**Editors note: This story has been updated to state that there are Whataburger restaurants in ten states instead of the eight that was reported. Story has been updated throughout.**
HARLINGEN, Texas (KGBT) — Whataburger, the Texas fast-food staple, will soon be owned by an investment firm out of Chicago.
Instead of seeing Whataburger in the ten states the company has restaurants in, more Whataburger restaurants might soon pop-up across the United States.
The San Antonio-based fast-food chain announced BDT Capital Partners Investment of Chicago will be buying the majority shares in Whataburger.
“And so the question is why? If you look at Whataburger, they’re tremendously successful,” said Kevin Peek, an economist from South Texas College.
Peek says this move could actually bring more of Texas to other parts of the U.S.
“What [BDT Capital is] aspiring towards, is an expansion on the level of a McDonald’s or a Burger King or a Wendy’s,” Peek said.
Currently, Whataburger has nearly 850 locations in ten states stretching from Florida to Arizona.
With new money injected into the fast-food chain, a much quicker expansion could occur.
But there are still skeptics. Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt tweeted out, “OK, I say we all chip in and buy Whataburger back. Make honey butter chicken biscuits available all day, add kolaches to the menu and change nothing else. Especially not the ketchup.”
“Sometimes when things get bigger, they want to skim down on how the ingredients go,” said Gloria Avendaño from McAllen.
But economists say not to worry, BDT Capital knows how to grow family-owned businesses into nationally and even internationally known brands, like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts.
“What we’re seeing is a unique opportunity for Texas culture, in the form of Whataburger [and] in the form of fast-food, to spread throughout the entire country,” Peek said.
The terms of the deal were not made public, but the purchase of the majority shares in Whataburger by the investment firm should be complete by the end of the summer and will be subject to regulatory overview.