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Whataburger thanks employees for 'extraordinary service' by giving them $90 million in bonuses

Employees will also receive Extra Mile bonuses, emergency pay, and a doubling of their 401(k) plan matching for 2020.

Whataburger thanks employees for 'extraordinary service' by giving them $90 million in bonuses
Image Source: Whataburger website

Texas-based fast food restaurant, Whataburger, has announced more than $90 million in bonuses to its employees. The bonus is a way of thanking its employees for their extraordinary service and sticking with them through the hard year that was 2020, as well as the severe winter "across its 10-state footprint." In a press release, the San Antonio-based food company also mentioned that their employees will receive Extra Mile bonuses, emergency pay, and a doubling of their 401(k) plan matching for 2020. The company currently has 840 restaurants with about 46,000 employees they refer to as Family Members.




The previous year was a difficult one for everyone, especially essential workers that included restaurant workers. But with the outbreak of the pandemic, the first industry to suffer was the restaurant industry. With precautionary measures like lockdowns, millions of people lost their jobs. According to, nearly 2.5 million jobs were lost by the end of 2020. At the same time, when public spaces were opened without countering the spread of the virus, these frontline workers were in direct contact with their customers when physical distancing was the need of the hour. Despite wearing masks and sanitizing, they were very susceptible to exposure to the virus. 







"The past year reshaped how we live, work, and play, with the restaurant and hospitality industry being heavily impacted by the pandemic and this year's crippling winter storms," Ed Nelson, Whataburger CEO said in the statement. "We are so humbled and grateful for the loyalty of our customers during this time. And we wanted to help ensure that our Family Members and their families were taken care of and thank them for continuing to go the extra mile to serve our guests with great Pride, Care, and Love. Our Family Members and guests are the foundation of our success, and we are grateful for both."




Despite the severe hit the economy took owing to the pandemic, Whataburger has seen the largest growth phase in its 70+ year history. This prompted the company to elevate the designation of the General Managers at its restaurants to their new title of Operating Partners. "Operating Partners are business leaders who run multimillion-dollar restaurants, take care of their teams, and serve as the face of Whataburger in their communities," explained Nelson. "They are the hearts and souls of our brand." Operating Partners also have an enhanced remuneration that allows them to take home a six-figure salary and benefits of a bonus that could go up to 150 percent of their target incentive. They will still enjoy a work-like balance.




Pam Nemec, Senior Vice President of HR and Brand Culture at the company stated, "We've been helping our Family Members build careers for more than 70 years. From internally promoting our very own brilliant minds to attracting ambitious outside talent, we are committed to providing competitive incentives and great career opportunities in the communities we serve. Nemec added, "This generation of restaurant leaders is bringing Whataburger goodness to communities across the US while embracing self-empowerment to build and tailor their own leadership paths."




Whataburger, which serves made-to-order burgers, has been in service since 1950. The company generates more than $2.5 billion in annual sales. Their success during the preceding year has led them to expand to newer markets. According to their website, nearly 35 new restaurants are expected to be built, in addition to remodeling many existing restaurants. The restaurant chain has recently even confirmed in a statement that it is planning to expand north and open a restaurant in Colorado. As per 9 News, the company said, “Whataburger is growing, and we have more good news. It’s true we are planning to bring our iconic burgers and exceptional customer service to Colorado Springs. We'll have more information to share in the future, but we have some great fans in Colorado Springs and we hope they’re as excited as we are.”





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