Who owns Dairy Queen fast food chain? Dairy Queen is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a multinational conglomerate holding company. Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett as the Chairman and CEO, acquired Dairy Queen in 1998. Dairy Queen, also known as DQ, is a chain of fast-food restaurants specializing in soft-serve ice cream and other frozen treats, along with a range of food items. It was founded in 1940, and since then, has grown into a popular and well-known brand with thousands of locations worldwide.
Dairy Queen, also known as DQ, is a popular American chain of ice cream and fast-food restaurants. The company was founded on June 22, 1940, in Joliet, Illinois, by John Fremont McCullough and his son, Alex. Their first store was operated by Sherb Noble. The early success of their first store set the stage for expanding the business across the United States. Dairy Queen had initially been a privately-held company.
In 1948, the founders of Dairy Queen established the Dairy Queen Corporation, opening up new franchising opportunities. Over the years, Dairy Queen continued to grow, reaching over 5,000 stores across the United States and around the world during the 1960s. In 1984, International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ), a subsidiary of Dairy Queen, merged with Orange Julius, another popular beverage and food retailer. This led to further expansion and diversification of the company’s product offerings.
The ownership of Dairy Queen changed in 1998 when Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate owned by Warren Buffett, acquired the company. Berkshire Hathaway acquired International Dairy Queen, Inc. for approximately $585 million in a stock swap deal. Since the acquisition, Dairy Queen has been operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Today, Dairy Queen’s corporate headquarters are located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The company operates more than 6,800 stores across the United States and in several other countries, serving its iconic ice cream treats, signature Blizzards, and fast-food items.
Who was the original founder?
Dairy Queen was originally founded by John Fremont McCullough in 1940, along with his son Bradley McCullough and longtime friend Sherb Noble. John Fremont McCullough was born on November 19, 1871, in Illinois, and he pursued a career in the dairy industry by working as a chemist and ice cream-maker. McCullough is known for developing a formula for soft-serve ice cream, which has a smoother and creamier texture compared to traditional ice cream.
The innovative soft-serve formula he created called for lower fat content, an increased temperature, and quick freezing, resulting in the iconic product Dairy Queen is known for today. To prove the public’s demand for soft-serve ice cream, McCullough teamed up with Sherb Noble, an ice cream shop owner in Kankakee, Illinois. Noble hosted a promotional event on August 4, 1938, during which they sold all-you-can-eat ice cream for just 10 cents.
The event was a massive success, with over 1,600 servings sold within two hours, prompting them to think about a business venture focused on soft-serve ice cream. In collaboration with Noble, John McCullough and his son Bradley opened the first Dairy Queen store on June 22, 1940, in Joliet, Illinois. The Dairy Queen brand expanded rapidly and now has over 6,800 locations in the United States and across the world.
Today, Dairy Queen is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, which is led by business magnate Warren Buffett.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Dairy Queen?
Dairy Queen is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate holding company.
When was Dairy Queen founded?
Dairy Queen was founded on June 22, 1940, in Joliet, Illinois, United States.
What type of products does Dairy Queen offer?
Dairy Queen primarily offers soft-serve ice cream and fast food, including items such as Blizzards, sundaes, shakes, malts, ice cream cones, Dilly Bars, burgers, chicken strips, fries, and more.
How many Dairy Queen locations are there?
As of 2020, there are more than 7,000 Dairy Queen locations worldwide, including both traditional DQ restaurants and combination DQ/Orange Julius stores.
Where is Dairy Queen’s headquarters located?
Dairy Queen’s headquarters is currently located in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States.
Sources for More Information
- Dairy Queen Official Website (Our Story)
- Business Insider – Dairy Queen, the Shopping Center, and Berkshire Hathaway
- Berkshire Hathaway – List of Subsidiaries
- Forbes – Dairy Queen Company Profile