Do you long for something creamy and sweet to sate your palate? You need to look no further than Dairy Queen, where delectable ice cream delicacies are made! Dairy Queen is well-known for its delectable sweets and savory treats, as well as for its cheerful, nostalgic ambiance. With its vintage furnishings, jukeboxes, and traditional sweets that have been entertaining patrons for more than 80 years, you’ll think you’ve traveled back in time. So why are you still waiting? Visit this Dairy Queen blog for a sweet treat, or think about starting your franchise to carry on their delicious tradition.

What is the Dairy Queen?

The 1940 founding year of the American fast food and soft serve ice cream brand Dairy Queen. The franchise is well-known for its mouthwatering ice cream delicacies, which include milkshakes, sundaes, soft serve cones, and the recognizable Blizzard. Dairy Queen offers fast food staples like hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and chicken strips in addition to ice cream. Several Dairy Queen shops include nostalgic accents like jukeboxes and old signage. 

The chain is well-recognized for its retro furnishings. Dairy Queen is one of the biggest and best-known ice cream franchises in the world today, with more than 4,600 outlets spread over more than 25 nations.

Is Dairy Queen A Franchise Opportunity?

Indeed, Dairy Queen gives company owners who want to launch their own enterprise using the Dairy Queen brand franchising opportunities.

Facts That Nobody Told You About Dairy Queen 

  • The notion of a queen of dairy goods served as the inspiration for the moniker “Dairy Queen.” Soft-serve ice cream in cones cost 10 cents apiece at the first Dairy Queen.
  • In 1985, a Missouri-based Dairy Queen franchisee created the enduring Blizzard. Soft-serve ice cream is blended with add-ins like candies, cookies, or fruit to create delight.
  • The catchphrase “Fan Food, Not Fast Food,” used by Dairy Queen to underscore its dedication to providing high-quality meals and desserts, is well-known.
  • 2020 saw the introduction of a brand-new Blizzard flavor called Oreo Fudge Brownie Blizzard as part of Dairy Queen’s 80th-anniversary celebrations.

Dairy Queen Franchise Review and Information

Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities 
Sub Category Frozen Desserts Franchise Opportunities 
Year Established 1940
Company Name Dairy Queen
Founder/Management Head Jim Kerr, EVP, Franchise Development
Franchising Started 1940
Employees at Company H.O 500
Franchise Expansion Plan Dairy Queen franchise for sale in Canada
Number of Units 7,397 (as of 2023)
Number of Franchise Units 7, 171
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location  8000 Tower, #700, 8331 Norman Center Dr. Bloomington, MN 55437

Dairy Queen Franchise Requirements

Franchisees with some past business expertise, particularly in the food service sector, are preferred by Dairy Queen. If you don’t have any prior experience, you might need to show that you have the aptitude to pick things up quickly and lead a team. 

Dairy Queen’s franchising development demands considerable time and effort commitment. Especially at the beginning of the franchise, you will need to be prepared to work long hours and be dedicated to running your business full-time. To uphold the caliber of the brand, Dairy Queen has strict operational and commercial requirements that must be followed. 

You will need to give proof that you can uphold these standards regarding things like customer satisfaction, cleanliness, and food safety. Franchise locations must meet certain criteria set forth by Dairy Queen, including accessibility, demographics, and population density. You will need to locate a suitable area that complies with these specifications and is accepted by the business.

Dairy Queen Franchise

How much does a Dairy Queen Franchise cost

Franchisees are expected to have at least $400,000 in liquid cash on hand, with the total investment needed to be estimated to be between $1,511,200 – $2,533,400. Also, franchisees are required to pay a royalty charge of 4% of monthly sales revenue. 

Dairy Queen Franchise Startup and On-going Franchise Costs
Dairy Queen Franchise Fee $45,000
Dairy Queen Franchise Cost

$1,511,200 –


Royalty Fee 4%
Advertising Fee 5-6%
Term of Agreement 20 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes

Dairy Queen Training to Franchises

The 18-day Dairy Queen training course usually takes place in Minnesota at the company’s corporate headquarters. Franchisees will gain knowledge of Dairy Queen’s past, present, and future, as well as its rules and regulations, throughout this period. 

