Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a Texas native, is a new franchisee of his hometown burger chain, Whataburger.
Mahomes is an investor in a group that plans to open 30 Whataburgers in Kansas and Missouri in the next seven years, the San Antonio-based chain announced this week.
“I love Kansas City and I love Whataburger,” Mahomes said in a statement. “I’m excited to help bring a gift from my first home to my second home.”
The new franchise group is called KMO Burger, and its first restaurants are slated to open in Kansas City, Mo., late next year.
Whataburger currently has more than 850 locations in 14 states.
In 2019, family-owned Whataburger agreed to sell a controlling interest of the chain to BDT Capital Partners, a merchant bank, to fuel its expansion. Before getting sold, Whataburger hadn’t franchised for two decades.
The chain has developed a cult-like following since opening as a roadside stand more than 70 years ago.
Whataburger had previously announced plans for four restaurants to open later this year in Kansas.
“We are excited to have KMO Burger join the Whataburger team,” Ed Nelson, the chain’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Expanding to Kansas and Missouri is a win for Whataburger and our fans in America’s heartland.”
Mahomes has long made his love of Whataburger public. In 2018, during his Super Bowl MVP season, he shared his fondness for the chain’s ketchup. Whataburger tweeted the quarterback a picture of its sauce and asked where it could be shipped.
“I just want a store in Kansas City!” Mahomes replied.