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Line forms ahead of Whataburger’s opening in Independence

whataburger independence.jpeg
Posted at 9:10 AM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 10:11:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first person in line at Whataburger’s new Independence, Missouri, location arrived nearly 15 hours before the fast-food restaurant opened.

Laura Ferguson parked her car outside the restaurant located at 18902 E. U.S. 40 Highway at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Whataburger opens at 11 a.m. Monday.

“I was born and raised in Texas, grew up on Whataburger. It’s the nostalgia factor, it’s the cravings. I’ve been here 30 years and I haven’t had Whataburger very often,” Laura Ferguson explained. “It’s time, and it’s here and I’m ready.”

She wore a holiday-themed Whataburger sweater and matching socks as she awaited the Texas-based restaurant's opening. Ferguson worked remotely overnight while waiting.

Whataburger opened its first location in the Kansas City metropolitan area two weeks ago in Lee’s Summit. That location is roughly ten minutes away from the Independence restaurant and, like all Whataburgers, is open 24 hours a day.

Ferguson could’ve driven there and back several times during her 15 hour wait, but said she’s loyal.

“I live in Independence, so I’m loyal to Independence. Gotta give Independence credit,” Ferguson said.

Given the restaurant’s popularity, the Independence Police Department has worked with Whataburger for months to create a traffic plan to get customers to the restaurant while causing as few disruptions as possible to other drivers. The plan calls for customers to exit I-70 at Little Blue Parkway and follow signs to westbound 40 Highway to enter the restaurant.

The fast-food restaurant well known for its burgers has announced 14 locations in the KC area. It plans to employ more than 1,000 people by the end of next year.