Lincoln Rachal is loyal in the way that a lot of Oklahomans are to the Sooners or the Cowboys. Only, his true love isn’t college football, it’s Whataburger.
The boy celebrated his ninth birthday at the Glenpool restaurant on Tuesday, after visiting the restaurant every week for at least the last “six or seven months,” according to his grandfather.
“We’d pick him up from school every Wednesday, and we’d ask him ‘where do you want to go eat?’ It was always Whataburger,” he said.
Lincoln and his grandparents got to be such frequent customers that it wasn’t long before the entire staff knew him by name, and looked forward to seeing him each week. They started calling it “WhataWackyWednesday.”
Henry McGuire, a Whataburger “Customer Service Ambassador,” said that Lincoln is “a little bit of a rockstar here. Everyone knows him, they say hi when he comes in, and ‘see you next week,’ when he leaves,” he said.
Lincoln’s love for the San Antonio-based burger chain isn’t superficial. He loves the restaurant because, in his grandmother’s words, “They’ve been so good to him.”
Lincoln has severe food allergies and has to be extremely careful about what he eats. Not long ago, his family said he went to the hospital because he had a “tiny part of a hotdog,” which gave him a bad reaction. So when Lincoln goes to Whataburger, he orders the same, simple meal: a bunless burger (meat only), with pickles, and an order of fries. It might be boring to the rest of us, but to Lincoln, it’s safe and with the friendly staff, it’s downright enjoyable.
The 9-year-old has a full Whataburger uniform, down to the hat and even a nametag. McGuire actually picked up Lincoln and took him around the kitchen, showing him how the restaurant serves its guests. The only reason Lincoln wasn’t able to walk around the kitchen himself was that he didn’t have the non-stick shoes the company requires. Soon after, grandma and grandpa fixed that problem, and Lincoln was able to join the rest of the Whataburger crew, serving food to the customers.
When Whataburger found out Lincoln’s birthday was coming up, they decided to celebrate the Whataburger way and threw a lunch party for their best fan, inviting the local media. Lincoln’s mom was thrilled with the response. “They’ve made it so fun for him,” she said. “I didn’t expect all this.”
As Lincoln sat down to open his Whataburger-themed gifts, Henry McGuire remarked how amazing it was. “Not only do you have this kid who has a strong idea of what he wants to do with his life, but when I took him all through the kitchen and showed him how everything worked, and I asked him what his favorite part was, he said ‘serving the food to customers.’ I mean, how many kids his age are going to say that?”
Lincoln told reporters he was “very surprised” to see the turnout for his birthday visit, but maintains that he’s going to join the orange-and-white-striped workforce as soon as he turns 16. Henry McGuire says he’s bound to have a job waiting for him. “Absolutely,” He said. “He’s such a special kid.”