Dairy Queen is looking to China and perhaps India to fuel growth, while counting on a revamped burger menu to bring in more American and Canadian customers. Dairy Queen has more than 7,000 locations in 20 countries.
Dairy Queen Eyes China For Growth
Troy Bader, chief executive of International Dairy Queen Inc since 2018, expects international markets to be the fastest-growing for the 82-year-old restaurant chain, which Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) bought in 1998.
China is Dairy Queen's third-largest market by sales and second-largest by store count, with more than 1,100 locations. The Bloomington, Minnesota-based company is teaming with private equity firm FountainVest Partners to add 600 more by 2030.
Dairy Queen sales topped USD 5.5 billion in 2021, with sales at stores open at least one year up 18% from 2019. Bader said franchisees struggled in the early weeks of the pandemic until customers decided it was safe to order, including in drive-throughs, and began visiting and ordering more. Like many companies, Dairy Queen is experiencing supply chain issues, including lockdowns in China and shortages of warehouse workers and drivers in North America. Vehicles are also in short supply, as distributors struggle to replace equipment that broke down in the last two years.
Article by Fuller Wang, EqualOcean, an investment research firm focusing on China.