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Whataburger Takes Customization Culture To New Level

Customized burger pioneer Whataburger puts diehard fans' custom orders on shirts; Progressive new Web site feature lets customers preview T-shirts during design process
    SAN ANTONIO, TX, September 25, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fifty-Nine years after industry pioneer and Whataburger founder Harmon Dobson created a fanatical customer following with his custom-made burgers, the customization craze has come full circle for a generation obsessed with 'made-for-me' cars, shoes and clothing.

Today, there are 36,864 ways to make a Whataburger with special requests like eggs and picante sauce as toppings, and the iconic burger chain is taking customization one step further by letting its customers wear those special orders on their shirts - literally - with a new custom T-shirt that is designed using an interactive portion of Whataburger's Web site.

The T-shirt designs are based on the brightly colored round ingredient stickers the company uses to mark special requests. The online T-shirt design process, at www.whataburger.com/yourburgeryourshirt, starts with customers choosing and clicking on up to nine dots from 11 different options: mayo, no lettuce, jalapeno, dry, plain, special, no onion, no tomato, bacon, no pickle or ketchup. As customers click on each of the dots to add them to their shirt on the Web page, the Whataburger photo to the left of the dots changes, letting customers see what their Whataburger looks like as they customize their shirt.

Next, customers see a preview of their shirt design and then finalize details like the shirt's style, color and size. Customers' shirts are then screen printed with their favorite Whataburger order in the corresponding ingredient stickers and the company's logo. The design can be changed multiple times, whether it is one large blue "special" sticker, signifying special directions like grilled onions or a burger cut in half, or nine smaller stickers of varied colors.

That appeals to devoted customer Travis Barker, 26, of Houston, who started collecting the stickers on the side of a large fry box and plans to frame the box when he completes the collection. Barker orders his Whataburger many different ways to collect the stickers and especially prizes his special edition dots for Whataburger limited availability menu items like the A.1. Thick and Hearty Burger and Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich.

"Whataburger has extremely passionate and dedicated customers who order their custom-made burger week in and week out," said Todd Coerver, Whataburger Restaurants, LP Vice President of Marketing and Innovation. "The shirts are a reflection of what makes Whataburger special. It's all about getting great-tasting, quality food made precisely the way they want it, and now, they can show off their orders on a shirt."

Custom Whataburger T-shirts are available in American Apparel brand women's and men's styles in gray and white for $18 on the company's Web site at www.whataburger.com.

ABOUT WHATABURGER:
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: "What a burger!" Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, all-American beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with nearly 700 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $1 billion annually. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information on the company.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Suzanne Miller or Allison Yeaman
SPM Communications
(817) 329-3257
spm@spmcommunications.com
allison@spmcommunications.com

Natalie Silva
Corporate Communications
Whataburger Restaurants, LP
(210) 476-6547
nsilva@wbhq.com


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Allison Yeaman
SPM Communications

Dallas, Texas
USA
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