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Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Franchise

Dairy Queen, now often known as DQ, is one of America’s most iconic quick-serve restaurant brands. Dairy Queen built its reputation on its famous soft-serve ice cream, but long ago expanded to a full menu of restaurant delights, including burgers, chicken strips and sandwiches and fries. Still, starring on the DQ menu is its satisfying dessert treats, such as the Dilly Bar and Buster Bar, a variety of ice cream sundaes, and the world famous Blizzard, a yummy mix of ice cream shake with candy chunks. At Dairy Queen, it’s all about fun and flavor, and no one leaves without a smile and a story. More about the cost of owning a Dairy Queen franchise below.

Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$1,151,155 - $1,936,655
Franchise fee
Units in operation
Franchising Since


The DQ Grill & Chill restaurants are the flagship concept of Dairy Queen, which also owns the Orange Julius brand. Franchise agreements are available for both concepts. A DQ Grill & Chill franchise is an opportunity to own and operate an internationally loved brand. Each restaurant location features warm, welcoming décor in freestanding facilities, between 1,886 and 2,612 square feet. Franchisees should have prior retail or food service management experience. Dairy Queen franchise development is available in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

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Dairy Queen Franchise Opportunity History

The Dairy Queen soft-serve ice cream formula was first developed in 1938 by John Fremont ‘Grandpa’ McCullough and his son Bradley, who convinced a friend, Sheb Noble, to offer the product in his ice cream store in Kankakee, Illinois. After enormous success, Noble and the McCulloughs opened the first Dairy Queen store in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois. Fast-forward to 2006, and Dairy Queen has become an international brand with more than 5,600 stores in more than a dozen countries.

Dairy Queen Franchise Fee, Total Investment and Requirements

The franchise fee for a Dairy Queen restaurant is $25,000 to $35,000. The total estimated investment ranges from $382,000 to $1.8 million, with liquid cash available of $400,000. A 4-5% royalty fee on gross monthly receipts is paid to the company. Dairy Queen has reported revenue in excess of $2.5 billion.

Dairy Queen Franchise Business Opportunities: Other Information

Dairy Queen’s parent company, International Dairy Queen, Inc., also owns the Orange Julius and Karmelkorn brands. The name ‘Dairy Queen’ was the name the McCulloughs gave their soft-serve invention.


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