Franchisees will also get practical training in a Dairy Queen location where they’ll learn how to use the equipment, prepare food, and treat customers well. Franchisees will continue to get support and training from Dairy Queen’s field team after finishing the initial training session because they offer direction and assistance in all facets of the business.

Dairy Queen Operations to Franchises

As a Dairy Queen franchise owner, you will be in charge of managing your company’s finances, marketing, hiring and firing employees, and inventory. To ensure that its franchisees have the tools and resources necessary to manage their companies successfully, Dairy Queen offers thorough operating manuals and ongoing support. 

Franchisees are required to follow stringent operating guidelines and quality standards to ensure uniformity across all Dairy Queen stores. Additionally, Dairy Queen gives its franchisees access to a network of vendors and suppliers, ensuring that they have the tools necessary to manage their operations effectively. Dairy Queen wants to assist its franchisees in establishing prosperous businesses that provide top-notch goods and first-rate customer service.

How is Dairy Queen Territory Granted to Franchises

When a franchisee signs a franchise agreement with Dairy Queen, they are often given a protected territory depending on many variables, such as the franchisee’s business expertise, financial resources, and overall capacity to run a successful franchise. 

The franchisee will be in charge of managing and advertising their business within the boundaries of their assigned territory, and Dairy Queen will be in charge of making sure no further franchises are established nearby.

What is the Franchise Term of Agreement and Renewal?

The Dairy Queen franchise agreement normally has a 20-year term, though this might change based on the particulars of the contract. Franchisees may choose to extend their agreement after the first duration of their franchise, provided that certain standards and circumstances are met.

Does Dairy Queen provide Financial Assistance to Franchises?

Although Dairy Queen does not directly finance its franchisees’ companies, it does collaborate with outside lenders to assist them in doing so. Dairy Queen has developed connections with several lenders who are knowledgeable about the franchising system and may be more eager to lend money to Dairy Queen franchisees.

Dairy Queen Franchise Dealerships

Although the business does not run any dealerships directly, it does have connections with suppliers and vendors who offer supplies and equipment to franchisees.

Pros & Cons of owning a Dairy Queen Franchise 

Pros of owning a Dairy Queen 

  1. Established Brand

Dairy Queen has been in existence for more than 80 years and is a well-known and established brand. Customers can be drawn in and their loyalty can be increased in this way.

  1. Strong Support

To help its franchisees operate their companies more successfully, Dairy Queen offers comprehensive training, continuing support, and marketing assistance.

  1. Numerous Income Streams

Dairy Queen franchises can provide a variety of revenue sources, including catering, drive-through services, food and ice cream sales, and so forth. They can all contribute to greater profitability.

  1. Versatile Operational Models

Dairy Queen provides a variety of operating models, including full-service, quick-service, and kiosk restaurants. These models enable franchisees to customize their operations to meet their unique needs and target markets.

Cons of Owning a Dairy Queen Franchise

  1. High Starting Costs

According to estimates, it might cost between $1,511,200 – $2,533,400 to open a Dairy Queen franchise.

  1. Costs for royalties

Dairy Queen charges its franchisees a 4-5% royalty fee on monthly gross earnings, which over time can add up to a sizable outlay.

  1. Limited Flexibility

Even though the fact that Dairy Queen offers a variety of operating models, franchisees may still only have a small amount of freedom to modify or improve their operations, which can be problematic in some niche markets or circumstances.

  1. Competitive Market

Market rivalry is fierce in the fast food and ice cream sectors, and franchisees may encounter strong opposition from national chains and neighborhood shops.

Dairy Queen Franchise

How much do Dairy Queen franchise owners make?

The average annual income of a Dairy Queen franchise owner in the United States, however, is reportedly around $194,000.

