International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ), part of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B), 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 United States and Canada were remodeled. Since 2004, the Dairy Queen system in the United States 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 United States was the strongest market for growth while the strongest international market was China, where the 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,” said 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 her DQ 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.”
International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ), which is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ), which develops, licenses and services a system of more than 6,000 Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Karmelkorn stores in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries. IDQ and ADQ are part of the Berkshire Hathaway family, a company owned by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. For more information, visit DairyQueen.com.