16:23 PM

Whataburger of Alice Celebrates 70 Years

Longest-Running Franchise to Highlight Major Milestone Throughout 2023

When it opened its doors on February 11, 1953, Whataburger #5, located at 1242 E Main St in Alice, Texas, officially became the brand’s first franchised restaurant, operated by a team known as Whataburger of Alice. 70 years later, they’ve now also claimed the title of longest-running franchisee. 

Established by Joe Andrews, Sr., the story goes that Andrews and his wife Louise went to nearby Kingsville to try Whataburger, the new burger joint that had just opened and enjoyed it so much, they called founder Harmon Dobson to inquire about opening a restaurant of their own. Andrews convinced a reluctant Dobson to let him open the brand's first franchise by taking him to an ideal spot for a Whataburger in Alice to show him his vision. The rest is history. 

On February 11, 2023, Whataburger of Alice kicked off its anniversary celebration by offering food, giveaways and swag to the community, with plans to host several additional events throughout the year to highlight this major milestone. 

“We’re thrilled to celebrate 70 years in Alice and owe our success to the hard work and dedication of our past and present employees and loyal guests,” said Kathy Reese, daughter of Joe Andrews Sr. “It’s been an honor to continue my father’s legacy and serve the Hub City. We look forward to continuing to offer our guests a great Whataburger experience by serving up our extensive menu of bold flavors, made to order, fresh and hot, with a side of extraordinary hospitality for years to come.”

Reese, president of the franchise, owns Whataburger of Alice with her family and operates two Alice and 11 Laredo locations. Reese was born and raised in Alice and is a proud 1967 graduate of William Adams High School.

Today, Whataburger of Alice continues to invest in the area and has committed to giving back to the communities that have helped make them successful. Andrews was a fervent youth supporter, and the franchise continues to support Whataburger’s Feeding Student Success program by donating $36,000 annually to the Alice Independent School District to help stock their pantry with food, supplies and clothing for students in need.


Whataburger is the hometown hamburger place that hasn’t compromised. We serve bold flavors and original recipes made to order, just like you like it, and pride ourselves on extraordinary hospitality and meaningful connections in our communities. That’s what’s led fans to Whataburger since Harmon Dobson served our first customer in 1950. Headquartered in San Antonio, we’ve stayed close to our roots while building sales of more than $3 billion annually across our 14-state footprint and more than 900 locations. Even with our exceptional menu, we know that people make the difference at Whataburger. That’s why we’re a national 2023 Top Workplaces award winner. Want to become part of our orange spirit? Apply to become a Family Member (what we call our employees) at whataburger.com/careers. Just hungry for a great meal? Download our app on ios or android to order ahead. Shop Whataburger branded merchandise and selected sauces including our famous Fancy and Spicy Ketchup at WhataStore.com and find Whataburger original-recipe products in grocery stores. See our press kit for a list of locations, fun facts, milestones and other company information.