Category Archives: Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Targets Columbia, South Carolina for Expansion

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As part of a nationwide franchising initiative, American Dairy Queen is focused on expanding its regional footprint in Columbia, South Carolina.

The franchisor is looking for qualified, multi-unit capable franchisees who “have the ambition and skillset to succeed with a timeless company.”

Taking a proactive development approach, the brand has outlined immediate franchise opportunities with potential DQ Grill & Chill trade areas already identified.

“The Dairy Queen brand has been bringing joy to people worldwide for many years. Its reputation and staying power are what attracts dedicated franchise ownership groups and encourages them to add the DQ brand to their portfolios,” said Julie Davis, Director of Franchise Sales and Development U.S. “With immediate opportunities available, strong multi-unit operators have the chance to grow with a classic brand while being among the first to introduce DQ Grill & Chill® to the Columbia community.”

Maintaining its recipe for success throughout more than 75 years, the DQ system currently has more than 7,000 locations worldwide and is expanding nationwide with a focus on 10 additional growth markets in: Sacramento, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; Orlando, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Tulsa, Okla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Albany, N.Y.; Fresno, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; and New Orleans, La.

After perfecting the DQ Grill & Chill design prototype and adding new executives to its franchise development leadership team, ADQ is launching incentive programs to attract motivated multi-unit operators who are eager to grow with a timeless brand and execute through the development process at an advanced pace. These programs include a timeline, multi-unit opening, year on year and a re-purpose incentive.

“We launched these incentives for elite franchisees with a fast-track mindset and our team is eager and ready to support them,” added Davis. “The Dairy Queen brand’s existing customer base in Columbia has been lucky enough to experience the sweet treats we have to offer. Now, we’re ready for them to be able to enjoy a full dining experience with made-to-order lunch and dinner options.”

The industry leading DQ Grill & Chill business model, includes site selection intelligence, seasoned business consultants and ongoing marketing support. It is designed to attract individuals and operating teams with a strong business acumen, proven ownership experience, an interest in multi-unit franchising and a net worth of at least $1,000,000.

DQ Grill & Chill® restaurants offer a full line of fresh, high-quality food and frozen treats to delight fans of all ages. Moving forward, ADQ is focused on building freestanding drive-thru restaurants. The investment for this model ranges from $1,091,025 to $1,849,625, which includes the initial $35,000 franchise fee but does not include the cost of land.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Shopping for New PR Firm

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Berkshire Hathaway’s International Dairy Queen, Inc. has cool new headquarter in Bloomington, Minnesota, and it may soon have a new PR firm as well.

Dairy Queen is reportedly shopping for a firm to replace its current PR firm, Pierson Grant, which has represented Dairy Queen’s 4,500 U.S. franchises for over a decade.

Pierson Grant is a full-service public relations, digital strategy and creative marketing firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

No information has been released as to a reason for making a change, or when it is anticipated to happen.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Has Cool New Headquarters

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That most iconic of American brands, Dairy Queen, now has a modern new headquarters.

Berkshire Hathaway’s International Dairy Queen, Inc. has relocated its headquarters to 53,000 square feet in the Normandale Lakes Office Park, 8000 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, Minnesota.

The new workplace connects multiple floors with unique collaborative spaces and state-of-the-art technology, all reflecting the energy of the DQ® brand and its forward-looking vision. Modern personal workspaces together with creative meeting/social spaces and a new test kitchen and product lab all foster flexibility and help spark innovation and collaboration. Improved daylighting and views, ergonomic adjustability and custom artwork celebrate the iconic brand’s mission of creating positive memories for all who touch DQ.

“Our new headquarters reflects the joy of the DQ brand and the passion of its fans and employees around the world,” said IDQ President and CEO Troy Bader. “Along with our international and field teams, our nearly 250 U.S. franchisee support center employees work hard every day to support franchisees and grow the DQ brand. We believe it is important to give our employees the tools they need to be successful, and that starts with providing an incredible work environment and the opportunity to develop their careers and have an impact on this iconic brand. We are proud to be an employer of choice in the Twin Cities.”

