John Fremont McCullough (Grandpa) and his son Alex McCullough first developed the soft serve formula in 1938. They persuaded Herb Noble, friend and customer, to offer the product at his ice cream store in Kankakee, Illinois. It kicked off on good footing as Noble managed to dish out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert within just two hours on its first day.
Father and son then set out to open the first Dairy Queen outlet in Joliet, Illinois in the year 1940. This Dairy Queen store is no longer in operation but the building it was located in-at 501 N Chicago St-still stands. Since 1940, Dairy Queen expanded its operations internationally by applying the franchising system.
In 1941, DQ had 10 stores and by 1947, had increased them to 100. By 1955, 2,600 stores were in operation. In 1953, the first store was opened in Canada in Estevan, Saskatchewan. Majority of its stores are situated in the United States and mostly Texas. Dairy Queen’s parent company is Dairy Queen International but in the United States, it operates under American Dairy Queen. It is a totally owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The symbolic DQ logo was introduced in 1959 and has been undergoing gradual metamorphosis since then to better suit the changing times.
Today, the “DQ” font has been modified and letters italicized, as well as two arced lines, the orange one above representing hot foods and the blue arc below symbolizing its ice cream products. In 1962, the company became International Dairy Queen (IDQ) and later in 1998 acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. During the 1950s and 1960s, Dairy Queens were a hallmark of social life in the towns found in Southern and Midwestern United States. With regard to that, they have thus come to symbolize life in small towns of America. Business Model
Dairy Queen has grown to become one of the major soft serve franchises in the globe focusing on dairy desserts and fast food. Their stores are run under several brands but they all sell the company’s signature soft serve ice cream and bear the characteristic Dairy Queen logo. Most importantly, the company’s stores vary depending on factors like location, season of the year, target market and so on.
Menus found in each store therefore depend on the concept adopted be it Dairy Queen Brazier, DQ Grill and Chill, DQ/Orange Julius (Treat Concept), Texas Country Foods or Persistence on selling fresh products has kept their customers trickling in. Among Dairy Queen’s most popular dessert is the Blizzard which has led to more than 3 million members joining the Blizzard Fan Club, the Blizz Buds. What’s more, when Dairy Queen was bought by Berkshire Hathaway in 1998, it received a vote of confidence from the billionaire investor, Warren Buffet.
ProductsProducts sold by Dairy Queen, in general as it varies with the kind of store, are ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes, hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken, French fries, breakfast, salads and so on. They mainly serve Coca Cola products but franchisees are not mandated which makes Dairy Queen the only major franchise not bound by a soft drink contract. Competition
Their main competition includes McDonalds, Ben and Jerry’s, Foster’s Freeze, Culver’s, Carvel, Tastee Freez, Baskin-Robbins, TCBY and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard.