavors and offer extraordinary customer service. More than 850 teams started the competition last summer. They spent hours studying Whataburger hospitality, procedures and culture, mastering rapid drive-thru service and building high team morale. Sixteen finalist teams earned a spot in the championship games, held in Houston in March 2022.

And Unit 472 came out on top.

Now that the gold is solidly around their necks, how will they spend the $5,000 cash every winner gets?

Fedir is planning to share some with his mom, and maybe put a down payment on a car. Team Member Rudolfo Gomez has his eye on a car, as well. And Manager Devin Teran is looking forward to buying a house. “This is the next step for my life,” he said.

And they’re already looking ahead to 2024. “This team will be back,” Steady says. “We’ll keep the gold in Houston.”

Silver: Unit 1016 – Mansfield

“We put Unit 1016 on the map," Operating Partner Marolyn McCarty said.

McCarty said she and her team had only been in the unit for six months. Turning them into a silver medal-winning team, she said, took leadership and communication – as well as getting the right people in the right place.

"They are so young and I love every single one of them," McCarty said. "We'll be back here in two years and we're going to win it."

Bronze: Unit 1044 – Copperas Cove

Heading into the Saturday night awards ceremony,  the Copperas Cove team was feeling confident.

And after celebrating their third-place victory, the first thing they did was share the good news with the team back home. “We wanted to share the victory with them. We did this together!” said Operating Partner Liza Wells.

And now, it’s time to figure out how to spend their award cash. Cars and college top the list, but Manager Hernan Torres hasn’t gotten that far. “I am not sure yet,” he said. “But I know I want to do something fun!”


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.