Why the Whataburger News is not the World Ending Event it Seems
When news broke Friday (June 14) about Whataburger selling a majority stake to Chicago based BDT Capital Partners, you would have thought the world had come to an end. Why? Why did the amount of negativity produced by this news come to fruition? Where did all this "news" of changes coming to Whataburger come from? Hot dogs? Pizza? Come on Texas, you're better than this.
No one is looking at the real reason behind this move or what it actually means to have have been sold to BDT Capital Partners.
First, the real reason behind this sale. The news came out about a month ago that Whataburger was considering this move. The only reason was to bring in some money from investors so the excellent burger chain could expand out of the South. The question I present is, "Why is this such a bad thing?" As a matter of fact, I've heard many people, including some friends of mine, that have to travel outside of Texas or have moved out of Texas talk about missing Whataburger. Wish granted. The wheels have now been put in motion for everyone to get a taste of our beloved burger, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and chicken strips.
There is no reason to be mad or upset about this.
Plus, the Dobson family will still run the business from it's home office in San Antonio. No moving to Chicago. No moving to New York.
Who is BDT Capital Partners and why shouldn't we be worried? They are an investment group that is, yes, based in Chicago. They take ownership of a company and invest in it to improve the companies growth. They own several very successful businesses; Sara Lee's coffee brand, Panera, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Dunkin', Einstein's and many more.
Every one of those businesses is extremely successful and a couple of you probably visit one or more of those above establishments a couple of times a week already for your favorite item there. We can expect that same success with Whataburger added to their roster.
If you want some further analysis, look no further than Mike Davis from the Cox School of Business at SMU. He told WFAA, "This acquisition is not about hamburgers. It’s about finance. The Whataburger model is working relatively well right now. This acquisition was really all about Whataburger trying to enlist some outside help to help them raise the capital, and also the expertise to expand nationwide."
I'm about to get skewered for this but bottom line is, Whataburger is not changing. Everyone freaking out about this needs to look at how insignificant this is in the grand scheme of things.
As always, you have your opinion and I have mine. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong and I will come back and admit that I was wrong. But in no way will you be able to order a Chicago style deep dish pizza at Whataburger in the future. Or a hot dog. Or any other Chicago inspired food. Your number one with cheese with a Dr. Pepper shake is safe.