Dairy Queen

The founders of the Dairy Queen® system were men and women who introduced a new kind of dessert treat and, in the process, developed the foundation of the franchising industry. The history of the DQ® system is a story of a unique product that created an industry.

For more than 70 years, the DQ® system’s recipe for success has been simple. It’s been a combination of hardworking people who own and operate restaurants, and great-tasting food and tempting treats served in our establishments.

Their story began with the 10-cent sale of a then unnamed product on August 4, 1938, in Kankakee, Illinois. A father and son partnership in Green River, Illinois, had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product for some time. They contacted Sherb Noble, a good friend and customer, who agreed to run the “all you can eat” trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store. Within two hours, he dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert.

Back then, food franchising was all but unheard of, but the new product’s potential made it a natural for such a system. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, there were fewer than 10 Dairy Queen® stores. However, shortly after the war, the system took off at a pace virtually unrivaled before or since. With only 100 stores in 1947, it grew to 1,446 in 1950 and then to 2,600 in 1955. Today, the DQ® system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries.

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Parent Company: Berkshire Hathaway
Store Count: 6,000
S&P Rating: AA

S&P Outlook: Stable

Moody Rating: Aa2

Moody Outlook: Stable

Typical Lease Characteristics

Lease Term: 15 – 20 Years  Years

Lease Type: Absolute NNN Lease 

Lease Increases: 10% Every 5 years 

Lease Extensions: 4-5 (5) Year Options

Lease Guarantor: Corporate and Franchise


  • Public Company, Credit Rated
  • Strong brand recognition
  • Typically Long term leases with increases


  • Consumers are showing a growing interest in healthy fast food.
  • Competitive Industry Sector
  • Susceptible to economic trends and pressures

Market Snapshots:

On Market Ranges:

# of Properties in set: 8

Price: $943,170 - $1,133,810Average: $1,003,375

PPSF: $390 - $520Average: $449

Year Built: 1953 - 2015Average: 1989

CAP Rate Range: N/AV - N/AVAverage: N/AV

Size range: 891 sq ft - 6,618 sq ft Average: 2,717 sq ft

Last 12 Month Range:

# of Properties in set: 23

Price: $1,371,420 - $1,633,380Average: $1,540,924

PPSF: $481 - $634Average: $566

Year Built: 1963 - 2017Average: 1996

CAP Rate Range: 5.66% - 7.09%Average: 6.22%

Size range: 1,563 sq ft - 3,906 sq ft Average: 2,659 sq ft

Dairy Queen Company Profile

Headquarters Information

Founded in 1940

Company type: Private

Stock Ticker: BRK.A

Parent Company: Berkshire Hathaway

Sector: Services

Industry: Restaurants

S&P Rating: AA

S&P Outlook: Stable

S&P Rating: Aa2

Moody Outlook: Stable

Dairy Queen Stock Keys

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