Major Texas Dairy Queen Franchisee Goes Bankrupt

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The U.S’s second largest franchise operator of Dairy Queen restaurants, Vasari, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company blames the decline in the west Texas oil businesses for hurting its revenues.

Owned by Vickie L. Driver of Husch Blackwell, and William M. Spae Jr., Vasari operates 70 DQ locations across Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Vasari has filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. In its filing it noted:

“The difficulties faced by the Debtor can largely be traced to the much publicized decline in oil prices. The decline in oil prices has severely impacted the job market for oil related jobs in regions of west Texas and east Oklahoma and has thus resulted in cross-industry declines in revenues in areas heavily dependent on oil related jobs. Many of the Debtor’s DQ locations sit in ‘Oil Country’ and have been severely impacted by the decline in oil prices due in large part to the loss of oil-related jobs and the resulting mass exodus of residents from areas in which the DQ locations sit. Since bouncing from a 12 year low, oil prices have begun to rebound; however, oil-related jobs have not. Without oil-related jobs, certain DQ locations will likely continue to underperform, causing a drain on the Debtor’s resources.”

Texas is a stronghold for the Dairy Queen brand. The chain is particularly popular in southern states, with 600+ stores in Texas alone, and Texas has its own marketing association, the Texas Dairy Queen Operators Council.

In conjunction with the announcement of the bankruptcy, Vasari immediately closed 18 Dairy Queen restaurants in Texas and four in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

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

© 2017 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.