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08/03/2020

Whataburger President Ed Nelson Promoted to CEO

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
Anna Wolfe  profile picture

Whataburger President Ed Nelson was promoted to CEO of the company on August 1 by BDT Capital Partners.

Nelson, a 16-year veteran of the brand, was named president of Whataburger in July 2019. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to preserve the 70-year-old company’s legacy — while also evolving the brand through a mix of innovation and growth.

 

Under Ed Nelson's leadership, Whataburger added curbside and delivery.

New Service Options: Curbside and Delivery 

Under his leadership, Whataburger has launched curbside and delivery service across its 10-state footprint; introduced three, new limited-time offer burgers ; built seven new restaurants; unveiled modern restaurant designs; and, built a new restaurant prototype and announced plans to begin franchising for the first time in 20 years.

 “Despite the challenging environment presented by COVID-19, Whataburger’s sales have surpassed existing records, and the restaurant teams have achieved new levels of operational success, broadly outperforming the industry," said Tiffany Hagge, Whataburger board member and Partner at BDT Capital Partners. "Ed has been an exceptional leader of the Whataburger team through this adversity.”

COVID-19 Response

Working side-by-side a 15-person Strategy Council, Nelsonhas successfully navigated the business challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While operating a 24/7 Command Center to keep employees and customers safe during COVID, Whataburger temporarily closed its dining rooms and ramped up sales through its new curbside, online app, and delivery services. Nelson also helped shift the company mindset to be more operationally efficient in support of its 837 restaurants.