Star and Meridian openings show examples of Dairy Queen® system’s effort to build presence in growing communities
After growing up working at her grandparents’ Dairy Queen® locations in Bandon, Oregon with her four siblings and mother, Annelise Phillips decided to take a step away from the franchise to pursue other professional opportunities – but she couldn’t stay away for long.
“My grandparents have been franchisees since 1968, so the Dairy Queen brand has always been part of my life,” said Phillips. “When my husband and I moved back to the U.S. after being stationed in Germany with the military, I was thinking of going back to work at my grandparent’s locations but decided it was time to open my own.”
Phillips will soon open a location in Star, building momentum for the brand in Idaho as the state has seen recent economic growth. Due to that growth, the company plans to open more locations and expand into new trade areas in the state.
“When my husband and I moved to Idaho and found Star, I noticed how quickly the town was growing,” mentioned Phillips. “They are currently building a new middle school and high school in the town to provide for the growing population.”
For decades, DQ locations have been known as a centerpiece for communities they serve to celebrate exciting moments ranging from high school sporting victories to family birthdays. The DQ Grill & Chill concept, which started in the early 2000s, provides an updated look to the classic meeting place and new menu item offerings, in addition to the brand’s classic treats.
In addition to the location Phillips will open in Star, the DQ brand is experiencing growth in other parts of the state. Another location will open in Meridian, Idaho by the well-known local convenience store operator, Stinker Stores. Charley Jones, the owner of Stinker Stores, saw an opportunity to open a new restaurant in conjunction with the convenience store they were developing and wanted to bring in a fun and desirable QSR concept.
“My family has always been a fan of the Dairy Queen system so when the opportunity arose to partner with a quick service restaurant, they were one of the first to come to mind,” said Jones. “We wanted to partner with a company that aligned well with what we stood for as a business and found that in Dairy Queen brand.”
Similar to Star, Meridian is a community with strong economic growth. It is home to the largest high school and middle school in the state and Jones noticed the growth of the community and consequential opportunity for business success in the area. He also recognized how beloved the DQ brand is in the state, so was confident in his decision of becoming a franchisee.
“The neighborhood is interested in the new construction and lots of folks are asking about when the Dairy Queen restaurant will be open for business,” mentioned Jones. “We think the demographics in Meridian are great for our new business.”
As the brand continues to focus its development efforts in Idaho, cities including Pocatello and Mountain Home are targets for growth.
“As the presence of the DQ Grill & Chill concept develops more in the western region of the U.S., we’re interested in adding locations in cities where economies are flourishing,” said VP Franchise Sales and Development Mike Mettler. “With the right franchise partners and real estate, we look forward to furthering brand growth in Idaho in coming years.”