10:06 AM

When their restaurant closed, Whataburger Family Members went to work in the community

When we say we're a family, we don't just talk the talk

Franchisee William Tamminga was out of town when the news came in.

The Whataburger restaurant in Liberty, Texas, was on fire.

An electrical fire had started in the roof about 5 a.m. May 31, and the store would have to be closed for sev­eral months.

Tamminga knew what that would mean for the 50 Whataburger Family Members at the restaurant: months of uncer­tainty – without a paycheck.

“They have bills to pay and families to take care of,” he says. “We wanted to take care of them, the same way they take care of us.”

So Whataburger decided to lift up their Family Members and invest in their community at the same time by paying Family Members to volunteer at local nonprofits.

“It’s a way for us to stay connected to the com­munity and with our Family Members while we get re­built,” Tamminga says.

It’s an effort that Whataburger corporate stores and other franchisees have done before when a unit has been shut down for repairs — and it’s been a win-win.

See how their efforts impacted the community of Liberty.


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, Texas, with more than 820 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $2 billion annually. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information.