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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 11:35 PM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is online now
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What a move! Whataburger's HQ headed to S.A.



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Web Posted: 11/21/2008 4:19 CST

What a move! Whataburger headed to S.A.

By Creighton Welch - Express-News

Fast food chain Whataburger announced Friday it is moving its corporate headquarters from Corpus Christi to San Antonio.

About 250 employees will be asked to make the move, which will likely begin sometime in early 2009. Whataburger has more than 21,000 total employees.

The current headquarters in Corpus Christi will remain open indefinitely to help smooth the transition, said Pam Cox, corporate communications director. The company is still looking for its space in San Antonio.

"Whataburger has always made decisions based on what's best for our business and our family members," Preston Atkinson, Whataburger Restaurants LP president and COO, said in a news release. "We feel it's our responsibility to prepare our company for long term stability and growth opportunities."

The family-owned restaurant has more than 700 locations in 10 states, and crossed the $1 billion annual sales mark in 2007.

"San Antonio is a very centrally-located city to those states and we felt like it would be a good place for us to travel in and out of," Cox said. "We liked the fact that we’d be moving further inland and away from the coast and the threat of hurricanes."

Founder Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger in Corpus Christi in 1950 as a roadside stand where he sold hamburgers for 25 cents each.

"This was a very difficult and emotional decision for us. Corpus Christi, the Dobson family and Whataburger have grown together over the last 58 years and we're immensely grateful for the city of Corpus Christi and the community here that has helped us become who we are today," Tom Dobson, Whataburger Restaurants LP Chairman and CEO, said in a news release.

Cox said the move shouldn’t affect the restaurants or food in any way.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 12:30 AM
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That's kind of sad actually. Even being presented with seafood down there, I always felt good about eating at Whataburger at the 2-story one in downtown.

I imagine it became a no-brainer after a while with fuel prices. Just look at a map and where I-37 leads to.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 12:36 AM
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Send them up here, please
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 12:38 AM
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Hmm, so we lose an international, multi-billion dollar telecommunications company. . . and gain a regional burger chain.

Whatever, I'll take it. Whataburger rocks!
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 1:37 AM
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just like you like it...
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 1:48 AM
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God dammit SA, stop stealing CC's companies. First HEB, now Whataburger.

Quote:
"San Antonio is a very centrally-located city to those states and we felt like it would be a good place for us to travel in and out of," Cox said. "We liked the fact that we’d be moving further inland and away from the coast and the threat of hurricanes."
Really? Does moving 100 miles up the road to city with 3 interstates instead of 1 and a nominally larger airport with little in the way of direct flights really make a difference? And since when is moving to stay out of the way of hurricanes ever been an excuse for anyone to move?

The way I see it, you have a CEO with no familial ties to the original company making a strictly personal and subjective decision.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 2:07 AM
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if you go to the corpus christi caller-times' page and click on the article about this there are about a million comments like the one above, only most of them are angry at corpus and lashing out.

pretty tough times for CC it sounds like and the people who are chiming in don't sound very happy with their leadership or their future prospects.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 3:00 AM
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My gosh, we've just become everything we hate...Dallas.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 3:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
God dammit SA, stop stealing CC's companies. First HEB, now Whataburger.
Huh?? The first HEB was in Kerrville.
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 3:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
God dammit SA, stop stealing CC's companies. First HEB, now Whataburger.



Really? Does moving 100 miles up the road to city with 3 interstates instead of 1 and a nominally larger airport with little in the way of direct flights really make a difference? And since when is moving to stay out of the way of hurricanes ever been an excuse for anyone to move?

The way I see it, you have a CEO with no familial ties to the original company making a strictly personal and subjective decision.

Kind of like the way Phoenix tried to steal USAA. Companies move; get use to it. HEB didn't start in Corpus. And hurricanes are a valid reason to move. Try running a corporate HQs when your county is cordoned off. Few employees and limited power provided by generators, even for two or three weeks, seems a very good reason to leave. I saw it first hand during the IKE recovery in the Golden Triangle. I spoke to one CEO. He said, "I've thought about moving the company further inland." I'm sure y'all can guess my suggestion. I doubt they will leave anytime soon, which is good since the region really needs this company. I feel bad for CC, but I think Dobson is using better reasoning than Stephenson, for moving his company. %@** we lost Fuddruckers.

