One of Whataburger’s most popular items isn’t on the menu, but diners go home with it all the time.
When the employee’s at the fast-food chain say, ‘take a number,’ they don’t exactly mean take it home. Yet, each year the company reportedly spends roughly $200 thousand per year replacing stolen table tents, according to a report by Texas Monthly.
And local stores aren’t immune to the issue, with one of the Whataburger locations in Paris recently having to write table numbers on water cups.
“They were having to use water cups with handwritten numbers,” said Pct. 3 Constable Steve Hill said in a Facebook post on Nov. 19.
Hill posted a photo of two table tents and said out of 30 they had last week they only had two left.
“Take the Whataburger number tents back,” he continued. “And everyone wants to know why the prices of things keep going up.”
While many might think there are bigger issues to worry about than stolen table tents, Hill said at the end of the day it is a Class C theft.
Theft is a class C misdemeanor in Texas if the value of the property or services stolen is less than $100. … The punishment for a class C misdemeanor in Texas is a fine of no more than $500, and does not involve any jail time.
“We just believe it’s the cost of doing business,” Rich Scheffler, Whataburger’s vice president of marketing and innovation told Texas Monthly. “When we see them on a dashboard or somebody’s desk or shelf, it makes us proud that somebody likes us that much. We’re pleased that our customers have that connection.”
However, while Scheffler says it’s the “cost of doing business,” Hill says to just take them back or just don’t steal them at all.
But for the person who wants to purchase a table tent with a clean conscience, there are variations of them online at the Whataburger website.