Proving their knowledge and expertise in operations, company history and customer service, Whataburger announced the 23 teams advancing to compete during the 2017 WhataGames Finals. Originally created in 1996, WhataGames is a longstanding company-wide tradition committed to enhancing the Whataburger experience for team members and customers alike.
The 23 finalist teams advanced from a pool of 126 semifinalists, who beat out their competitors among Whataburger's more than 800 restaurants in 10 states. Teams will face off during three days of high-intensity elimination rounds at the WhataGames Finals next month, where one team will be awarded the Gold Medal and honor of being named WhataGames 2017 Champion. Whataburger will also award more than $200,000 in cash prizes to all members of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winning teams, including those who stayed back to operate and manage their stores while their peers represented them in the competition.
Competing teams consist of employees from all aspects of restaurant operations, including those who maintain and test equipment for Whataburger facilities.
"Each team member plays such an important role at our restaurants, and there is nothing better than seeing the smiles on their faces as they compete for the big win," says Rob Rodriguez, SVP of restaurants. "WhataGames is more than a competition to us. It's a way for us to bring together the entire Whataburger Family to celebrate our hard-working teams in a fun, spirited environment full of energy and excitement."
Finalist teams are made up of 15 competitors. Each member of the Gold Medal-winning team receives $5,000, each Silver Medal team member wins $2,500, and each Bronze Medal team member wins $1,000. Additionally, all Whataburger Family Members at the winning restaurants receive 10 percent of the finalist prize amount; $500, $250, and $100, respectively.
WhataGames Finals are the featured event during the Whataburger Family Convention, which will be held in April at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The convention is a family occasion, hosting Whataburger corporate and regional representatives, franchisees and suppliers and the WhataGames national finalists.
WhataGames Restaurant Finalists 2017
Unit 1015 2910 W. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix
Unit 805 10725 Emerald Coast Parkway, Sandestin
Unit 843 3611 Sangani Blvd., D'Iberville
Unit 1042 4888 E 21st St S., Tulsa
Unit 448 5869 S. Cooper St., Arlington
Unit 740 6100 FM 802, Brownsville
Unit 777 3580 W. Alton Gloor Blvd., Brownsville
Unit 1010 730 N. Denton Tap Road, Coppell
Unit 824 26040 Highway 290, Cypress
Unit 107 2113 Veterans Blvd., Del Rio
Unit 372 131 S. Americas Ave., El Paso
Unit 831 1201 W. Glade Road Suite 200, Euless
Unit 751 2000 State Highway 26, Grapevine
Unit 893 1000 Main St. Suite T34, Houston
Unit 4 510 S. 14th St., Kingsville
Unit 947 5401 FM 1626 Suite 500, Kyle
Unit 410 1726 Military Parkway, Mesquite
Unit 295 1905 N. Big Spring St., Midland
Unit 1008 18303 W. Interstate 10, San Antonio
Unit 839 2203 E. Evans Road, San Antonio
Unit 631 10315 S. Highway 6, Sugar Land
Unit 1088 148 FM Road 148, Terrell
Unit 978 103 E. Highway 80, White Oak
WhataGames Maintenance Finalists 2017
Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Area: Lead Tech Danny Wise (Jackson, Miss.); Equipment Tech Jeff Farmer (Tallahassee, Fla.); Equipment Tech Scott Foster (Pensacola, Fla.); All-Trades Tech Michael Braford (Birmingham, Ala.)
Houston, Texas Area: Lead Tech Mariano (Chuy) Dominguez (Houston, Texas); Equipment Tech Cristobal Garcia (Houston, Texas); All-Trades Tech Gerald Pacheco (Houston, Texas); All-Trades Tech Richie Smith (Houston, Texas).
Central Texas Area: Lead Tech Mike Connell (San Antonio, Texas); Equipment Tech Jordan Flores (Austin, Texas); Equipment Tech Scott Adams (San Antonio, Texas); All-Trades Tech Gary Michalek (San Antonio, Texas).
West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona Area: Lead Tech John Marriott (Phoenix, Ariz.); All-Trades Tech Gabe Tiscareno (El Paso, Texas); All-Trades Tech Jack Copeland (Lubbock, Texas); Equipment Tech Robbie Langston (Abilene, Texas).
South Texas Area: Lead Tech Hilario Ramirez (Corpus Christi, Texas); Equipment Tech Jorge Cavazos (Corpus Christi, Texas); All-Trades Tech John Garrett (Corpus Christi, Texas); Equipment Tech Joe Benavidez (Weslaco, Texas).
North Texas and Oklahoma Area: Lead Tech Jaron Barnhill (Oklahoma City, Okla.); Equipment Tech Bryan Hicks (Dallas, Texas); Equipment Tech James Higdon (Dallas, Texas); All-Trades Tech John Wilson (Oklahoma City, Okla.)