International Dairy Queen Corporation (IDQ), through its wholly owned subsidiary American Dairy Queen Corp., and FountainVest Partners (FountainVest), a leading independent private equity firm with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, announced plans to open 600 DQ restaurants in China by 2030. The franchise development agreement, spearheaded by the FountainVest-acquired franchise ownership company CFB Group, expands its stronghold in China. FountainVest and CFB Group will begin the expansion by opening 100 DQ restaurants in 2022.
“China remains an important growth market to us, and this expansion with FountainVest provides the opportunity to widen our footprint in one of the fastest-growing countries for [quick-service restaurants],” says Jean Champagne, chief operating officer, international, at International Dairy Queen. “The continued success of our investment in China, which includes several unique-to-China food and treat offerings, showcases the strength of the DQ brand to fans throughout the country.”
Founded in 2007, FountainVest focuses on long-term investments in industry leaders with track records of delivering high growth in consumer and financial categories across Asia. FountainVest recently acquired CFB Group, a franchise ownership group in mainland China with more than 900 DQ restaurants.
“The market for frozen treats is booming in China and we predict the industry will continue a rapid growth trajectory during the next ten years,” adds Andrew Huang, managing director at FountainVest Partners. “FountainVest is committed to fully supporting CFB Group’s growth of both its existing DQ restaurants and opening 600 new DQ restaurants by 2030.”
CFB Group has worked with IDQ to develop and launch products unique to the Chinese market, including hard pack ice cream, specialty novelties, light meals and artfully designed DQ Cakes. Across a more than 20-year relationship, CFB Group has outperformed China’s industrial average for frozen treats, making the DQ brand one of the best performing QSR brands in China.
“We’ve seen immense success from DQ restaurants in China, and with our strength in digitalized operations, social media management and sub-franchisee expansion, we see endless growth opportunities for this well-loved brand,” says Alan Hsu, CEO at CFB Group. “With continued support in innovation and product development from IDQ, we will grow our fan base further and open new DQ restaurants in 2022 and beyond. We have great confidence in the DQ brand.”
China is the fastest growing market for the DQ brand and is among the top three in size, alongside the U.S. and Canada. There are currently more than 1,100 DQ restaurants in China.