Operations

Whataburger makes a move on Las Vegas

The San Antonio-based burger chain opened the largest number of new restaurants in its history last year and now operates more than 1,000 restaurants.
Whataburger Las Vegas
Whataburger opened a two-story location on the Las Vegas Strip. | Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Whataburger is going to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl.

The San Antonio-based burger chain this week opened its first location in Las Vegas, the host city for Sunday’s Super Bowl.

But it also gives the chain its 15th state. Whataburger has been on something of a growth spurt of late, as the company opened 46 corporate locations in 2023 and franchisees another 32. That was the largest number of new locations in company history and gives the chain more than 1,000 locations.

In the process, the company has expanded into a wider selection of markets far beyond its Texas home, where the bulk of those 1,000 restaurants are located. 

Whataburger was the fifth largest fast-food burger chain in the U.S. as of the end of 2022, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

It is part of a generation of swiftly moving quick-service burger chains—along with Culver’s and Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers—that are rapidly moving beyond regional favorites to become forces on a more national scale.

The Las Vegas location is located on the Las Vegas Strip and will be open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. The location adjoins the Waldorf Astoria in a two-story restaurant co-located with Parry’s Pizzeria & Taphouse and was done in partnership with the franchisee, Panda Restaurant Group.

“As the city that never sleeps, and a brand that is open 24/7, it only made sense to bring a Whataburger to the Strip,” Whataburger CEO Ed Nelson said in a statement.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Why Wingstop isn't afraid of Popeyes' chicken wings

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual wing chain says its sales improve when another brand pushes the product. Here’s why that might be.

Food

Mendocino Farms masters a meaty Philly cheesesteak sandwich—without the meat

Behind the Menu: The fast casual uses a mushroom-based meat alternative for its Philly Shroomsteak Sandwich, a new menu item targeted to flexitarians, not just vegans.

Workforce

Pay hike for couriers shakes up food delivery in NYC

Customers are paying more, and couriers are working less. What it all means for restaurants is still unclear, but some fear it could get ugly.

Trending

More from our partners