Industry News | June 17, 2011

DQ Opens Largest Store in Saudi Arabia

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Dairy Queen, an international retail food and treat category leader, has given new meaning to the term global brand. Owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the DQ system has opened its first three locations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, one of which is the largest and only two-story DQ Grill & Chill restaurant in the world.

These openings mark the DQ system’s presence in 16 countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

All three of the new DQ Grill & Chill restaurants are owned and operated by franchisee Al Safwa Food Group, a retail holding group previously involved in the Saudi Arabia casual-dining segment.

Al Safwa Food Group is slated to open five DQ Grill & Chilllocations this year and a total of 32 locations throughout Saudi Arabia by 2015. The Dairy Queen system also has locations in the Middle Eastern countries of Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.

“For more than 50 years, we have been expanding the Dairy Queen brand into the international marketplace where there continues to be significant opportunities for us," says Brad Houser, executive vice president of International Dairy Queen, Inc.

“What makes these openings particularly noteworthy is that one of these locations will be the largest DQ Grill & Chill we’ve ever opened," Houser says. "We have found that consumers are willing to try new restaurant brands, especially those that offer high-quality food and treat options," Houser says, "so there was great anticipation for the opening of our first Dairy Queen locations in Saudi Arabia."

The Riyadh DQ Grill & Chill restaurants will feature all of the soft-serve products and expansive food offerings that have made the DQ system an icon in the industry. Guests will enjoy DQ signature Blizzard Treats, soft-serve cones, sundaes, DQ Cakes, and MooLatté frozen blended coffee beverages, as well as the DQ system’s popular Chicken Strip Basket and delicious GrillBurgers. The Tahlia Street location also will introduce DQ Cakes and feature a breakfast menu.

The Dairy Queen system has opened 236 international stores since January 2010, including numerous locations in China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Thailand, bringing its total to 841 locations outside the U.S. and Canada.