Webb City firefighters get special treatment Wednesday during Whataburger’s soft opening. They got to dine in the building because their trucks are too big for the drive-thru lanes.

Surprise: Drivers lured in during Whataburger employee training

Bob Foos

Inside ordering and dining won’t be available immediately. Named the Cardinals Nest, the store has a Webb City theme, with Cardinal jerseys and other items on display.

Drivers on South Madison Street got a nice surprise Wednesday, as employees for the new Whataburger were on the sidewalk waving “Free Food” signs.

As drivers were waved into the parking lot, they waited in either of the two drive-thru lanes to receive free bags of food cooked by employees in training.

Only Webb City firefighters were allowed to dine in the lobby because their trucks are too big to drive thru.

Addison Mischequx, operations manager, confirmed the Webb City Whataburger will open at 11 a.m. Monday – and never close. (Whataburger stores, including their lobbies – not just drive-thru windows – are generally open 24/7.)

Judging from reports of Whataburger store openings in other cities, there will definitely be a need for traffic control on opening day and likely in the near future.

Only after the opening frenzy subsides will ordering and dining in the lobby be allowed, Mischequx says.

Cardinals Nest is the nickname for Whataburger #1413 at 714 S. Madison Street. The menu will likely be the same as the menu for the Eagles Nest in Joplin.