Tag Archives: Dairy Queen

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

NFL Player’s Contract Dispute Gives Dairy Queen Unanticipated Publicity Windfall

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An NFL football player’s contract dispute has given an unanticipated publicity windfall to Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who had been in a contract dispute with the Steelers, submitted an application to work at Dairy Queen while trying to come to terms on a long-term contract with the Steelers.

On Tuesday, customers at the Dairy Queen in New Kensington, Pennsylvania discovered that Le’Veon Bell was taking their orders and serving fans, at least for the day.

Bell’s stint at the Dairy Queen came about after he tweeted a photo of himself filling out the application.

Dairy Queen tweeted back: “We’re always looking for top talent to join our team. Send us a DM and we’ll set up an interview.” Bell took Dairy Queen up on its offer, and fans of the Steelers and Dairy Queen were the beneficiaries.

In August, Bell resolved his contract dispute, which came during training camp, but he stepped behind the counter on his day off as part of his love for DQ.

© 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 Ranked #6 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchises

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Dairy Queen is ranked #6 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchises for 2017.

The list is Entrepreneur’s 38th annual Franchise 500 ranking, and franchisor’s where ranked based on Costs and Fees, Size and Growth, Support, Brand Strength, and Financial Strength and Stability.

Franchisors must have had a minimum of 10 units open and operating as of July 31, 2016, with at least one franchise located in either the U.S. or Canada.

Owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Dairy Queen most certainly has the strongest financial strength of any franchise, and its long history that dates back to 1940 certainly speaks to brand loyalty.

© 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.

Vietnam Key to Dairy Queen’s Asia Expansion

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While Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen already has over 700 stores in China, it’s Vietnam that the company is focusing on to grow its Asia strategy.

In China, Dairy Queen is a frozen treats only business, and it’s one of the country’s leaders in that category, but in Vietnam, DQ is looking to build stores that feature its food line up as well.

“Vietnam is very important market for us,” DQ CEO John Gainor says. “Vietnam is where we can show that we will do a great job on food as well as frozen treats.”

Unlike some American quick service franchisors that have struggled internationally because their foods are unfamiliar to local tastes and customs, DQ is listening closely to its franchisee to adapt to the Vietnam market.

They key is adapting menu items and offering new items that best suit the Vietnamese consumer. Unlike in the U.S., DQ’s Vietnam stores will serve bone-in chicken.

And since eating a hamburger is a new experience, and people don’t tend to directly touch their food while consuming it in the way American diners do, they are providing an added wrap around the hamburgers.

“They don’t want to pick up their food with their hands and we are adapting to that,” Gainor says.

Also, since hamburgers are a less familiar food in Vietnam, DQ is focusing much of its food promotion on its chicken menu items.

DQ is also adapting its frozen treats to Asian tastes, offering flavors such as green tea with red bean, almond and extra green tea.

There are already several locations open in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and DQ is aiming for five of its Grill & Chill locations and fifteen treats only locations.

Our slogan is “Fan Food not Fast Food,” notes Gainor. “We are looking to make fans of our food the way people are in the U.S.,” where the brand has very high customer loyalty built on its 77-year history.

There are currently over DQ 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries.

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 Goes Inter-Galactic with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Movie Tie-In

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The Dairy Queen® brand is teaming up with Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie release, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, to launch the Guardians Awesome Mix Blizzard Treat and #MissionMixtape, a Fan journey to claim an exclusive mixtape.

The promotion then has fans search the galaxy for a cassette player to hear their celestial reward.

“The Marvel collaboration allows us to bring our Fan Food philosophy to life in our new summer blockbuster Guardians Awesome Mix Blizzard treat,” says Barry Westrum, executive vice president of Marketing for American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ). “In the movie, the Guardians are stronger as a team. Likewise, we teamed up with Marvel to create a Fan favorite summer Blizzard treat flavor, mixing brownie and cookie pieces to create ‘Brookie’ pieces and combining them with caramel, choco chunks and DQ vanilla soft-serve.”

Starting April 26 at 12 p.m. CDT, Fans can claim one of 1,000 Mission Mixtapes at MissionMixtape.com. Once claimed, Fans must search the galaxy for a cassette player to play the tape and get a special code for prizes ranging from limited edition, cast-signed Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie posters to DQ gift cards. Each cassette tape also includes original, unofficial ‘bonus’ tracks. Fans can share their missions or follow along with #MissionMixtape.

