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.