Whataburger Franchise Owner Salary & Payback Period 2024

Whataburger is a well-known fast-food chain in Texas and in America, and entrepreneurs willing to open a fast-food franchise might be wondering how much a Whataburger franchise owner makes.

Do not worry! In this guide, we have shared all the nitty-gritty of this franchise, including its owner salary, failure rate, payback period, profit potential, etc.

So make sure you do not skip anything!

How Much Does A Whataburger Franchise Owner Make

about Whataburger

Whataburger is one of the most famous fast-food chains in America that serves a wide variety of items, including taquitos, chicken, pancakes, sandwiches, patty meals, fries, and onion rings.

Whataburger was established by Harmon Dobson on Arya Street in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950.

He started the chain with a simple goal: to serve a burger that requires both hands to hold and tastes so delicious that it would scream, “What a Burger.” 

The founder succeeded in his goal, and today, there are more than 900 Whataburger locations in 14 states and still counting.

Whataburger offers franchise opportunities to young entrepreneurs who are willing to serve delicious burgers and have the passion to run a business.

They do not require any prior experience; however, franchises must complete the training provided by them.

If you want to find out how much does a Whataburger franchise owner make, then keep on reading!

How Much Does A Whataburger Franchise Owner Make?

The earnings of each Whataburger franchise location may vary depending on its location, operating cost, demand in the area, number of staff members, etc.

Also, Whataburger has not shared any official data that could reveal the revenue or profit of its franchises.

However, we estimate that a Whataburger franchise owner makes average sales of $3,539,51 annually.

Please note that this is just an estimate based on unofficial data, and the actual number may be slightly more or less than this.

How Much Does Whataburger Employee Earn?

The pay of a Whataburger employee may vary based on their experience level, skills, department, designation, location, and more.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay of Whataburger ranges from $8.00 per hour to $32.40 per hour.

If we look at Whataburger’s salary in yearly terms then the average Whataburger pay ranges from $17,000 per year for an entry-level position of, say, a Food Service Worker to $131,728 per year for a higher-level position of, say, Director of Operations.

Pros & Cons Of Whataburger Franchise

Pros Of Whataburger Franchise

  • Wide menu.
  • Recognized Brand.
  • Profitable.
  • Offers training and support.
  • No prior experience is compulsory.

Cons Of Whataburger Franchise

  • Requires you to have $5,000,000 of liquid assets and $12.5 million of net worth.
  • Negative controversy.

Whataburger Franchise Average Revenue & Profit

Whataburger Franchise Average Revenue & Profit

As mentioned earlier Whataburger has not revealed any official records that could confirm the average revenue and profit of its franchises.

However, as per unofficial data, it is estimated that a Whataburger franchise owner makes $3,539,518 in revenue annually and estimated profits of $530,927 annualy.

Now since it is just an estimate, a Whataburger franchise owner may make more or less than this amount.

This is how we calculated this amount:

Financial OverviewPercentage of RevenueAmount ($)
Individual Franchise Annual Revenue100%3539518.00
Franchise Royalty Fees5.31%(188036.89)
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)26.56%(940184.47)
Labor (Variable)13.81%(488895.92)
Total (Expenses)85.00%(3008590.30)
Net Profit15.00%530927.70

Note: The displayed expenses are estimates based on industry averages and standard costs. Actual expenses may vary due to factors like location, business size, and market conditions. We recommend conducting detailed research or consulting with a financial advisor for a tailored financial analysis.

Whataburger Franchise Failure Rate

Whataburger is fairly new to franchising, and the majority of its outlets are company owned.

Also, it offers franchising in a very small geographic territory. As such, not much can be said about the failure rate of the Whataburger franchise.

However, we do know that in 2021, 14 new Whataburger franchises opened.

This number might seem small in comparison to its 900+ locations. But like we said, most of its locations are company-owned as of now.

