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Dairy Queen Franchise Cost & Fees

Date of Incorporation: 1940

Franchising Since: 1944

Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota


Business Description: American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) offers single unit and multiple unit franchises for the operation of DQ Grill & Chill restaurants at authorized locations. A DQ Grill & Chill restaurant is a quick service food restaurant with seating from which you will sell the full line of approved soft-serve, treat, food and beverage menu items.


Franchise Offer: The single unit Dairy Queen Grill & Chill franchise is a license operate a Dairy Queen Chill & Grill at an authorized location under the terms of the operating agreement (also referred as the franchise agreement).


Financial Assistance: Although they may have done so in the past, ADQ and its affiliates generally do not offer financing arrangements or similar assistance to franchisees, except as explained. Neither ADQ nor its affiliates finance any part of the Initial Franchise Fee. In situations when the landlord or developer of the authorized location will not lease the premises to franchisees, ADQ or its affiliate, DQF, may, in rare occasions enter into a prime lease with the landlord and make the premises available to franchisees by sublease.


Training and Assistance: Unless otherwise stated, at least two people from the store, including the franchisee’s designated manager and assistant manager must attend all initial training components. ADQ will periodically conduct or sponsor various meetings, seminars and conventions for franchisees and other franchisees. There are currently four required components to initial training:

  1. The Management Training Readiness Assessment (MTRA)
  2. SERVSAFE certification
  3. The American Dairy Queen Corporation’s training program (three phases): Phase 1, Product and Equipment Training; Phase 2, Systems & Management Training; Phase 3, People, PRIDE and Profit Training.
  4. A cake decorating and certification course.


Territory: When franchisees enter into a franchise agreement they are granted the right to operate a Store at an authorized location that ADQ has consented to in writing. Franchisees are not granted any minimum area or territory. ADQ does not grant exclusive territories to any franchisee under the terms of a franchise agreement.


Term of Agreement and Renewal: The term of the franchise agreement is 20 years or the term of the restaurant premises lease, whichever period is shorter. The franchisee has an option to renew for one additional 10 years or for the term of the renewed lease, whichever is shorter.


Obligations and Restrictions: Franchisees are required to operate their Dairy Queen Chill & Grill location under their active and continuous supervision. If the franchisee is a business entity, the franchisee is required to have one owner who is responsible for overseeing the general management of the day-to-day operations of the location. ADQ requires franchisees to offer and sell only those goods and services that ADQ has approved. In addition, franchisees may offer and sell these approved goods and services only from their store.


Estimated Number of Units: 6,390


Investment Tables:

Initial Investment

Name of Fee Low High
Initial franchise fee $25,000 $35,000
Initial Training Fees and Costs $1,125 $11,625
Travel And Living Expenses for Training Programs $23,000 $38,500
Building Construction and Leasehold Improvements $550,000 $900,000
Construction Consultation Services $0 $7,500
Building Plans, Design Intent Plans and Architectural Seal $15,000 $45,000
Equipment (Including Signs and Cash Registers) $390,000 $530,000
Training Inventory $5,000 $12,500
Opening Inventory $12,000 $30,000
Utility Deposits, Business Licenses and Government Charges $4,000 $17,000
Attorney's Fees $1,000 $8,000
Additional Funds (3 Months) $51,000 $198,000
ESTIMATED TOTAL $1,077,225 $1,833,125


Other Fees

Type of Fee Amount
Continuing License Fee 4% of Gross Sales.
Sales Promotion Program Fee 5% to 6% of Gross Sales.
Operational Program Fees Will vary under circumstances.
Transfer Fee $5,000
Renewal Fee $17,500
Audit and Recordkeeping Costs Will vary under circumstances.
Termination fee (1) Three times the continuing license fee due for the last 12 months of active operations;
(2) If the location did not operate for a full 12 months, 36 times the average monthly continuing license fee when location was open; or
(3) If less than 36 months remain on the franchise agreement, the number of months remaining times the average monthly continuing license fees due for the last 12 months of active operations.
Interest Expenses 18% per annum or at maximum rate permitted by governing law.
Late Fees $50 per delinquent report or payment.
Sublease and Lease Administration Fee $1,800 to $3,750 annually.
Modernization Expenses Up to $101,100 or more each time the franchisee modernizes, plus $9,500-$34,000 or more for signage.
Insurance $6,000 to $20,000 for annual premiums.
Gift Card Program Fees Currently, 3% of total gift card redemptions.
Costs and attorneys' fees Will vary under circumstances.
Training Materials $150 to $500
Training Cancellation Fee $150 or $800

The above information has been taken from the FDD of Dairy Queen Chill & Grill. Year of FDD: 2015

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