Dairy Queen Expands Int’l Footprint, Adds 118 Locations
International Dairy Queen, Inc., recently announced that it is opening its first locations in Vietnam and Guyana this year, as well as adding locations to its existing presence in Taiwan.
With those expansions, the Edina-based fast food chain’s presence will extend to 25 countries.
In conjunction with Taiwan-based Jolly Brands, Inc., Dairy Queen opened its first location in the Tianmu neighborhood of Taipei City on December 26 after being absent from the region for approximately 10 years. Dairy Queen said it also plans to add 45 locations throughout Taiwan during the next five years.
Dairy Queen also signed a multi-unit deal with QSR Vietnam Trading One Member Company, Ltd., to open the first DQ Treat store (which will primarily serve frozen desserts) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, this month. The franchise has plans to open an additional 60 locations throughout the country during the next five years.
Additionally, Dairy Queen signed an agreement with Guyana-based restaurant operator Camex Restaurants, Inc., to develop DQ Grill and Chill restaurants (which offer a full dining menu) and DQ Treat stores in Guyana. Two locations are slated to open early this year, as part of 12 total locations that will open during the next five years.
Justin Holtkamp, vice president of international marketing for Dairy Queen, told Twin Cities Business that while the number of employees that will staff its new locations has yet to be determined, new positions will include marketing, supply chain, research and development, and general operations jobs.
Holtkamp said that the decision to add locations in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Guyana stemmed from the company’s interest in contiguous, international markets. He added that the company also found partners in those countries “that will best represent and grow the Dairy Queen brand.”
Jean Champagne, chief operating officer of Dairy Queen’s international division, said that the expansions allow the franchise to target new customer bases.
“We are very happy with the success of our global expansion particularly when re-entering Taiwan and opening in brand new markets like Vietnam and Guyana,” he said in a statement. “We certainly look forward to delivering the Dairy Queen experience and innovative menu items to our fans in those countries as we continue to expand our global presence.”
International Dairy Queen is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation, which develops, licenses, and operates approximately 6,400 Dairy Queen and Orange Julius stores in 21 countries, including the United States and Canada. International Dairy Queen and American Dairy Queen operate as subsidiaries of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, Inc, which is controlled by Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway reported 2012 revenue of $162 billion—a 13 percent increase from the prior year.
Dairy Queen employs approximately 230 at its Edina headquarters and operates more than 250 independently owned and operated locations throughout Minnesota.