A few short weeks ago, John Gainor, the Dairy Queen® system’s president and CEO, was on hand to celebrate the 6,000th store concept opening in Shanghai, China. The celebratory day was filled with pomp and circumstance as our dedicated Chinese franchisee group, Shida Catering of Shanghai, threw a grand party in honor of this monumental occasion. When you think about it, this is a truly amazing milestone for a system that in 2010 celebrated its 70th anniversary.
While it’s true that our humble beginnings date back to Joliet, Ill., circa 1940, no one back then could have imagined that we would be opening a restaurant in a country halfway around the world that is now one of our most important growth markets globally. This event also demonstrates that the DQ® concept and products are as popular today as they were back then, except they now appeal to an entirely new customer base. With more than 300 DQ locations currently open throughout China, we are on pace to add an additional 100 stores per year there for years to come.
The continued success of this brand is due to the dedication, passion and loyalty of our franchisees, not only in China, but in all of the countries in which we are located. The 6,000 store opening celebration wasn’t just for our valued franchisees in China, it was an event that demonstrates the success and growth of a concept that continues to be relevant. With our sites set on the future, we’re proud to announce that we will soon be opening new DQ locations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Trinidad and Tobago.
As Dairy Queen locations continue to be the center gathering spot for many communities and cultures around the globe, we are excited to share our heritage with new customers, who will no doubt create their own memories and DQ smiles and stories.