International Dairy Queen Inc. (IDQ), part of Berkshire Hathaway, opened 272 new DQ Grill & Chill, Dairy Queen, DQ Orange Julius, and Orange Julius locations in 2011. These new openings created approximately 5,000 jobs.
The DQ system opened restaurants for the first time in 34 new cities domestically, and internationally in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Guatemala, and Singapore. The number of new restaurant openings represents a 40 percent increase over 2010 for DQ Grill & Chill locations and a 27 percent increase for DQ Orange Julius locations over the previous year.
In addition, 204 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada were remodeled. Since 2004, the Dairy Queen system in the U.S. and Canada has invested nearly $800 million in opening more than 1,000 new locations and remodeling nearly 1,000.
Nationally in 2011, the southern U.S. was the strongest market for growth while the strongest international market was China, wherethe Dairy Queen system recently opened its 500th location.
“We appreciate the efforts and support of those franchisees who have chosen to build their business with us and those who have renovated their locations to continue delighting our customers with value, speed of service and consistency of experience,” says John Gainor, president and CEO of IDQ. “There’s excitement when a Dairy Queen location opens in a community. Everyone has a story to share about his or herDQ experience. This brand has an incredibly strong heritage.”
In 2012, Gainor expects the positive growth trend to continue. “We are projecting significant growth internationally, particularly in China,” he says. “Also, in the United States and Canada, there is a tremendous opportunity for us to continue growing this brand. It is one of the most beloved brands and our customers are passionate and loyal.”