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For more than 70 years, the DQ® system's recipe for success has been simple. It's been a combination of hardworking people who own and operate restaurants, and great-tasting food and tempting treats served in our establishments.


Our phenomenal story began with the 10-cent sale of a then unnamed product on August 4, 1938, in Kankakee, Illinois. A father and son partnership in Green River, Illinois, had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product for some time. They contacted Sherb Noble, a good friend and customer, who agreed to run the "all you can eat" trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store. Within two hours, he dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert.


Back then, food franchising was all but unheard of, but the new product's potential made it a natural for such a system. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, there were fewer than 10 Dairy Queen® stores. However, shortly after the war, the system took off at a pace virtually unrivaled before or since. With only 100 stores in 1947, it grew to 1,446 in 1950 and then to 2,600 in 1955. 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.


Although much has changed in the world and in the DQ® system through the years, one constant has remained: DQ® restaurants are still, and always have been, the place to find kids' sports teams celebrating a victory, business people on their lunch break and families taking time out to enjoy great food and soft serve treats. And success for the DQ® system is as simple today as it was in 1940. Satisfied customers lead to successful restaurants. Each owner of our independently owned and operated establishments worldwide is committed to nothing less than the "Fan Food not Fast FoodTM" slogan.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

The DQ® system has been a proud national sponsor of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 1984. During the past 30 years, DQ® operators throughout the US and Canada have raised more than $100 million for CMN Hospitals. From collecting customers' pocket change to selling paper Miracle Balloons and holding special events like Miracle Treat Day, our support enables us to give something back to the communities in which we do business.

DQ® Cares Product Grant Program

In 2014 our Corporate Giving Program will provide DQ® product (Dilly® Bars) to Minnesota-based 501(C) organizations that help kids and families who need it most in the Twin Cities metro area. 


All 2014 Product treats have been awarded for 2014.

Local Community Partnerships

Due to the fact that our locations are individually owned and operated, these programs are at the discretion of the operator. Contact your local DQ® restaurant for specific details.

  • Scholastic Achievement

  • Dairy Queen® Restaurant Tours

  • Student Discounts

  • Product Donations

  • What's Happening in Your Community?

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