Houston, TX,
31
March
2019
|
09:32 PM
America/Chicago

WhataGames Champs Serve Up Glory for Their Hometowns

April 1, 2019 -- Six Whataburger teams are returning home victorious this week after earning their share of a $250,000 prize pool at the 2019 WhataGames.

Three restaurant teams and three maintenance teams were honored as winners at Whataburger’s Family Convention this weekend. Two of those teams brought home the Gold.

Among restaurant teams, Whataburger Unit 984 located at 388 E. Stacy Rd. in Allen, Texas, took home the gold medal – and almost $100,000 in cash prizes.

Unit 412 located at 5779 Fairbanks Dr. in El Paso, Texas, took home the silver medal, and Unit 1036 at 311 S. Main Street in Lindale, Texas, won the bronze medal. These winners also earned cash prizes.

Whataburger maintenance teams medaled as well, earning cash and bragging rights. The 2019 medalists are:

  • Gold: South Texas Area: Peter Hernandez (Lead Tech), Joe Benavidez, Oscar Chapa and Robert Garza
  • Silver: Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida Area: Danny Wise (Lead Tech), Bill Castanon, Scott Foster and Mike Bradford
  • Bronze: Dallas/Fort Worth Area: Andy Collier (Lead Tech), Bryan Hicks, Anthony Halter and Greg Edwards

Check out a photo gallery of highlights from the finals below.

WhataGames Gold Medalist, Unit 984 in Allen, TX with Whataburger leadership.

From left to right: Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO; Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board.

WhataGames Silver Medalist, Unit 412 in El Paso, TX with Whataburger leadership.

From left to right: Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board; Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO.

WhataGames Bronze finalist, Unit 1036 in Lindale, TX with Whataburger leadership.

​From left to right: Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO.

WhataGames Maintenance Gold Medalist - Region 8000 with Whataburger leadership.

​From left to right: Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO; Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board.

WhataGames Maintenance Silver Medalist - Region 2000 with Whataburger leadership.

​From left to right: Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO; Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board.

WhataGames Maintenance Bronze Medalist - Region 9000

​From left to right: Rob Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Whataburger Restaurants; Mark Brown, Division Vice President, A-Frame; Bobby Pemelton, Division Vice President, Flying W; Joel Griffiths, Group Vice President Satellite, Ventures, Franchise; Preston Atkinson, President & CEO; Tom Dobson, Chairman of the Board.

Competition makes everyone better

Everyone learns something new at WhataGames. The competition truly tests restaurant Family Members and maintenance techs’ knowledge and skills, through challenges tailor-made to their positions.

The wins also come after facing more than 820 Whataburger restaurants in a heated series of elimination rounds over the last six months.

“WhataGames is unique because it requires so much stamina. Knowledge is really important, but when you’re keeping your head in the game for six months, the leadership skills of each Team Member comes into play as well.”

 
Rob Rodriguez, SVP of Restaurants

Hard work pays off

Combined, the winning teams take home a pool of more than $250,000 in cash. Prizes are also given to Team Members who stayed behind to manage restaurants while their coworkers represented the team in the Houston competition. Restaurant finalist teams each have 15 competitors, while maintenance teams each have four.

Stay tuned for the next competition in 2021

What started in 1996 as a training exercise hosting 500 people has now become the feature event during the Whataburger Family Convention with more than 2,800 attendees. It’s only expected to get bigger from here.

“The feedback we’ve gotten over the years has played a key role in shaping WhataGames,” Rodriguez says. “We are already thinking about 2021, because it’s so important for our staff to have a chance to challenge themselves and grow with their teams outside of a normal day’s work.”

The next WhataGames in 2021 will be the 25th anniversary of the competition, coming on the heels of the Whataburger’s 70th birthday in 2020. Whataburger’s Family Convention will continue to be a gathering for the whole company, taking place every two years. The practice of bringing together employees from across the 10-state footprint is one that keeps Whataburger’s vision of Pride, Care and Love at the center of the business.

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

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