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2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#41 Ranked #42 last year
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Initial investment
$1.5M - $2.4M
Units as of 2022
7,188 2.1% over 3 years

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Dairy Queen franchise.

From soft-serve chills to mouth-watering grills, Dairy Queen strives to satisfy customer cravings whether they're hot or cold. With over 80 years of experience delivering tasty treats in over 6,500 stores worldwide, Dairy Queen offers customers delectable food in a modern, comfortable dining experience. 

Although Dairy Queen began exclusively serving frozen treats, many 21st century Dairy Queen restaurants continue delivering their ice cream specialty along with more selections of grill menu items. Providing everything from flavorful blizzard creations to ice cream cakes for any occasion to milkshakes and cheeseburgers, Dairy Queen is many diners' one-stop-shop to eat like royalty.

Why You May Want to Start a Dairy Queen Franchise

If you love delicious food and tasty frozen treats, then you may want to consider becoming a Dairy Queen franchisee. Aiming to put a smile on faces and give customers a story to share, being a Dairy Queen franchisee means having a passion for satisfying customers' cravings. If you feel like sharing the joy, you may want to consider joining fast-food royalty and becoming a Dairy Queen franchisee.

With such a stellar customer reputation, Dairy Queen has been ranked in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 many times since its inception. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

What Might Make a Dairy Queen Franchise a Good Choice?

Opening a Dairy Queen franchise may offer a more predictable outcome than investing in a completely new brand that could struggle to thrive in an already crowded and competitive industry.

To be part of the Dairy Queen team, you should make sure you're financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements. 

How To Open a Dairy Queen Franchise

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. As part of your due diligence, you may want to speak to existing franchisees and ask the Dairy Queen franchising team questions. 

Franchisees ready to take the first steps to opening their own Dairy Queen franchise will need to inquire about a franchise opportunity before studying the company's franchise system. After submitting an application and upon approval, franchisees will begin training with Dairy Queen's franchise support team, who will assist you with your store's design, construction, and staffing.

A typical franchise agreement runs for 20 years. Franchisees may be allowed to renew their agreement if they meet the Dairy Queen requirements. Once your store is constructed, staffed, and has opened its doors for business, you'll be ready and able to satisfy your community’s cravings for sweet treats, burgers, fries, and chicken.

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Company Overview

About Dairy Queen

Related Categories
Ice Cream, Ices
Parent Company
IDQ Inc.
Jim Kerr, EVP, Franchise Development

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
1940 (82 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is seeking new franchisees in the following international regions: Asia, Middle East, Central America, Canada, South America, Mexico

# of Units
7,188 (as of 2022)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
8000 Tower, #700, 8331 Norman Center Dr.
Bloomington, MN 55437

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Dairy Queen franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$1,461,000 - $2,427,000
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
20 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

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

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
245 hours
Classroom Training
32 hours
Additional Training
At existing DQ store
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Marketing Planning & Support
Social Media
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?
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Interested in franchise ownership like Dairy Queen? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Dairy Queen landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021