Dairy Queen is expanding its presence in the Middle East with the opening of a DQ Grill & Chill restaurant in Bahrain. This is the first Grill & Chill — a more upscale version of traditional DQ stores — to open outside North America.

According to DQ, Bahrain was chosen as the first market for international expansion because the Middle East has the largest number of Dairy Queen restaurants outside of the U.S. and Canada. “We have very strong operators in this market and the brand has been well established here since 1982,” said Chuck Chapman, chief concept officer for International Dairy Queen. “With both our Dairy Queen brand and DQ Grill & Chill, we are focused on bringing our customers a better choice than typical quick-serves.”

The menu is similar to that in U.S. stores, with the exception of the use of all-beef bacon to adhere to religious dietary laws in the area. Supply and distribution of food is a combination of products locally sourced and imported from the U.S. The menu features one-quarter to one-half pound burgers, grilled turkey sandwiches, Philly steak sandwiches, Buffalo chicken strips, chicken and vegetable quesadillas, salads, soups, and chili-cheese fries. The usual array of DQ treats is offered as well.

Jawad Business Group, which operates 12 Dairy Queen restaurants in the Middle East, opened the DQ Grill and Chill.

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