Family-run Wally's Burger Express enters fifth decade of serving Northwest Austin

The menu at Wally's Burger Express includes shakes, fried chicken sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers and more. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
The menu at Wally's Burger Express includes shakes, fried chicken sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers and more. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

The menu at Wally's Burger Express includes shakes, fried chicken sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers and more. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
When Wally’s Burger Express opened in 1980, a cheeseburger at the restaurant cost $1.65. A lot has changed since then, including the additions of many menu items. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
With 40 years of business under his belt, Wally’s Burger Express owner Robert Mayfield credits a few simple rules for the continued success of his Northwest Austin restaurant.

“[Customers] come back for the basic reasons most people don’t even think about: good quality, excellent hospitality and a clean place,” Mayfield said.

Wally’s opened in 1980 after being converted from a Dairy Queen that Mayfield said he and his father had run for a handful of years prior.

When the restaurant first opened, Wally’s menu featured five burger options, in addition to hot dogs, fries, onion rings, sodas and milkshakes. A chili dog cost $0.85.

Wally’s menu, which itself has gone from a paper pamphlet to three digital screens, has expanded to include hand-breaded chicken, chicken salads, tacos and Wallybangers—soft ice cream treats mixed with candy, cookies or fruit.

“[If] you get much beyond a few things that you do well, then you’re making a serious mistake in the fast-food business. You can’t focus on the quality products you have all the time,” Mayfield said.

Wally’s also has a “secret menu” with special burgers, such as Wally’s Supreme or the Big W, which are stacked with a variety of different ingredients. In 2013, Wally’s began selling a half-pound burger and introduced the Monster, made with two half-pound patties and three slices of cheese.

“A good burger is one that you have to use five napkins on because it’s juicy and it gets on your hands. That is what a good burger ought to be,” Mayfield said.

In 2008, the restaurant underwent extensive renovations on the interior and exterior of the restaurant.

Throughout all of the change, Mayfield said his family-run business has always maintained emphasis on the little things that make a restaurant run well.

“Service is maybe not a forgotten art, but it’s sure not emphasized by big companies,” Mayfield said. “Hospitality always makes a burger taste better.”
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


The plan calls for traffic control methods to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. (Courtesy Living Streets)
Austin City Council paves way for more play, exercise on neighborhood streets

The program aims to make it safer to use neighborhood streets for community events.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The committee will provide input on Capital Metro's expanded public safety department to the transit agency's board of directors.  (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro board approves charter for public safety advisory committee

The approval comes after the establishment of a transit police force met resistance during the August meeting.

Through Project Connect, Capital Metro will add three new MetroRapid bus lines and an extension to the existing 803 route. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with $50 million in funding for MetroRapid bus infrastructure projects

The vote to approve the funding raised questions around how authority is divided between the city of Austin, Capital Metro and the Austin Transit Partnership.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 25.

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is set to begin renovations Oct. 25. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter to begin renovations

City Council approved $240,000 for renovations to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Vote sign
Just over 2% of Williamson County voters cast ballots in first week of early voting

Early-voting returns show much lower participation for this year’s election compared to previous years.

Child on a computer.
Texas Education Agency accepting applications for $1,500 grants for students in special education

To be eligible for the grant, students must be enrolled in pre-K through 12th grade in a Texas public school and served by a special education program.

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

Amazon is hiring for thousands of seasonal jobs statewide across its operations department. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon hiring for thousands of seasonal jobs throughout Texas

It is that time of year when people look for seasonal jobs as the holidays approach. Amazon aims to meet that demand by hiring for thousands of seasonal positions throughout Texas.