What is Dairy Queen franchise profit?

The corporation does not give franchisees precise earnings claims or estimates, according to the Franchise Disclosure Document of Dairy Queen. To assess the prospective profitability of a Dairy Queen franchise, the firm instead publishes historical financial performance data for its franchised restaurants in the United States.

What are Dairy Queen Franchise reviews?

Online reviews of Dairy Queen are inconsistent, both from clients and staff. Several workers give the organization high marks for its welcoming and inclusive work atmosphere, flexible scheduling options, and career progression chances. Others lament the low salary, unpredictable scheduling, and poor training.

According to customer reviews, a lot of customers enjoy the range of menu options, particularly the ice cream desserts, and value the staff members’ courteous and helpful service. Some, however, have criticized the food’s quality, pointing up problems like overcooked burgers and stale buns. Also, some customers have complained about lengthy lines at drive-thrus and in-store, which can ruin the entire dining experience. 

Dairy Queens franchise evaluations are often mixed, with some complimenting the company and others pointing out shortcomings.

Dairy Queen Franchise Rankings

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

If you want to start a restaurant business, buying a Dairy Queen franchise can be a wise idea. The business has a well-known brand and a profitable business model that has been around for more than 80 years. To serve a wide spectrum of clients, Dairy Queen provides a wide range of goods, such as its famous soft serve ice cream, hamburgers, and other food items. 

Additionally, Dairy Queen offers its franchisees thorough training and continuing support to provide them with the tools they need to be successful. To give franchisees freedom, the company also provides many real estate possibilities, including free-standing structures, in-line sites, and food court locations. Ultimately, for business owners who are committed to offering their clients top-notch service and who are passionate about the brand, purchasing a Dairy Queen franchise can be a lucrative investment.

Potential risks to consider before investing in a Dairy Queen Franchise franchise

  • Competition

The restaurant business is fiercely cutthroat, and franchisees can run into other fast food restaurants, neighborhood restaurants, or other Dairy Queen locations nearby.

  • Labor Costs

As minimum wage rates climb, franchisees may find labor expenditures to be a substantial expense. It might be hard to find and keep qualified employees.

  • Customer Preferences That Change Rapidly

Franchisees must be able to quickly modify and update their menu selections and marketing plans in response to shifting consumer tastes and trends.

  • Franchise Agreement Restrictions

A franchisee’s capacity to run their business may be impacted by the conditions of their franchise agreement, which may place limitations on their ability to choose a location or menu.

Types of Dairy Queen Franchises

  1. Dairy Queen Grill and Chill

Dairy Queen is the most prevalent franchise model. Together with their usual ice cream and frozen sweets, these eateries offer a full menu of meals, including burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads.

  1. Dairy Queen Treat

Franchises of this kind specialize in offering soft-serve ice cream, milkshakes, and other frozen desserts from the classic Dairy Queen menu.

  1. Texas DQ Restaurant

Texas DQ Restaurants usually, provide a family-friendly environment with indoor and outdoor seating, drive-through service, and a variety of menu options for customers of all ages.

Is the Dairy Queen Franchise Profit Worth the Cost?

A Dairy Queen franchise’s profitability might change depending on elements like location, competition, and operational costs. Dairy Queen franchises can be expensive to start, but the well-known brand and tested business model may result in a significant return on investment.

Dairy Queen Franchise Success and Failure Rate

The actual success and failure rates of Dairy Queen franchises are difficult to pinpoint because success depends on a variety of variables, including location, competition, and management. Yet, with more than 80 years of experience and a well-known brand, Dairy Queen has a lengthy history of success in the fast food sector. Dairy Queen has reportedly recorded revenue of more than $2.5 billion, according to recent sources. 

While there have been cases of franchisee failure, these occurrences are common in all franchise systems and are not limited to the Dairy Queen system. In the end, a Dairy Queen franchise’s success will depend on elements like cautious planning, efficient management, and offering top-notch customer service. For individuals prepared to make the required financial commitment, a Dairy Queen franchise can be a satisfying and successful business opportunity.

