Tag Archives: Dairy Queen

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
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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.

Dairy Queen & W.B. Mason Square-Off Over “Blizzard” Trademark

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen has sued office products dealer W.B. Mason over its use of the word “Blizzard.”

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard is a popular frozen confection that the quick service restaurant chain has been selling since 1985.

“W.B. Mason’s actions constitute unfair competition and false designation of origin under the common law of Minnesota and all states, and have caused and are likely to cause injury to the public, and have caused and are likely to cause Dairy Queen to suffer irreparable injury,” Dairy Queen alleged in a lawsuit filed Monday in its home state of Minnesota.

In response, W.B. Mason went to court to file a lawsuit in its home state of Massachusetts.

“Indeed, no reasonable person would ever mistakenly believe that copy paper or spring water sold by W.B. Mason and emblazoned with the W.B. MASON mark and logo emanates from, or is associated with (Dairy Queen),” attorneys for W.B. Mason maintained in their filing.

While winter may be officially over on March 21, there is no telling how long this storm will go on.

However, the two companies were reportedly in negotiation on a settlement before the lawsuits, so a spring thaw may be close at hand.

© 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 Opens First Restaurant in South Korea

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Berkshire Hathaway’s International Dairy Queen, Inc. has launched itse first DQ Grill & Chill location in South Korea.

Located in the Daehak-ro area of Seoul, it is the first of 50 locations that are planned in South Korea within the next five years.

Additional DQ Grill & Chill locations will soon open in Itaewon, Gangnam and Hongdae.

The DQ Grill & Chill locations in South Korea will serve fan-favorite DQ treats and food, including the world-famous Blizzard Treats, which are served upside down, soft-serve cones with the signature curl on top, sundaes and DQ Cakes as well as a full range of food options such as GrillBurgers, chicken strip baskets, chicken sandwiches and a variety of salads.

In addition, new and exciting menu items available in South Korea will include Asia-inspired Blizzard Treats, such as a Green Tea Red Bean Blizzard Treat, and Asia-inspired smoothies. The new restaurants also will launch a beverage platform complete with soft drinks, Ades, smoothies, coffees and teas.

“We continue to expand the DQ brand in Asia,” says John Gainor, President and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ). “We have partnered with a franchisee that is a veteran of the food business and has an experienced team already in place. We look forward to introducing DQ Grill & Chill restaurants to our fans in South Korea.”

IDQ’s subsidiary, American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ), signed a multi-unit development agreement to develop restaurants in South Korea with the privately held M2G USA Investment, Inc., which has a diversified business portfolio that includes ownership of restaurants, hotels, public storage businesses, household appliance manufacturing, shoes and an extensive global real estate portfolio.

The DQ system has more than 6,800 locations with more than 2,300 of those units operating outside of the United States.

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.

Major Texas Dairy Queen Franchisee Goes Bankrupt

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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.

Dairy Queen to Get New President and CEO

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Dairy Queen CEO John Gainor has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2017. Current Chief Operating Officer (COO), Troy Bader succeed him as President and CEO beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Gainor originally joined IDQ in 2003 as Chief Supply Chain Officer. He was promoted to President and CEO in 2008.

In his nearly 10 years as IDQ President and CEO, Gainor continued to modernize the iconic 77- year-old brand. Under his leadership, the company has focused on improving the Dairy Queen fan experience in order to drive system sales and profitability resulting in record reinvestment in facilities, as well as continued world-wide new store development. Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Officer and Chairman,

Warren Buffett stated, “John has done everything I hoped for – and more – in accelerating IDQ’s growth in the U.S. and internationally. I thank him for both that and for the development of an outstanding successor, Troy Bader.”

IDQ places significant value on the active process of talent development and succession planning. With this in mind, Gainor recommended Bader to assume the role of IDQ President and CEO to Warren Buffett. Gainor stated, “I have worked with Troy for most of his time at IDQ. His love of the brand, commitment to franchisee success, knowledge of the vendor community and concern for all IDQ employees is evident every day. I am confident he will continue to lead the system toward positive growth and ongoing success.”

Bader currently serves as COO for IDQ in the U.S. and Canada. He is responsible for leading all IDQ core functions for the U.S. and Canadian businesses, including marketing, operations, franchise development and supply chain as well as our various concept evolution initiatives. Bader joined the company in 2001. Prior to accepting the role of COO in 2011, he served in various executive leadership positions with the company.

“IDQ is a strong company with a history of great leadership,” said Bader. “I am honored to be entrusted to lead IDQ and to continue to represent the iconic Dairy Queen brand. I look forward to working with our world-wide team of dedicated employees, franchisees and vendors to grow the brand even further through the delivery of exceptional products, great service and memorable experiences for our fans throughout the world.”

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