<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1565360197020699&amp;ev=PixelInitialized">
  • Home
  • Crunchtime Blog
  • How Whataburger Scaled Operations in Less Than 3 Months Across 800+ Restaurants with Zenput

How Whataburger Scaled Operations in Less Than 3 Months Across 800+ Restaurants with Zenput

Listen to the audio version of this blog

Few QSR brands, let alone ones with nearly 900 locations open 24/7, 364 days a year, can serve burgers that are made-to-order when ordered, using 100% pure, never-frozen beef in each store, every day.  

But Whataburger is no average QSR brand. Founded with a goal to serve burgers so big they need two hands to hold and so good that after one bite, customers say, “What a burger!” the San Antonio-based chain operates more than 890 locations across the US, both corporate and franchise-owned, with plans to grow beyond 1,000 stores by 2026. 

firstaframeTo keep pace to achieve its growth goals, Whataburger needed to scale operations across 800+ restaurants. This process began with simplifying operations to remove the administrative duty of manual pen and paper checklists, which took focus away from running the business. Additionally, this also included the need to establish an intuitive food safety process to promote consistent execution and learning, while eliminating pencil-whipping. One additional initiative was shifting to digital tasks and forms to emphasize impact-driven tasks like improving brand standards while connecting corporate and restaurant-level reporting. 

In order to address each of these undertakings, Whataburger instituted a series of changes starting with rolling out Crunchtime’s Operations Execution platform, Zenput, across 11 regions (780 stores), with detailed training for store leaders on reporting capabilities. Within Zenput, Whataburger customized and created personalized reporting and enhanced forms. This allowed them to upgrade their reporting process and to provide better visibility into what was happening at the store level. One additional change that Whataburger made in the process was to coach the management team to elevate their leadership skills.

And, of course, in the restaurant industry, timing is everything. Less than 3 months after deploying Crunchtime’s Operations Execution platform, Zenput, the brand was able to drive trust and impactful coaching conversations. 


One of Whatabuger’s 50,000+ employees, Michele Marchlewski, led the charge. As Whataburger’s Senior Manager of Restaurant Operations, Michele brings 17 years of QSR experience to her role, where she works cross-functionally with all departments in the field to provide operational expertise on projects and change management in Whataburger’s restaurants. 

Michele’s focus is on executing key strategic projects that are scalable and deliverable, along with providing feedback to help mitigate any gaps in project deliverables to help ensure adoption in every location. Michele joined Crunchtime’s Ops Summit 2023 to share the impact that Zenput has had on Whataburger.

Each of the changes made via Zenput had an immediate positive impact on Whataburger. The most impactful of these changes was the overhauled completion reporting, which provides Whataburger with transparency as it gives the ability to view overall results across the company including all units, regions, and markets. It also fosters healthy competition and recognition amongst stores as they work toward their goal of 80% completion or better. And, it provides users with built-in time goals for completing tasks, which helps to improve time management skills. 

The improved reporting and enhanced forms allow Whataburger to be much more confident that essential processes are being completed as planned. Increased transparency, more detailed reports, and improved time management have each made a tangible impact on the business. Click here to learn how implementing Zenput could impact your business.