Additionally, customers can upgrade the small sundae in the $5 Buck Lunch meal to a small Blizzard treat for an additional $1.

The promotion is only the second time that Dairy Queen has done a movie tie-in in the past twenty years. In 2015, Dairy Queen tied-in with Jurassic World, which went on to be the biggest film of the summer and the second highest grossing film of the year.

At the time, Dairy Queen’s CEO, John Gainor, noted that he was delighted to see how the branding tie-in boosted sales across the board, and especially for their Blizzard dessert that came in a Jurassic World-themed cup.

Hopefully, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will have a similar effect.

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.

2016 Was the Year Dairy Queen Was Chillin

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen, the venerable food and frozen treat purveyor, rolled out more of its DQ Grill & Chill franchises in 2016 than in any year prior.

Dairy Queen opened 318 locations worldwide, including 82 new stores in the United States.

Phoenix, upstate New York, Southern California, and South Carolina are all areas where Dairy Queen has major expansion plans, and internationally, South Korea plans to open 50 DQ Grill & Chill locations within the next five years.

The South Korea agreement is with the privately held M2G USA Investment, Inc., whose diversified business portfolio includes ownership of restaurants, hotels, public storage businesses, household appliance manufacturing, shoes and an extensive global real estate portfolio.

“The DQ® brand continues to expand in new international markets,” said John Gainor, President and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc., said at the time of the announcement. “We are looking forward to working with M2G USA Investment to bring our renowned menu, signature treats and quality service to the Republic of Korea.”

Closer to the U.S., Dairy Queen’s plans call for the development of DQ Grill & Chill locations in Trinidad and Tobago, DQ Grill & Chill and DQ Treat locations in Jamaica, and DQ Treat locations in St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Maarten.

The DQ system has more than 6,700 locations with more than 2,200 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.

Dairy Queen Plans Major International Expansion in Korea

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International Dairy Queen, Inc. has signed a multi-unit development agreement to expand into the Republic of Korea with plans to open 50 DQ Grill & Chill locations within the next five years.

The agreement is with the privately held M2G USA Investment, Inc., whose diversified business portfolio includes ownership of restaurants, hotels, public storage businesses, household appliance manufacturing, shoes and an extensive global real estate portfolio.

“The DQ® brand continues to expand in new international markets,” said John Gainor, President and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ). “We are looking forward to working with M2G USA Investment to bring our renowned menu, signature treats and quality service to the Republic of Korea.”

The DQ Grill & Chill locations in Korea will serve a full range of food options including its signature GrillBurgers™, fan favorite chicken strip baskets, chicken sandwiches, a variety of salads and sandwiches. The DQ Grill & Chill restaurants will also feature the full menu of its world famous DQ treats, including the signature Blizzard® Treats, MooLatté Frozen Coffee Flavored Beverages, soft-serve cones with the signature curl on top, sundaes and DQCakes.

“Our goal is to be the most desirable QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) company in Korea that believes in the vision of people, product and process,” said John Park of M2G USA Investment, a partner in the ownership of Taco Bell restaurants in Korea and in the U.S. “DQ is one of the most respected, exceptional and popular brands in the world. We are thrilled to partner with the DQ system here in Korea.”

The DQ system has more than 6,700 locations with more than 2,200 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.

© 2016 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.

Hot Phoenix Area to See Blizzard of New Dairy Queen Outlets

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Add Phoenix, Arizona to the list of cities that will have an expanded presence for Dairy Queen. Five new DQ Grill & Chill restaurants are planned for the Phoenix metro area.

Locations already opening in the West Valley, and Surprise and Goodyear will be opening by the end of December.

The emphasis on the Phoenix area comes as the city of Surprise ranked number five on a list of fastest growing cities in the United States.

Additional locations will be opening their doors in 2017, including Laveen, which will open in January, and two restaurants in Chandler in March and October.

Other locations are planned in Tempe, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa and Glendale.

All the new Dairy Queen’s will be franchises, in keeping with Dairy Queen’s strategy to avoid company-owned stores. The chain has only three company-owned locations among its over 6,000 locations worldwide.

Other cities and states that have seen the “Fan Food” and frozen treats chain announce big expansion plans include Massachusetts, South Carolina, California, as well as Upstate New York, Chicago, and Knoxville, Tennessee.

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

© 2016 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.