Lifestyle & Human Interest

Huge Fast-Food Chain Gives Back to Employees with Over $90 Million in Bonuses


Last year was a trying year, but despite all the setbacks and uncertainties, some companies thrived. Whataburger had a notable year, and it’s celebrating in the best way.

Started in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas, the fast-food chain now has 840 locations across 10 states and employs over 46,000 employees. The last year was one of its best and “set record company performance numbers,” according to a news release from the restaurant.

“The past year reshaped how we live, work and play, with the restaurant and hospitality industry being heavily impacted by the pandemic and this year’s crippling winter storms,” Whataburger CEO Ed Nelson said. “We are so humbled and grateful for the loyalty of our customers during this time.”

To thank its employees — which it calls “Family Members” — the company is giving out Extra Mile bonuses and emergency pay and doubling its match on employees’ 401(k) plans.

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All in all, the company is handing out an impressive $90 million.

“We wanted to help ensure that our Family Members (Whataburger employees) and their families were taken care of and thank them for continuing to go the extra mile to serve our guests with great Pride, Care and Love,” Nelson continued.

“Our Family Members and guests are the foundation of our success, and we are grateful for both.”

General managers will also get an upgrade: They will now bear the title “Operating Partners,” with the potential for more growth and pay.

“Operating Partners are business leaders who run multimillion-dollar restaurants, take care of their teams, and serve as the face of Whataburger in their communities,” Nelson said. “They are the hearts and souls of our brand.”

Pam Nemec, the company’s senior vice president for human resources and brand culture, said these changes are in line with the values the company has upheld from its beginning.

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“We’ve been helping our Family Members build careers for more than 70 years,” Nemec said. “From internally promoting our very own brilliant minds to attracting ambitious outside talent, we are committed to providing competitive incentives and great career opportunities in the communities we serve.

“This generation of restaurant leaders is bringing Whataburger goodness to communities across the U.S. while embracing self empowerment to build and tailor their own leadership paths.”

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