Dairy Queen
#34

Initial Investment

LOW: $361,450
HIGH: $1,835,825

Change in Units

+2.2% +143 UNITS (1 Year)
+4.6% +300 UNITS (3 Years)

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Promoted Opportunities

Company Profile

Founded

1940

Franchising Since

1944 (72 Years)

Corporate Address

7505 Metro Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55439-0286

CEO

John Gainor

Parent Company

IDQ Inc.

About Dairy Queen

Ice cream manufacturer J.F. McCullough was experimenting with a recipe for a new frozen dairy product, stemming from his belief that ice cream tasted better when it was soft and served fresh from the freezer, not frozen solid. With his recipe perfected, McCullough and his son, Alex, convinced one of their customers to hold an introductory sale of the new soft ice cream, and more than 1,600 people showed up to try it. Based on that initial success, the McCulloughs opened the first Dairy Queen location in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois. The first stores sold only soft-serve ice cream--in sundaes, take-home pints and quarts, and cones--but over the years, a variety of ice cream treats were added to the menu, such as banana splits and Dilly Bars. In the 1950s, some Dairy Queens began serving hot food items. Today, stores system wide have menus that include hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken strips through Dairy Queen's Grill & Chill concept. The company also offers a DQ Treat concept that offers both Dairy Queen's frozen treats and the sister company's fruit drinks and smoothies.

Financials

Financial Requirements

Initial Investment

$361,450 - $1,835,825

Net-worth Requirement

$750,000

Liquid Cash Requirement

$400,000

Ongoing Fees

Initial Franchise Fee

$25,000 - $35,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee

4%

Ad Royalty Fee

5-6%

Financing Options

Dairy Queen has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: 
franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Franchise 500® Rank History

Highest Rank: 16

Lowest Rank: 58

  • 2006 - 30
* Not all years were ranked

Units (Locations)

Where Seeking Franchisees:
Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.

Operations & Franchisor Support

Training Onsite: 33 days

Additional Training: At existing DQ store

Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Newsletter
Meetings
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Internet
Security
Field Operations

Marketing Support
Ad Slicks
Regional Media
National Media

Absentee Ownership Allowed

Number of employees required to run: 20 - 100

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Disclaimer

The Franchise 500 is not intended to endorse, advertise, or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise.

Updated: October 7th, 2016

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Previous Years Rankings

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012