Whataburger

Southaven has approved a second Whataburger location to be built on Getwell Road south of Goodman Road.

When Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite announced that the city was going to be getting a Whataburger on May 6, fans of the popular Texas-based burger chain rejoiced.

Now, the city will be home to not one, but two Whataburger locations. 

The Board of Aldermen approved a site plan for a second Whataburger location to be built on the west side of Getwell Road, south of Goodman Road by Chick-fil-A. That location will join the previously announced site on the north side of Goodman Road and Malco Blvd. in the former TGI Friday’s.

The motion to approve was made by Ward 6 Alderman  Raymond Flores and “seconded by the entire board,” Musselwhite joked.

“Can you tell we are excited?” added Ward 3 Alderman George Payne.

Musselwhite said the fact that Southaven is able to attract two Whataburger locations and crack the market for Memphis speaks well of the city’s economic success.

“It is a big deal,” Musselwhite said. “It is a fast food chain, but it is something that I can assure you excites a lot of people. And both locations are going to do well in Southaven.”

The chain currently has eight locations in Mississippi, including four in the Jackson area.

Payne asked if there was any discussion about traffic concerns at the second location.

“As far as the design of the property, Chick-fil-A has done a great job with how they circle their traffic around,” Payne said.

Southaven Planning and Development Director Whitney Choat-Cook said there were concerns about being able to get in and out of Malco Blvd. However, she said that street is a Department of Transportation roadway and the city has no control over where traffic signals are placed. The city has asked about a possible traffic signal on Moore Dive and Airways.

“We are okay with that,” Choat-Cook said. “If you are there, you are going to know to go to Malco.”

Choat-Cook said Whataburger plans to do something similar to how Chick-fil-A configures its drive-thru lanes at both sites.

“What Whataburger did with both sites is they have two lanes, just like you have at Chick-fil-A,” Choat-Cook said. “You also have an escape lane on the outside so if you decide you don’t want to wait or are trying to get out, you’re not in the drive thru, there is a way to get around it.”

She said there will also be an ingress and egress on the south side of the Getwell Road location.

“So if for whatever reason Chick-fil-A and Whataburger and everybody wants a burger or chicken at that point in time, stacking could remain on this ingress and egress and not go to Getwell Road. We feel like the flow is appropriate.”

Musselwhite agreed that the design of the Chick-fil-A  has worked well.

“That’s one of the most heavily trafficked areas in Mississippi at Goodman at Getwell,” Musselwhite said. “Chick-fil-A going there has worked well with the length of the queueing and the lanes. It will be the same way with Whataburger.”

Musselwhite also agreed that there is no way a traffic light at Malco Blvd. on Goodman would work at the other location.

“If you think traffic is a nightmare now, you put a light there and  you have a cluster mess with those lights that close together. So that cannot be done.”

Musselwhite said although he understands resident’s concerns about the traffic Whataburger will bring in those areas, the reason Whataburger chose those locations is precisely because of the traffic.

“People say well, you know this is going to be a traffic problem,” Musselwhite said. “Of course we do. And so do they. That’s why they are coming. They want to be in the middle of traffic. It is proven by their business model that people are not shying away from traffic to go eat their food.”

 

 

 

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