Whataburger Confirms Kansas City Expansion
A couple of weeks ago word about a possible Whataburger in the Kansas City area made headlines because Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had tweeted about it, and the City of Lee's Summit disclosed that Whataburger had met with the City. This week the burger chain confirmed their looking to expand to Kansas City.
KSAT 12, a San Antonio television station, and San Antonio Business Journal are reporting that the burger chain is looking at Kansas City and Tennessee as new markets for their restaurants, and that the chain will franchise for the first time in twenty years.
James Turcotte, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Whataburger told San Antonio Business Journal that Kansas City is a good match for the burger chain.
It fits our customer profile. It fits our supply networks, and we think that those markets are a good fit for us and that they line up with what we do here in Texas.
This is where everything clicks for me. When it comes to franchised restaurants, some franchise corporations end up buying the land. So it makes sense to me that Whataburger would have talked to Lee's Summit about land for a restaurant.
Plus what Turcotte told San Antonio Business Journal about Kansas City and Tennessee is true. I've lived in Texas, I've visited Tennessee, and now as a West Central Missourian, I can say there's a commonality among the people that live in these areas. I don't know how to describe it exactly. Maybe a mixture of friendliness, approach-ability, and a stubborn streak of independence? Whatever it is there's a similarity, and Whataburger has done a great job of appealing to folks in Texas, so why wouldn't they do that in similar places?
Outside of Kansas City, Tennessee, other areas of the South East and it's current markets Whataburger doesn't have any current expansion plans. And I get that. I don't see the Whataburger I know working all that well in Chicago or New York City or even Los Angeles. Sure, it might work in some rural parts of Ohio, Indiana, maybe even downstate Illinois. But the restaurant isn't a slam dunk in many parts of the country. We should consider ourselves lucky, Whataburger might be here sooner than we think.