SAT is significantly larger than CRP. It's one of the fastest growing airports in the country and offers a good amount of direct flights, especially when you consider the proximity of DFW, DAL, and IAT.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:18 AM
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Originally Posted by alexjon View Post
Send them up here, please
I wish we could - all of them. It's not my favorite place. But this good news for San Antonio.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:25 AM
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SAT does have direct flights to Phoenix and Tampa, which are Whataburger's two biggest markets outside of TX. If they ever expand into the Atlanta area, SA has a ton of direct flights there too.

I do feel bad for CC. I'd much rather poach a company from DFW or Houston, since they already have so many they'd hardly notice. Plus, this move is eerily similar to AT&T moving. Biggest company in the region, puts out the announcement on a friday afternoon, none of the city leadership seemed to have had a clue a move was in the works, air travel is used as a reason/excuse for moving. . . Freaky.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
God dammit SA, stop stealing CC's companies. First HEB, now Whataburger.
HEB started in Kerrville and then moved to Corpus.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:34 AM
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I should have added some personal commentary to my post.

I feel terrible for Corpus as it has to suck to have your biggest company leave town. AT&T, although not our biggest company, leaving was disheartening to say the least and the BS reason was just salt on a wound.
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  #15  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:35 AM
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Obviously, when you compare this move to some of the new jobs coming to SA, (ie Rackspace 4,000 and BRAC 12,000) it doesn't look too impressive, but this is good news for SA. It is only 250 employees, but a good deal of those are most likely well paying positions.

Maybe they can buy some of the homes in Stone Oak that the AT&T folks can't sell.

It would be nice if they moved the offices downtown, but I doubt that will happen.

Last edited by STLtoSA; Nov 22, 2008 at 5:06 AM.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 5:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
God dammit SA, stop stealing CC's companies. First HEB, now Whataburger.



Really? Does moving 100 miles up the road to city with 3 interstates instead of 1 and a nominally larger airport with little in the way of direct flights really make a difference? And since when is moving to stay out of the way of hurricanes ever been an excuse for anyone to move?

The way I see it, you have a CEO with no familial ties to the original company making a strictly personal and subjective decision.
Actually, being in SA will benefit Whataburger greatly.

Standard of living is better - good for employees.

Traveling expenses will vastly be reduced by flying from SAT.

I don't see how one can say that SA's airport is nominally larger than CC's - In 2007 Corpus Christi IA saw a total of 874,961 passengers (enplaned and deplaned) where as in 2006, SAT saw 8,031,045 passengers. For those of you doing the math...that is almost ten times the volume.

I feel bad for Corpus, but it is a good thing for SA.
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 5:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanshirt View Post
Hmm, so we lose an international, multi-billion dollar telecommunications company. . . and gain a regional burger chain.

Whatever, I'll take it. Whataburger rocks!
SA lost Luby's to Houston a few years back so now I guess Whataburger makes up for that.

AT&T was a HUGE loss for SA though...
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 6:48 AM
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AT&T was a big loss, but man I have lost them twice now...once as Southwestern Bell in St. Louis and now as AT&T in San Antonio. AT&T is leaving SA with 1700 more jobs than they had in SA before they came from STL.

True that these were high level positions lost and the economic impact of losing the positions is great, but the recent addition of the Toyota plant, Growth of Rackspace, and BRAC will more than make up for the loss of 700 A&T employees.
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  #19  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 7:40 AM
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I still wonder why DQ won't just move its headquarters to Texas. We have the largest ammount of DQ franchises in the nation right here in Texas.

Ironically however DQ didn't start in Texas as most genuine Texans assume it did...try Chicago.
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2008, 4:39 PM
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wow, I just had the strangest dream. It was about Whataburger agreeing to build a 900-ft, 75-story tower downtown. Only it was bright blue stucco and the roof was shaped like a giant W with orange and white stripes. . .

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