Industry News | July 11, 2012 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Whataburger Unveils Menu Redesign, Under-550 Calorie Offerings

Last week, Whataburger hosted its own version of “Exteme Makeover: Menu Edition” when it unleashed a brand new menu redesign and item additions in its stores nationwide on July 2.

Rather than continuing to feature its items grouped in “meals,” the updated menuboard is classified in simplified categories like Burgers, Chicken, and Breakfast.

“Research showed that it was easier for customers to navigate through the menu with this new organization,” says Rich Scheffler, Whatabruger group director of marketing and innovation.

The redesign also made it simpler for the brand to usher in a host of new menu items, including the Grilled Chicken Melt, a grilled chicken sandwich topped with grilled onions, poblano and red bell peppers, and Monterey Jack cheese.

In addition, Whataburger introduced two new salads as part of the refreshed menu. These include a classic Garden Salad and the Apple & Cranberry Chicken salad, made with romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, fresh apples, and shredded Cheddar cheese topped with grilled chicken or a Whatachick’n Filet.

Fresh offerings also include Low-Fat Honey Pepper Vinaigrette and Low-Fat Herb Vinaigrette to complement the new salads and the brand’s existing lineup of salad dressings.

Scheffler says the salads meet the demands of a wide variety of Whataburger customers who want the quick serve to provide a lot of options when it comes to menu choices.

This is one reason why Whataburger’s menu redesign also comes with a new 550 Calories or Less menu that highlights a number of the brand’s healthier items.

“We know that our customers come to us for different reasons,” including for lighter fare, Scheffler says. “So we wanted to make sure we highlighted some of those options for them.”

Scheffler says the items on the under-550 menu, like the new Chicken Fajita Taco (420 calories) and the Grilled Chicken Melt (460 calories), still have all of the “big flavor” customers have come to expect.

Other items on the menu include: the Whataburger Jr. with bacon and cheese (400 calories), the Double Meat Whataburger Jr. with cheese (470 calories), the Grilled Chicken Sandwich (510 calories), and the Whatacatch Sandwich (450 calories).

Customers can also eat healthy when it comes to breakfast, thanks to items like the Bacon and Egg Taquito (ringing in at 380 calories) and the Egg Sandwich (only 310 calories).

Kids are seeing new offerings coming their way, too, including a Grilled Cheese on Texas Toast and Whatachick’n Bites.

To help customers get accustomed to the menu redesign and additions, Scheffler says stores handed out materials and menus during the week before changes took place to explain the new menuboard organization.

“It’s about customers whose meal number may have changed getting used to a new number to order when they come to the counter,” he says.

By Mary Avant