HOUSTON — Whataburger’s menu goes well beyond burgers.

But customer Marcela Lopez keeps it simple.

“Just a classic Whataburger, can’t go wrong,” Lopez said.

She hopes a big buyout of the classic Texas chain doesn’t bring big changes.

“I hope they keep the Texas values because it’s like a Texas staple and I hope it stays about the same,” said Lopez.

A Chicago firm called BDT Capital Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in Whataburger from the family who founded it in the 1950s.

The family will remain a minority owner and Whataburger’s headquarters will stay in San Antonio. 

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“I’m not surprised by the deal,” said Barbara Stewart of the University of Houston’s retailing and consumer sciences department.  “It’s a great product, has great service, a great reputation and expansion sometimes takes increased capital.”

Whataburger hasn’t revealed terms of the deal or specific plans for expansion.

However, Stewart believes it will be successful as long as it doesn’t forget its Texas roots.

“I think the Whataburger customer base is pretty strong and pretty loyal,” Stewart said. “And, to the extent they don’t make a lot of changes quickly, I think they’ll retain that base.”

At this point, longtime customer Armando Avila told us he has no plans to stop coming at least twice a week.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the same, hopefully,” Avila said.

A member of the founder’s family, who will remain on the board, said the decision to sell the company was “exciting and bittersweet.”

Read more from Whataburger here.


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