When I was little, in the 70’s and 80’s, there was a Whataburger in Madison, Tennessee that was housed in a triangular shaped building. It was odd at that time since architecture was more boxy and basic. Whataburger stood out with their orange and white stripe branding. I remember eating there a time or two. It closed at some point and the building was painted bright pink and it became a standout Flowers Express that remains to this day.
As I watch people clamoring for a place in line at the grand opening of Whataburger in Hermitage, my husband states that it’s just another brand of burger around here. Nothing special. So why are people waiting in line in the cold and causing traffic jams on Old Hickory Boulevard to get a good fast food burger?
I am suggesting that it’s not the burger they are waiting for. It isn’t the fries or the bubbly soda. It’s not the branding or friendly personnel. I am suggesting that they are waiting for the warm feeling of joy and happy memories that come from food.
In the late 90’s there began a movement to go to the beach in Destin, Gulf Shores and the Florida panhandle from the mid south area, specifically Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, etc. It was a drivable distance plus people made a shift to creating memories for their families rather than “things”. Whataburger sits positioned at just the right spot to entice travelers to stop and sup as they go on vacation to a joy-filled spot where memories of a lifetime are created. Whataburger is associated with happy memories. What are people standing in line for? Joyful memories that are housed in orange and white striped branding.
Sometimes it isn’t the burger that is the draw. It is the memories evoked and the conversation starters at the table over a fast food burger and fries. Happiness comes in many forms and today it comes in the form of a hamburger.
Go forth and be fabulous, Friends!
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach and author who shares personal stories of triumphs and tragedies to give hope to a dying world.