Whataburger Signs First New Franchisee In More Than A Decade <b></b>

Corpus Christi, Texas-Houston businessman Theldon Branchhas done something no one else has done in more than adecade-become a new Whataburger franchisee. The company marked theoccasion with a signing ceremony at Whataburger's corporateoffices.

The company began actively interviewing new franchisees lastyear as part of its new growth initiative under new president TimTaft. Branch, who is planning to open five Whataburger restaurantsin the next 24 months, was selected to be the first new franchiseeafter an intensive qualification process.

Taft said Branch's extensive franchisee experience,including nine years as a multiple Wendy's franchisee and hiscurrent franchise agreement with Church's Chicken in theHouston area, made him the perfect candidate.

"Theldon Branch is a proven success as an operator ofquality quick-service restaurants," Taft said. "Herepresents what the new franchise initiative is all about: bringingnew people into the Whataburger family who will understand anduphold our commitment to being the best burger company in theindustry."

Branch, operating as Houston Food Group Inc., has nonexclusiverights to open five restaurants in Whataburger's targeteddevelopment markets between Texas and Florida, along the I-10corridor.

"I have been interested in becoming a Whataburgerfranchisee for many years, and this new initiative came along atthe perfect time," Branch said. "I feel very proud to beinvolved with what I believe is the best franchise opportunity, andthe best burger company, around." -Business Wire

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