AUSTIN, Texas — The orange-and-white stripes of Whataburger are arguably as "Texas" as longhorns or bluebonnets.
But now, the chain is getting a little Midwest influence.
It was announced Friday that Chicago-based investment banking company BDT Capital Partners has acquired a majority interest in Whataburger.
But, under the new ownership, the popular Texas burger joint will remain headquartered in San Antonio and still be run by the current team of Whataburger executives.
As a news release sent out Friday stated, "Whataburger’s leadership team holds more than 150 years of combined experience growing the Whataburger brand."
The company started nearly 70 years ago, back in 1950 in South Texas.
The founding family, the Dobsons, will now hold minority ownership.
Pam Cox, the Vice President of Brand Communications for Whataburger, said the effort to keep the grassroots traditions alive will still be there.
"And for our existing customers, we want you to know, that we are committed to the tradition and the legacy the Dobson family has built and we will do everything we can to continue making you proud," Cox said. "We wanna take our brand to new markets and new customers and give people an opportunity to see what people love about us."
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News of the sale reverberated throughout the Lone Star State Friday. Austinites told KVUE it's simple: When you think of Whataburger, you think of Texas.
"It's a Texas icon for sure – a Texas icon," Sheila Rabun said. "Been eating them since I was like four years old so."
Some said they understand that change could have happened sooner or later, but they just want the authenticity of the restaurant to stay.
"Whataburger is Number 1 to me. I don't go to any other place really," Melissa Soto said. "It's a good thing, in a way, but I'd like to keep Whataburger a Texas-based place, ya know?"
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