Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 14, 2013

Whopping contest

Kaitlynd Lear scores 19th place in national Whopper-making tournament

Kaitlynd Lear has a little star power right now, but it’s not from a viral YouTube clip. The spotlight is shining on Lear for her Whopper-making skills. The full-time Indiana University Kokomo student and full-time Burger King employee can whip up a Whopper in 14 seconds. The average time to make a Whopper for employees is about 28 seconds.

About a month ago, Lear handed a gentleman a Whopper she made with her own fast-moving hands at the Lafountain Street Burger King.

“Hey, I heard big news about you,” the customer said. “When are you leaving for Miami? That’s so cool. Congrats.”

Lear later left the counter and rested her petite hands that make Whoppers at, well, whopping speeds on a table. She took a sip of a fountain soda from a Burger King cup and leaned forward to explain her trip to Miami, Fla., to compete in a Whopper-making challenge. Regional winners, like Lear, go there to compete in Whopper-making on a national stage, all sponsored by the Burger King corporation.

“I started here on sandwiches two years ago and I just started watching the faster managers to get faster and find out what they do. You definitely have to use both your hands and you can’t get nervous,” Lear, who competed in track, basketball, softball and soccer all four years at Northwestern High School, said. “I’m really competitive. I time myself. So when people order, I watch when I started [making it] on the screen and then I try to make my time faster than the last one. There’s a strategy to it.”

Lear said she never expected when the Whopper-making competition started in her individual store, that it’d lead to winning against regional stores and ultimately take her to Miami. Lear said her competitive drive wasn’t as surprising to her family as her speed in making the burgers.

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