Dairy Queen Brings Its Sweet Business Model to Kuwait and UAE

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While food fads come and go, tried-and-true Dairy Queen continues to prosper and expand its global footprint.

Berkshire Hathaway’s wholly owned Dairy Queen System has announced a 20+ store franchise agreement with Durra Khaled For Foodstuffs Co., a subsidiary of KMGC, for a 5-year roll out of DQ Grill & Chill restaurants and DQ Treat stores in Kuwait.

A separate franchise deal for the United Arab Emirates was recently inked with U.S.-based International franchise company Bajco Group.

After a ten year absence, the agreements mark Dairy Queen’s return to the Kuwait and UAE markets at a time when its brand has a growing presence throughout the Middle East. Dairy Queen already has established stores in Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The first Kuwait and UAE stores will open in 2015.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the DQ brand next year, we are building on our global brand equity as well as looking forward to developing future growth opportunities in the region,” said Brad Houser, Executive Vice President of International Development “We are thrilled to be re-entering the Kuwait market and partnering with Durra Khaled For Foodstuffs Co., a group that brings a wealth of business experience through its diverse portfolio.”

Continued International Expansion

Dairy Queen currently has 6,400 Dairy Queen stores in the United States, Canada and 26 other countries. The international business has been particularly robust, with some 1,394 locations, and over 600 stores in China alone. Its Middle East expansion have been particularly aggressive, with Saudi Arabia on track to open 32 locations by 2015 through franchisee Al Safwa Food Group. The largest DQ Grill & Chill restaurant in the world is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Dairy Queen doesn’t want to do its international expansion piece meal, and is looking for franchisees with the strength to take on whole countries.

For more information, read a Mazor’sEdge special report on Dairy Queen.

© 2014 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.