Year Format Start End Change
2019 Franchise Owned 6862 7035 +173
Company Owned 2 2 0
2020 Franchise Owned 7035 7032 -3
Company Owned 2 2 0
2021 Franchise Owned 7032 7085 +50
Company Owned 2 2 0

You can review the competition analysis of Dairy Queens franchises.

Competition Analysis of Dairy Queen Franchises

Franchise Brand  Cost to Franchise Franchise Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Dairy Queen Franchise $1,511,200 – $2,533,400 $45,000 4% + 5-6% 15% 11 years 3.0/5.0
Baskin Robbins franchise $93,550 $25,000 5.9% + 5% 15-18% 2-3 years 4.8/5.0
Cold Stone Creamery franchise $53,200- $580,650 $8,000- $27,000 6% + 3% 15% 7.75 years 4.3 / 5.0 
Yogen Fruz franchise ₹123,179 – ₹459,679 ₹25,000 6% + 2%     2.0/5.0

The Franchise Deck rating for the Dairy Queen Franchise franchise is 3.0/5.0.

Dairy Queen Franchise


In conclusion, Dairy Queen is a well-established brand in the fast food business, offering a wide choice of products and substantial support to franchisees. With over 80 years of expertise and a great track record of success, Dairy Queen can be an interesting investment opportunity for entrepreneurs wishing to enter the restaurant industry. The expenses and hazards of starting a Dairy Queen franchise, including the upfront investment and ongoing fees, the competition, shifting consumer tastes, and the conditions of the franchise agreement, should, however, be carefully considered as with any investment. For people who are devoted to the brand and committed to offering their clients top-notch service, owning a Dairy Queen franchise can be a lucrative business option with the right study and planning.

Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise in the category  franchise opportunities  in Frozen Desserts categories can look at 

  1. Marble Slab Creamery
  2. Carvel
  3. Ben & Jerry’s
  4. Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
  5. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
  6. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
  7. TCBY

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Dairy Queen Franchise profitable?

Yes, the Dairy Queen franchise is profitable. 

  1. Can you make money owning a Dairy Queen Franchise?

You can make money owning a Dairy Queen franchise.

  1. Is a Dairy Queen Franchise a franchise?

Yes, the Dairy Queen franchise is a franchise. 

  1. How much is a Dairy Queen Franchise?

Franchisees are expected to have at least $400,000 in liquid cash on hand, with the total investment needed to be estimated to be between $1,511,200 – $2,533,400. Also, franchisees are required to pay a royalty charge of 4% of monthly sales revenue. 

  1. How does the Dairy Queen Franchise make money?

The sale of food and drinks, such as ice cream treats, hamburgers, fries, and soft drinks, is one of the main sources of income.

Published On: March 1st, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities /


  1. Biemat March 15, 2023 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Dairy Queen franchises are popular among both children and adults, as they offer a variety of treats that appeal to all age groups. Dairy Queen offers a unique experience to customers, with its signature mascot, the Dairy Queen Cone, and its iconic slogan, “We Treat You Right.”
    Dairy Queen franchises offer a simple menu that appeals to all types of customers, from those looking for a quick snack to those seeking a more substantial meal. Dairy Queen locations are easy to find, as they are often located in busy shopping malls and other high-traffic areas. Dairy Queen franchises are known for their friendly and helpful staff, making it a great place for customers to grab a bite to eat.

  2. chloe March 15, 2023 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Dairy Queen is committed to providing quality products and services to customers, as evidenced by its numerous awards and recognitions.
    Dairy Queen franchises offer a variety of promotions and specials to keep customers coming back.
    Dairy Queen is dedicated to giving back to the community, through its numerous charitable initiatives.
    Dairy Queen has made a name for itself as a leader in the fast food industry, with its innovative menu items and customer service.
    Dairy Queen is a great franchise to join, as it offers a lucrative business opportunity with a well-established, successful brand.

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