This next battle hits a little close to home. In recent mourning of our beloved Whataburger being bought out by a Chicago firm (BDT Capital Partners), we decided to pay tribute in this week’s battle: The Fast-Food Faceoff. We know Texas’ slight obsession with Whataburger is extreme, but another fast-food company with an outrageous fan-following has recently made its way to the Lone Star State. In light of In-N-Out’s attempt to sway the hearts of Texans away from Whataburger, let the Fast-Food Faceoff commence.
All Hail Whataburger
There is no question that our love for Whataburger runs deep in our roots. Can you blame us? Honey butter chicken biscuits are completely acceptable for every meal, and we are not ashamed of it. Honey butter chicken biscuits aside, Whataburger was born and raised in Texas. The first one was created in Corpus Christi in 1950, and since then the chain has grown faster than a hot knife slicing through butter. And while their name may emphasize burgers, their menu has plenty of variety.
But what gives Whataburger its diehard fan-base? It isn’t just their food. As cheesy as it is, it’s the experience. You can walk into any Whataburger and expect that sweet, southern hospitality. After giving you that signature orange-and-white-striped table tent with your order number (which are commonly stolen and proudly displayed), the staff will hand-deliver your meal with condiments and napkins. And in case you haven’t heard, there is no such thing as regular ketchup at Whataburger. You either want Spicy Ketchup or Fancy Ketchup. Does Whataburger have any faults? Probably, but we choose not to see them.
The California King, In-N-Out.
In-N-Out has been a west-coast hit since 1948, but recently it has made its way to the state of Texas. In-N-Out’s Californian fanbase does parallel Whataburger’s, with enthusiasts even creating In-N-Out fan pages to share their love. With similar products, they became an evident competitor to Whataburger but In-N-Out stays true to their identity no matter their location. With their signature red-and-white palm tree tiles lining the wall and neon yellow signs, you almost feel like you’ve walked back in time to a 50’s Californian diner.
Their menu is much smaller, but this was the goal of the original owner: a simple, and consistent menu. Their menu may look basic, but they offer plenty of ways to spice up their meals. Between their secret sauce and completely secret menu, they still offer some variety. The most common secret menu item? Animal style burger and fries (sounds creepy, we know, but honestly, it’s pretty good).
Texas ain’t big enough for the two of ‘em. Who do you think is winning the Fast-Food Faceoff?