Whataburger Franchise Payback Period

To find out the payback period for Whataburger Franchise, let us do some calculations:



= 2225000/530927 = 4.1 = 4 Years based on median

The average investment for a Whataburger Franchise is $2,225,000.

With an average profit percentage of 15%, Whataburger average owner salary per year is $530,927.

This means that the average payback period for a Whataburger Franchise is 4 years, and the total investment of $2,225,000 would be recouped within this period.

Facts About Whataburger

Facts About Whataburger
  • You can customize your Whataburger in 36,864 ways.
  • The orange and white striped design of Whataburger locations inspired Dobson’s interest in flying and the idea of being able to spot a restaurant from the sky.
  • Whataburger is equally known for its ketchup as they are for its burger. Their ketchup tastes unique, and you can even buy them from H.E.B stores.
  • Whataburger has been voted as the best burger in America, according to a poll done by FastCompany.
  • The first ever Whataburger cost only $0.25, and Whataburger made a sale of $50 on its first day.
  • Over the past 65 years, the recipe for Whataburger has remained the same.
  • In 1976, Harmon Dobson, the founder of Whataburger, was killed in a plane crash.


What Is Whataburger Best Known For?

Whataburger has been named one of America’s Top 25 burger restaurants, and it is known for its 5-inch-sized burgers.

Whataburger started with the aim of serving a burger that required both hands to hold and had a taste so delicious that it would exclaim, “What A Burger.”

In addition to this, Whataburger is also very popular for its ketchup, so much so that you can find a bottle of their ketchup in many grocery stores.

Apart from giant-sized burgers, Whataburger also serves, Whatachicken, sandwiches, patty meals, etc.

Here are some of the most liked items on the Whataburger menu:

  • Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit
  • Double Meat Whataburger
  • Sweet & Spicy Bacon Burger
  • Taquito with Cheese
  • Onion Rings
  • Chocolate Shake
  • Avocado Bacon Burger
  • Whataburger
  • Whatachick’n Strips
  • Whataburger Patty Melt
  • Whatachick’n Sandwich

Is Whataburger Franchise Profitable?

There is no official record that could confirm whether Whataburger is profitable or not.

However, as per unofficial information, we found that a Whataburger franchise owner makes an estimated average annual profit of $530,927.

This number is at par with a profit margin of 15% which is as per the industry standard.

Considering the huge investment that you are required to make in opening this franchise, it would take 4-5 years for you to recover the initial investment amount, which is not so bad.

So on the basis of this unofficial data, we can say that the Whataburger franchise is profitable.

Whataburger Franchise Earning Potential

Not much can be said about the franchise earning potential of Whataburger because of the lack of official information.

The geographical boundary of Whataburger is very small, which does not leave much room for the company to expand and grow.

If the company decides to expand its franchises in the future, then it might open gates for more profitability.

As of now, we cannot say much about the franchise earning potential of Whataburger, unfortunately.

Wrap Up

As we discussed above, Whataburger is a fast-food chain that serves delicious burgers and beef.

It offers franchise opportunities without any prior experience, and the policies of the Whataburger franchise are also very flexible. 

However, in order to be eligible, you must meet their massive financial requirements.

And if we talk about sales and profitability, then we estimate that Whataburger is a profitable franchise.

So to conclude, we recommend you get in touch with the company to procure the exact details about their sales and profit figure, and if you have the kind of massive money it needs to open this franchise, then you can consider investing in it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much royalty and marketing fees does Whataburger charge?

Whataburger has not disclosed any information on its royalty and marketing fees. However, as per the industry standard, both fees might lie in the range of 4%-5% of net sales.

What is the financial requirment to open a Whataburger franchise?

To open a Whataburger franchise, you must meet the following financial requirements:

  • Have a net worth of $12.5 million.
  • Have liquid assets of $5,000,000.
  • A good credit score.

What is the franchise fee of Whataburger?

Whataburger has not revealed how much does it charge for its franchise fees.

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