Written by Emma Weber // Graphic by Cooper Turman
Whataburger and franchisee WAB Venture Inc. held a special event Feb. 20 to celebrate the construction of a new Whataburger at 3900 E. Race Ave.
This event hosted many of the people who were celebrating bringing Whataburger, a fast food restaurant chain based in San Antonio, Texas, to Searcy. Those involved gathered to share in the eagerness of the new venture and the economic opportunities it will provide for the Searcy community.
The ceremony included a few words from the Whataburger director of operations Robert Tanner, Searcy Mayor Mat Faulkner, Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Buck Layne, and future store manager Charlie Moore. Each person shared their excitement about the quality of food and the values Whataburger holds. The new location is set to have an open-concept dining room and double drive-thrus, as stated by a Feb. 9 press release from Whataburger.
Faulkner spoke during the ceremony, and in a later interview reiterated the importance of this new establishment.
“Whataburger is such a strong brand nationally, and as soon as they announced they were coming to Searcy, the community got so excited because so many people love the restaurant and the brand,” Faulkner said. “We are excited for the summer to get here. Beyond that, 120 to 130 new jobs. From an economic development standpoint, that is significant.”
After the speeches, those present signed their names on the concrete to symbolize the beginning of the new venture with Whataburger and the Searcy community.
Moore also commented on the excitement surrounding the new Whataburger location.
“Just the taste of the Whataburger is different than anything else you can get anywhere,” Moore said. “Just by the name, ‘What a burger’ is what we want you to say when you eat it. Searcy seems like a nice town to be a part of, and I’m excited for that.”
Freshman Kent Cates, who is from Texas, is one member of the student body who is excited for Whataburger to make it to Searcy.
“I love Whataburger for its food, but more primarily because of its welcoming environment,” Cates said. “It is such a good hangout spot for friends.”