The new DQ headquarters was designed by HGA Architects & Engineers of Minneapolis.

New IDQ Headquarters at a Glance:

Employees: 250

Square Footage: 53,000 sq. ft.

Address:
8331 Norman Center Drive
8000 Tower, Suite 700
Bloomington, MN 55437

Just off of highway 100 in the Normandale Lakes Office Park, adjacent to the 2,500-acre Normandale Lake Recreational Area.

Pictures of the new headquarters can be seen at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Cool Offices.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

China Key to Dairy Queen’s Dramatic Growth

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That most iconic of American brands, Dairy Queen, is growing fast far from American shores.

Of Dairy Queen’s 394 new locations, 331 are international, and China is the number one market for growth with 194 new outlets.

The growth in China isn’t new, as the frozen treat purveyor added 150 locations in China in 2017.

“This year we will open our 1,000th location,” President and CEO Troy Bader explains. “And we opened our 500th location in China and 100th in the Philippines.”

While frozen treats remain the primary attraction, the tea and smoothie lines are a big hit in China. DQ has worked hard at tailoring products to local tastes. While the All-American hot dog is a hit, it’s been flavored and spiced for the Chinese palate. The same has been down in the beverage category, with Okinawa Black Sugar especially popular.

Fruit flavors such as apricot, peach and durian are also popular.

Tea is also used in its frozen desserts, with Ceylon black tea blended in with ice cream as one of its Blizzard menu items.

Much like in the U.S., DQ in China is doing well with food, frozen treats, beverages and cakes. However, they feature additional snack items, such as chicken wings and bone-in drumsticks. They also have a popular spiced gravy that goes on French fries.

Bader believes there’s lots of potential for growth in China, and the numbers clearly back that up.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Cheers Up Nation With Free Cone Day

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Can happiness be measured? Yes it can, if cool treats and sticky chins are involved. According to a national consumer survey* commissioned by American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ), 92.2 percent of Americans say a DQ® soft-serve cone would make them happy. The good news is that like the start of spring, DQ Free Cone Day is just around the corner.

On Wednesday, March 20, fans can enjoy a free small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on top (limit one per customer, while supplies last) at participating non-mall DQ® and DQ Grill & Chill® locations throughout the U.S.

“We love that our tradition of Free Cone Day has become synonymous with return of warmer weather and bringing people together,” said Maria Hokanson, Executive Vice President of Marketing at ADQ. “We know the start of soft-serve season brings joy to our fans, and we can’t wait to help spread smiles.”

The consumer survey also uncovered that:

• People are happier on Free Cone Day than they are on their own birthday.
• 61.6 percent would share a bite of their DQ cone with their significant other, but only 23 percent would share the first bite. (Rightfully so.)

Following Free Cone Day, DQ is offering a small regular or dipped soft serve cone for 50 cents, available for redemption only with the DQ mobile app, March 21-31 at participating DQ and DQ Grill & Chill locations. This offer includes the NEW DQ orange, creamy and crunchy dreamsicle dip, or try the DQ classic chocolate dip
.
Throughout the year on the DQ mobile app, fans will receive national weekly exclusive DQ deals on treats, food and beverages, redeemable only at participating DQ restaurants in the U.S., excluding Texas.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Worcester, Massachusetts to Get First Dairy Queen this Winter

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Worcester, Massachusetts, the second largest city in the state, will get its first Dairy Queen sometime this winter.

The Dairy Queen Grill and Chill will be a 2,800-square-foot, restaurant with 70 or more seats, and offer an outdoor patio and a drive-through. The cost of construction is approximately $1.3 million.

Franchisee Thebe Enterprises LLC of Northboro, Massachusetts, has signed a 20-year lease for the site.

