The Dairy Queensystem, part of Berkshire Hathaway, has opened its 500th location in China and has plans to open more than 100 new restaurants there by the end of 2012. China has been the strongest international expansion market for the global retail treat category leader, which opened its first Dairy Queen location there in 1991 in Beijing.
The 500th DQ restaurant, located in the Hu Dong finance district in Shanghai, is operated by Shanghai Shida Catering Management Company, which has more than 350 Dairy Queen locations throughout southern and eastern China.
John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ), and members of his executive team, joined franchisees Li Ping of Shanghai Shida Catering; Marvin Hung, Beijing Hop Hing Fast Food; and Norris Man, Centroid Group, for the grand opening.
“With the world's fastest growing major economy, China continues to be a tremendous expansion market for the Dairy Queen system, and we attribute that in large part to strong alliances with our development partners here, including Shanghai Shida Catering," Gainor says. “It is a real honor for my team and me to be here for the opening of our 500th store in China."
The new Shanghai treat destination will serve all of the soft-serve products that have made the Dairy Queen brand an icon in the industry, such as Blizzard Flavor Treats, MooLatté frozen coffee-flavored beverages, soft-serve cones, sundaes, Blizzard Cakes, and the full line of fruit-blended beverages.
Of the 271 Dairy Queen locations that opened during 2011,131 were in China.
“Today, more than ever, people everywhere are looking for value, but they still want to treat themselves," Gainor says. “The Dairy Queen brand offers unique and delicious treats and products at a great price and we look forward to continued expansion."