whataburger meal
photo: Whataburger Facebook

It’s official! Whataburger corporate communications reports, “…Whataburger will be bringing our iconic burgers and exceptional customer service to Murfreesboro! We hope our fans here are as excited as we are….”

We previously reported that Whataburger had plans for new restaurants across Middle Tennessee, including Murfreesboro. The first bright orange “W” will appear in Murfreesboro at the site of the former Chicago Pizza building on Old Fort Parkway. The old building will be razed to make way for the new Whataburger. The company plans to hire more than 200 employees in Nashville in 2021, and a total of more than 1,300 by year-end 2022 as they open more locations in the area, including the Murfreesboro site.

What many today don’t know is that Whataburger was in the Nashville area beginning in the 1950s until the 1970s, when all locations were closed down.

The first Whataburger opened on Dickerson Road in Nashville in the mid-1950s, according to nashvillehistory.com. The restaurant was built as a drive-through with a slanted roof and a big drive-up window on one side. Drive-up or curb service were offered, but no inside seating. Then, “A Whataburger was a jumbo-sized hamburger that came dressed with mustard, chopped lettuce, chopped onion, tomato slices and dill pickle slices,” the website says. Other items included the Whataburger, Jr, Just-a-Burger, Coney Island hot dog, French fries, soft drinks, and milk shakes. In 1968, the price of a Whataburger was thirty-five cents.

By the early 1970s, the original Tennessee franchise location had been shut down, but new locations had opened in other parts of Nashville and the surrounding area. Until the Texas-based chain announced a number of openings to occur this year in the Nashville area, the ones in Middle Tennessee had all been long gone.

Whataburger has become very popular, and a petition with 6,0000 signatures requesting a location open in Murfreesboro was sent to the corporate office in 2019, according to WGNS radio. Whataburger is best known for its signature, fresh-never-frozen, made-to-order beef burgers, available 24 hours a day. They are also known for their Dr. Pepper Milkshake. Breakfast is served from 11:00 pm until 11:00 am. It features items such as their well-loved Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, Breakfast on a Bun, and Breakfast Taquitos.

Founded by Harmon Dodson in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas as a small roadside stand, Whataburger now has more than 840 locations across 10 states. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Their sales are more than $2.5 billion annually. Newsweek ranked Whataburger second on its 2021 list of America’s Best Customer Service brands in the Fast Food category.

“At Whataburger, we believe a great customer experience starts with an exceptional employee experience, which is why we’re looking for caring leaders who can motivate and reward teams,” said Pam Nemec, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Brand Culture, on the Whataburger website. “We compensate well and have a robust training program to teach needed skills. Even without restaurant experience, leaders can succeed at Whataburger with the right attitude and leadership ability.”

Visit whataburger.com for more information