Dairy Queen History

Dairy Queen
(also known as DQ) is an ice-cream shop and fast-food restaurant franchise in the United States and Canada that was founded in 1940.

Oakville Dairy Queen on Hays Blvd. DQ something different. Come With 5,700 restaurants in 22 countries as of 2005, Dairy Queen is one of the largest franchises in the world. Much of its early growth occurred in rural areas of the United States, and references to the small-town "DQ" occur repeatedly in both the popular and literary culture of the USA. For many years the franchise's slogan was "We treat you right!" In recent years, it has been changed to "DQ something different." The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and its headquarters are located in Edina, Minnesota.

"Sherb's" was the name of a small ice cream store that opened on South West Avenue, in Kankakee, Illinois on August 4, 1938. The proprietor of the store, thirty-year-old Sherwood Dick "Sherb" Noble, a native of Clemons, Iowa, had been associated with dairy products from his teen-age years. What his customers were offered that day in Kankakee for 10¢ was a new semi-frozen, "soft serve" dairy product formulated by a recent acquaintance and new business partner, J. F. McCullough. The Dairy Queen companies and franchises recognized Sherb Noble as the "original Dairy Queen operator." Another early Dairy Queen operator was Bud Bergstrom, who operated Dairy Queen #7 in Springfield, Missouri (His daughter, Julie and her husband Les, operate it today), and they've recently celebrated their 60th anniversary with the DQ system, making them the longest running Dairy Queen still under the same ownership. This particular DQ spawned the career of former US Attorney General John Ashcroft. [1]

The first Dairy Queen outlet was opened by Noble in Joliet, Illinois on June 22, 1940. DQ was an early pioneer of food franchising, with the 10 stores of 1941 expanding to 100 by 1947, 1,446 in 1950 and 2,600 in 1955. The first store in Canada opened in Estevan, Saskatchewan in 1953. The present Dairy Queen logo was introduced in 1959. The company became "International Dairy Queen, Inc." (IDQ) in 1962. It was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1998.

Dennis the Menace appeared in Dairy Queen marketing from 1972 until 2002, when he was dropped because Dairy Queen felt children could no longer relate to the character.

The company's products expanded to include malts and milkshakes in 1949, banana splits in 1951, Dilly Bars in 1955, Mr. Misty slush treats in 1961 (later renamed Misty Slush, then again to Arctic Rush), and a range of hamburgers and other cooked foods under the Brazier banner in 1958. Other popular items include ice cream sundaes and the blended coffee drink, the MooLatte.

A very popular Dairy Queen treat today is the Blizzard, which is ice cream with candy bits blended in; it has been a staple on the menu since 1985. It is traditionally served upside down to prove the thickness. The Blizzard was modeled after the concrete treats of the Midwest from frozen custard shops like Ted Drewes in St. Louis, Missouri, and include the Ted Drewes' tradition of holding the cup upside down to demonstrate the thickness. [2] The most popular Blizzard flavors include Oreo Cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough, M&M's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and Butterfinger. [3]

During the 1950s and 1960s, Dairy Queens in small towns of the Midwestern and Southern United States, especially Texas, were often a center of social life. In that role they have often come to be referenced as a symbol of life in small-town America, as for instance in Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond by Larry McMurtry, Dairy Queen Days by Robert Inman, and Chevrolet Summers, Dairy Queen Nights by Bob Greene. Some of the popular items on the Texas menu include the Hunger-buster and Belt-buster hamburgers. Bob Phillips, host of a popular Texas syndicated television program named Texas Country Reporter was the longtime spokesman for DQ in Texas.

The company's stores are operated under three brands, all bearing the distinctive Dairy Queen logo and carrying the company's signature soft-serve ice cream (along with the trademark "curl"): Small Dairy Queen stores (which serve a very abbreviated menu featuring primarily DQ frozen treats and hot dogs (for some restaurants, foot-long hot dogs), and which may be open only during spring and summer or located in shopping malls); medium-sized Dairy Queen Brazier stores (which serve a normal fast-food menu featuring burgers, french fries and processed fried chicken products in addition to the frozen treats and hot dogs; and large (and new) DQ Grill & Chill stores which have an expanded menu including breakfast. Most Texas Dairy Queens are not part of the Brazier chain, but have Texas Country Foods branding. IDQ also operates the Karmelkorn and Orange Julius brands, the latter often appearing adjacent to DQ's. DQ's current franchising efforts are primarily to open shopping mall outlets and Grill & Chill stores.

Its 100 (as of 1997) Japanese stores offered hamburgers, but competition from McDonald's made the chain switch to pita sandwiches in that country.
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