In 2016, Dairy Queen announced plans to rollout 60 new stores with potential locations including the towns of Taughton, Peabody, Burlington, Plymouth, and Worcester.

One thing is for sure, Massachusetts does love ice cream. The Bay State ranks in the top ten of most ice cream consuming states.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Dairy Queen Has Big Plans for South Korea

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A Blizzard has come to South Korea and it will only get bigger.

Dairy Queen, which already has over 600 locations in China, is now looking for a major expansion in South Korea as its next major international market.

Dairy Queen opened its first South Korea location in Seoul’s theater neighborhood of Daehangnoat at the end of 2017 and now has three locations.

In many countries outside the U.S., the quick service chain has frozen treats only locations, but South Korea is going for the full Grill & Chill experience.

Over the next five years, Dairy Queen is planning to open 50 locations, including in Hongdae, Gangnam and Itaewon.

“We need to get to a critical mass in order to support our local vendors,” Dairy Queen CEO Troy Bader notes.

For more information on Dairy Queen’s world-wide plans, read a Mazor’sEdge special report on Dairy Queen.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Texas Still Goes Its Own Way on Dairy Queen’s Marketing

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Dairy Queen is using the promise of a free Blizzard dessert to promote its Dairy Queen app. After downloading, mobile phone users get a coupon for a free small Blizzard. The coupon is good across the U.S., except in Texas.

Why not in Texas?

Because Texas, which has more DQs than any other state, has its own marketing association, the Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council.

Drive through Texas and you will see completely different DQ slogans, such as “Eat like a Texan.”

You will also see a different menu than the rest of the country.

Burgers called the Hungr-Buster and Beltbuster, and food such as the Texas T-Brand Tacos, Nachos Deluxe and the Beef Taco Salad, are Texas-only menu items. Yes, Dairy Queen’s famous cones, Blizzards, and ice cream cakes are all on the menu.

The different marketing campaign is holdover from pre-1998 before Berkshire Hathaway owned the quick service chain.

Texas operators held a lot of sway, and still do, and in the days before Berkshire, Dairy Queen signed all kinds of deals that it still has to live with. Some of those deals were drawn up on a napkin and were barely more than a handshake. That’s why you won’t find DQ Bakes! Artisan-style Sandwiches on the menu. When the company rolled out DQ Bakes! as its first year-round food campaign in 2015, Texas said no thanks.

I guess baked sandwiches sounded a bit too frou-frou for Texas, but they are missing out on such delights as the company’s Kansas City BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich and the Turkey BLT.

As for apps, Texas has its own DQ Texas app, which offers free treats and other rewards after five visits to a store where you spend $5 or more.

Just don’t look for a free Blizzard for downloading it.

For more information on Dairy Queen’s world-wide plans, read a Mazor’sEdge special report on Dairy Queen.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

New Dairy Queen CEO Excited About China

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Dairy Queen’s recently appointed President and CEO Troy Bader is excited about the company’s growth in China.

“We added 150 locations in China last year alone,” Bader says.

Dairy Queen has more than 800 locations in China, which is its largest overseas market.

In China, Dairy Queen’s primary emphasis is on its treats business, as compared to its Grill & Chill locations that are popular in the U.S. and Canada.

“We don’t have a particular target number of locations,” Bader says. “We face lots of competition.”

That competition is more of a concern to Bader than the current trade war and tariffs that are playing out between the U.S. and China.

One of the highlights for Dairy Queen in the China market is coming from its emphasis on its beverages, especially its tea beverages.

The company has tailored its products to Chinese tastes, with fruit flavors such as apricot, peach and durian proving popular.

Tea is also used in its frozen desserts, with Ceylon black tea blended in with ice cream as one of its Blizzard menu items.

Locations that carry its light food fare also have specially designed products for Chinese tastes, including the Chinese spicy chicken roll and crispy curry puff.

The closest the company comes to the familiar American hamburger is its German beef sandwich. It also sells three variations on the popular American hot dog.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.