How the DQ Grill & Chill Concept is Growing Throughout the Southeast with Experienced Business Operators

How the DQ Grill & Chill Concept is Growing Throughout the Southeast with Experienced Business Operators

How convenience store and oil company McDonald Oil is tapping into the food-service industry with the Dairy Queen brand

By Katie Murray
Dairy Queen Contributor

With more than 40 years of business experience, the McDonald Oil Company, a well-known oil and convenience store operator, is broadening its business scope and diversifying its portfolio with the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry.

President of McDonald Oil Company Tim Huff saw that the food industry, specifically QSR segment, was on the rise and saw it as a smooth transition to balance the fluctuation of the oil business. With the creation of a new sub-section of the company, LABE Restaurant Group, Huff and his team invested in the restaurant service industry for the first time with the legacy Dairy Queen brand.

“We believed that there was a lack of Dairy Queen locations in our area, so thought it would be a great fit to bring into the space and kick-off our partnership,” said Huff.

While the group’s originally desired location for a restaurant was unavailable, it didn’t take long to find an opportunity is Columbus, Ga. for the first location. The Columbus DQ Grill & Chill location opened in May of 2016 and has proven to be just as successful as the team hoped. Just a year later, the group opened a second location in Phenix City, Ala. in May of 2017.

“We always had it in our minds that we would open a DQ Grill & Chill location rather than a treat store,” noted Huff. “The Dairy Queen system is such a well-known and liked brand that having the ability to tap into the food-service industry with their franchised brand is an ideal business.”

The team has plans to open its third location near the end of 2017 in Gulf Shore, Fla. and will develop the brand even more throughout the Southeast in 2018. While once hesitant of buying into a franchise, with the perception that they would have to follow many rules set by the company, Huff and his team are happy to have the support and guidance of the DQ corporate team.

“Gas companies usually just make you put their logo on everything but are pretty hands off with anything else so we thought this would be a big transition,” said Huff. “It turns out that the training we received from American Dairy Queen Corporation has led our success as franchisees. We had no idea how to run a food-service company so learning how to manage and run these locations was necessary, especially since we had plans of being multi-unite location owners.”

In addition to broadening its business scope with food service, McDonald Oil’s partnership with the Dairy Queen system will also allow the brand’s business model to expand. While previously most of the brands locations were known as an add-on concept, rather than a stand-alone shop, the DQ Grill & Chill model requiring stand-alone construction will create added value for McDonald Oil.

“We had to show that we were open to the idea and actually interested in getting more involved with stand-alone locations,” said Huff. “This change will be good for our business at LABE Restaurant Group and McDonald Oil Company to grow and stay relevant through other industries.”

To learn more about the Dairy Queen brand and franchising opportunities, please visit their website: