Dairy Queen Franchise

Quick-service restaurant serving ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken

Ice cream manufacturer JF McCullough was experimenting with a recipe for a new frozen dairy product, stemming from his belief that ice cream tasted better when it was soft and served fresh from the freezer, not frozen solid. With his recipe perfected, McCullough and his son Alex approached one of their customers about holding an introductory sale of the new soft ice cream. At the first sale, more than 1,600 people lined up to try the new ice cream.

Based on that initial success, the McCulloughs opened the first Dairy Queen location in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois. The first stores sold only soft-serve ice cream--in sundaes, take-home pints and quarts, and cones--but over the years, a variety of ice cream treats were added to the menu, such as banana splits and Dilly Bars.

In the 1950s, some Dairy Queens began serving hot food items. Today, stores systemwide have menus that include hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken strips through Dairy Queen's Brazier concept. Franchisees can operate a Dairy Queen with or without a Brazier. The company also offers its Treat Center concept, a store that sells items from the three franchise companies it owns--Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Karmelkorn.

Please Note: The operators of Dairy Queen, may not have verified the accuracy of the Franchise information contained within this website. For accurate up-to-date information, investors are strongly recommended to visit the official Dairy Queen website.

How much does it cost to open a Dairy Queen Franchise?

The investment required to open a Dairy Queen Franchise is between $763,225-$1,742,275. There is an initial franchise fee of $35,000 which grants you the license to run a business under the Dairy Queen name.

Individual Unit Costs

  • Initial Investment:
  • Initial Franchise Fee:
  • Royalty Fee:
  • Advertising Fee:
  • Term of Agreement:

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Dairy Queen News & Press Releases

When did the first Dairy Queen open? 1940
When did Dairy Queen start Franchising? 1944

Year U.S.A. Canada International Corporate
2013 4456 602 1171 3
2012 4548 646 1019 3
2011 4498 590 857 3
2010 4451 583 710 71
2004 4803 570 327 65
2003 4839 564 326 66
2002 4912 546 281 65
2001 4947 544 313 62
2000 5042 538 333 59
Expense In-House Third Party
Franchise Fee No No
Startup Costs No No
Equipment No No
Inventory No No
Accounts Receivable No No
Payroll No No

Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives

Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising

International franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses

Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 20 - 40

Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed.

Business Experience:

  • Industry experience
  • General business experience

  • To calculate how much income a franchise owner can do at Dairy Queen Franchise, may vary on factors like location, size etc., On the other side as a business owner your goals to maintain the quality of service while streaming sales high and expenses low. As any other franchise may include rent/mortgage, staffing/family, inventory supplies, utilities, administrative costs vise vera. Location to location and seasons the months costs may vary. Most franchises start up costs are typically fixed and they will cover most of the initial operating costs like signage, furniture, decoration and renovations.

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    Listing Tags

    ice cream, soft serve, american restaurant, coupons, dairy queen, dq
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    Legal Disclaimer: This information is not a franchise offering for Dairy Queen and should not be construed as such. The Franchise Mall makes every effort to maintain accurate franchise data but does not guarantee nor assume liability for incorrect data. We recommend that anyone seriously interested in pursuing a Dairy Queen franchise opportunity, review that franchise's Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) with an attorney and accountant.

    Dairy Queen

    Dairy Queen

    Dairy Queen
    P.O. Box 39286
    Minneapolis, MN


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