DAIRY QUEEN HISTORY
Dairy Queen (also known as DQ®) is an ice-cream shop and fast-food restaurant franchise founded in 1940 in the United States.
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. Much of its early growth occurred in rural areas of the United States, and references to the small-town “DQ®” occur repeatedly in both the popular and literary culture of the USA. For many years the franchise’s slogan was “We treat you right!” In recent years, it has been changed to “DQ® something different.” The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and its headquarters are located in Edina, Minnesota. Today there are more than a dozen Dairy Queen / Orange Julius locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands, which are still locally owned and operated since 1949.
Dairy Queen’s products over the years expanded to include malts and milkshakes in 1949, banana splits in 1951, Dilly Bars in 1955, Mr. Misty slush treats in 1961 (later renamed Misty Slush, then again to Arctic Rush), and a range of hamburgers and other cooked foods under the Brazier banner in 1958 (which are not yet available to the Hawaiian Islands). Other popular items include ice cream sundaes and the blended coffee drink, the MooLatte. A very popular Dairy Queen® Treat today is the Blizzard®, which is ice cream with candy bits blended in; it has been a staple on the menu since 1985. It is traditionally served upside down to prove the thickness. The Blizzard® was actually introduced in Hawaii in 1984 at the Dairy Queen Convention.
Highlights of the HDQ® system include:
- 1940: First Dairy Queen® store opens in Joliet, Illinois.
- 1949: DQ® introduces malts and shakes. The first DQ® opens on Li’iha Sreet on Oahu
- 1951: Banana splits appear on the menu.
- 1953: First DQ® store opens in Canada.
- 1955: The Dilly® Bar debuts.
- 1957: The Dairy Queen®/Brazier® concept is introduced.
- 1958: The Dairy Queen®/Brazier® food products are introduced.
- 1961: The Mr. Misty® slush treat cools throats in the warm South.
- 1962: International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ) is formed.
- 1965: First national radio advertising sends DQ® message 169 million times a week.
- 1966: First national TV commercial, “Live a Little,” is aired.
- 1968: The Buster Bar® Treat bursts forth.
- 1972: First DQ® store opens in Japan.
- 1973: Say the word “Scrumpdillyishus®!” and get a Peanut Buster® Parfait for 49 cents.
- 1979: The DQ® system debuts in the Middle East.
- 1980: “We Treat You Right®” tagline debuts.
- 1985: More than 175 million Blizzard® Treats sold in its first year. Debuted in Hawaii!
- 1989: Dairy Queen® ranked America’s number one treat chain.
- 1991: First DQ® store opens in Mexico.
- 1995: DQ® Treatzza Pizza® and the Chicken Strip Basket make their debut.
- 1999: Pecan Mudslide® Treat is introduced.
- 1999: An operator of several DQ® locations in Massachusetts builds the world’s largest blended treat, weighing in at 5,316.6 pounds.
- 2001: Crispy Chicken Salad is introduced.
- 2001: The first DQ Grill & Chill® restaurant opens in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- 2002: Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, becomes manager of a DQ® location in Texas for the day.
- 2002: A man coined “the DQ Blizzard Guy” completed his goal of eating a Blizzard® flavor treat in every state with a visit to a Dairy Queen® restaurant in Alaska for his 50th Blizzard® treat.
- 2003: The Blizzard® of the Month program kicks off.
- 2004: The MooLatte® Frozen Coffee Flavored Beverage line debuts in Mocha, Vanilla and Caramel flavors.
- 2004: Award-winning Dairy Queen® commercials can be seen throughout the country in the system’s first full year of national advertising.
- 2005: GrillBurgers™ are introduced to consumers on national TV.
- 2005: The record is broken on June 21, when a new World’s Largest Blizzard® Treat is built in Springfield, Massachusetts. It weighs 8,224.85 pounds and is 22 feet tall.
- 2012: The 500th Dairy Queen® Store in China was opened in March.
- 2012: The HDQ Pono Program which promotes community service and awareness was established
- 2013: Local Community Partnership Programs expand to local schools and colleges
- 2014: HDQ Inc – Dairy Queen Hawaii host the Dairy Queen Expo
- 2015: DQ Bakes!® items are introduced to the Hawaiian Islands
- 2016: DQ® Expo January in Puerto Rico
Today there are thirteen Dairy Queen® / Orange Julius® Treats Stores in the Hawaiian Islands:
- Ala Moana Center, Honolulu
- Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki
- Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, Kaneohe
- Kona Commons, Kailua Kona
- Lahaina Cannery Mall, Lahaina
- Navy Exchange, Honolulu
- Parker Ranch Center, Kaimuela
- Pearl Highlands Center, Pearl City
- Pearl Ridge Center, Aiea
- Prince Kuhio Plaza, Hilo
- Queen’s Market Place, Waikoloa Village
- Ward Warehouse, Honolulu
- Windward Mall, Kaneohe