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How does Dairy Queen stay in business?

Last week stopped by and got a blizzard. Very few pieces of stuff in my blizzard and the ice cream was so soft I had to drink it. They took over Orange Julius and that doesn't even taste the same.

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  1. I went to a local one a while ago, and while the burger was so-so.... the onion rings were spectacular.

    1. Years ago when they lowered the dairy content to the point it had to be called 'ice milk' a local owners group left and formed Magic Fountain, which remains today.

      1. When I read Orange Julius I thought you were referring to the Orange Julius of my childhood that was sold in the mall, but looking at the website it doesn't look the same. I guess I will just have to keep making them at home.

        5 Replies
        1. re: roro1831

          In MY childhood there WERE no malls :) But I remember loving Orange Julius's (?).

            1. re: rubinow

              They have eschewed the raw egg (too many health reg issues), so that aspect of the product is different from my late 70's/early 80's mall rat days.

            2. re: roro1831

              "When I read Orange Julius I thought you were referring to the Orange Julius of my childhood that was sold in the mall..."

              lol Orange Julius dates back to 1929! Sad to say, but the Orange Julius at DQ is one and the same. I'm sure the one you remember from the mall would bear no resemblance to one that someone who grew up in the 1950s would remember. Times change.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                And most of the time, times don't change for the better

            3. Simple Warren Buffet owns DQ, that's how they stay in business.

              3 Replies
              1. re: treb

                I don't understand the significance of that. I wouldn't say that Berkshire Hathaway is known for holding on to losers,are they?

                1. re: c oliver

                  Follow your logic backwards - if Berk is still holding it, it's obviously not losing money then.

                  1. re: reiflame

                    That was what I meant. I thought treb was saying that BH was "keeping it alive."

              2. We're getting a new DQ about a mile from our house in a couple of weeks, so I will be able to do some good research. The onion rings will definitely be sampled.

                1. If you want a chain burger or chain onion rings, there are plenty of places that specialize in those things. If you want a softserve cone, dipped in chocolate, caramel, or strawberry, or you want a blizzard, then you go to DQ.

                  I haven't been yet this spring/summer (it's a short season for ice cream in new england), but I didn't notice a thinning out of the product last year. Maybe a bad batch or a bad location?

                  I've eaten food at DQ, and it's always been good enough, but I'd never go there unless there was no alternative for anything but the cold stuff

                  1. That's the problem with franchises, quality varies. The blizzard is not a premade item from a central commissary.

                    In our are we have old fashioned drive-in stylke DQs, strip mall DQs and new DQ grills with drivethru lanes. The quality varies with the operator. A Dilly Bar is the same in all 3 places, but a sundae or blizzard varies. The oldest unit makes the best, the owner and/or family is always on the premises and has pride in what they serve.

                    The strip mall DQ is so-so, and the DQ grill is poor and takes forever to serve inside or drivethru.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bagelman01

                      And some operators have the cajones to use apostrophes in plurals, like those italo-americans from New Haven

                    2. I don't find many Dairy Queen around here, but I went there 4-5 years back at Georgia. I like it. It has ice cream, blizzard, hamburgers... I don't see anything wrong in my Dairy Queen.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        There's an excellent Dairy Queen in my neighborhood. The owner/operator is almost always on the premises, and she obviously doesn't cut the kids she hires any slack in terms of customer service. She serves only DQ and chili dogs. I think that helps in terms of quality.

                        1. re: Emm


                          Good point. Unfortunately, I don't think I have tried DQ's chili dogs. Best.

                      2. Dipped cones are always a good, sort of trashy, treat. Nothing wrong with selling sugar, cream, milk all encased in a milk chocolate crust.

                        1. I think the answer lies in where you're located. Here in Texas, there is a DQ in at least every-other small town, and they stay in business by being a different entity than the DQ ice cream stands I've seen while living in New York, for instance. The food was always secondary there, while here in TX, they put out a "decent" (if not good, exactly) fast food menu first, (with some regional quirks - ours serves beans and cornbread on Wednesdays) and the ice cream is secondary.

                          1. As other posters have indicated, there is a lot of variety among the franchises, and the older the franchise, the better the product seems to be. In Hinton, West Virginia there is a particularly unique Dairy Queen. It is an old franchise - its been around since the 60s at least. It was probably one of the first locations to serve food and the only location I've seen that serves breakfast. My dad craves their chili dogs like a fiend.

                            It's located on the river overlooking a small island where you can sometimes see deer, and more recently, bald eagles. When I was a kid they had a playground where I'd hang out with my cousins and play while the grown-ups talked during our annual post-reunion Dairy Queen run. Unfortunately the playground was paved a couple of years ago for extra parking.

                            Here in Kansas I never eat food at the DQ, but I go to an old ice cream only franchise all the time for chocolate dipped cones and the occasional blizzard.

                            1. I stopped for a Oreo Blizzard in Augusta, KS last weekend, it was just as good as I remembered (I generally get Heath Bar or M&M). It had nice distribution of Oreo crumbs as well as some big chunks of cookie.
                              And the last time I dined in at my "home town" DQ where I worked while I was going to college, the burgers and onion rings were some of the best in the area. But they've gotten lazy and no longer "home make" their Dilly Bars and Buster Bars, they come from a factory. BLECH!
                              I still can't believe that a medium Blizzard, that used to go for $1.49, is now $3.89. Of course, that WAS 25 years ago. Man, I'm old.

                              1. There is huge profits in soft serve ice cream (as a matter of fact, in all ice cream), and all the DQ's I know of are cash only. That should answer your question. I have a friend that owns one for many years and lives very well.

                                1. They stay in business because your experience is exceptional. I've eaten many DQ treats and none were as you describe.