I received a customer letter at the corporate offices that made me chuckle. It seems a girl and her friend decided to go to their local DQ® restaurant’s drive-thru after a basketball game. Not surprisingly, they needed to peruse the drive-thru menu board for a few seconds before ordering. What was surprising though was that once they placed their order, the employee kept saying “excuse me?” as if she couldn’t hear the order.
The girl and her friend repeated their order a few times, but still the employee couldn’t hear them. Finally, the customer heard a much larger male voice loudly say, “Ma’am, you are speaking into the bird house. Could you please pull ahead 10 feet and repeat your order into the intercom?”
The girls says she and her friend were so embarrassed and laughing so hard, they just pulled out of the drive-thru lane and drove away. Have you ever had an embarrassing DQ moment?
I recently heard a really funny story from my husband’s cousin. She made a last-minute decision to go out into the snowy evening with her two small sons to get treats from the local DQ® store. Because it was so snowy and cold, she chose to order their malts at the drive-thru window. She moved on to the pick-up window to await the treats.
As she was sitting with her window open waiting for the employee to finish the malts and hand them out to her, a huge pile of snow slid off the DQ roof right into her car! She was so shocked and surprised that her first thought was that the DQ employee had thrown snow at her.
It wasn’t until she left the drive-thru lane that she thought of the perfect comeback to her shocking situation, “I didn’t order a Blizzard®!” Have you ever had something funny happen to you at a DQ drive-thru window?
I recently received a customer letter at the corporate DQ® headquarters about how a family knew they would be taking their beloved pet to the veterinarian for the last time. Because they made it a ritual to take Patches to the local DQ restaurant for a hamburger as a treat after every vet appointment, this time the family took her to the restaurant before the final appointment.
The family went through the drive-thru lane to pick up the hamburger, and was surprised to receive the hamburger free of charge because the employee was so sorry about the unfortunate day. The owners of that little dog will always remember that employee’s act of concern and caring.
Sometimes it can be such a simple act of kindness that can help someone through a difficult time. This is an excellent example about how the DQ system could help someone feel just a little bit better.
What have you done to help someone through a difficult time?
Everyone appreciates cards, letters and flowers when they’re staying in the hospital, but one DQ customer received something a little different many years ago after a tragic car accident—a $1 DQ Cone coupon—and still remembers that interesting gift today.
It seems the customer was a good friend of the local DQ store operator. When that operator heard about the car accident, he sent a card to his loyal customer and friend in the hospital. It had been a serious accident. The customer had been pronounced dead at the scene, but was fortunately resuscitated only a few minutes later and was in the hospital recovering from a broken neck, reconstructed hand, stitches upon stitches, two black eyes and many other injuries.
This DQ operator wanted to lighten the mood during the difficult recovery process, so he included a coupon for a $1 cone to encourage the customer to get better and visit the DQ store soon. According to the customer’s daughter, this was the first time her father had laughed since the accident.
Many DQ operators become close friends with their customers, and often their locations become an important part of the community. Can you think of a time when you helped someone or someone helped you create a positive memory in the middle of a difficult time?
David Letterman grew up in Indiana and has always loved the DQ brand. During a meet-and-greet with the studio audience prior to taping the Jan. 7, 2011 show, Letterman sensed the audience just wasn’t in a great mood, so he told everyone to put themselves in a happy place in their minds. He told the audience to think about being at a Dairy Queen® store.
One woman in the audience raised her hand and introduced herself as Linda from Melbourne, Australia. Letterman was shocked to hear she didn’t know what the Dairy Queen system is because there are no stores in Australia. He threw out a request to his stage manager to get a Dairy Queen treat for this woman.
The next thing you know, Letterman had a box of Dilly Bars on stage and walked one out to the Australian woman in the audience. He announced Regis Philbin’s interview and shared a Dilly Bar with him as well, and the two ate their treats during the segment.
Now, considering that the closest DQ store would take 45 minutes roundtrip from Letterman’s studio, where did those Dilly Bars come from so quickly? Well, a production coordinator on the Late Show had heard Letterman talk about his love of Dilly Bars during a segment in November, so he bought the late-night host a box for Christmas, and knew he had put them in his private freezer. How perfect. The production coordinator called Letterman’s office, found out the Dilly Bars were still in the freezer, and had them sent down to the studio immediately.
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How cool is it that Letterman has a stash of delicious Dilly Bars in his New York studio office? It is a wonderful celebrity DQ smile and a story, and a night I’m sure Linda from Melbourne, Australia, will not soon forget.
Zubaz. They’re making a comeback. It’s true, why would I lie to you? I just ordered a pair of pink and white ones for myself. The comeback of Zubaz makes me wonder what else should make a comeback….
We have had some famously delicious Blizzard® Treats over the last 26 years but, like Zubaz, it’s the tried and true Oreo® Blizzard that has been our flagship throughout the years. I’ve chronologically listed all the Blizzard Treats we’ve introduced over the years. Which one is your favorite?
1985: Butterfinger®, Heath®, Reese’s Pieces®, M&M’s®, Chocolate Sandwich, Oreo, Peanut Butter Crunch, German Chocolate, Banana Split, Chocolate Chip, Hawaiian, Tropical, Pecan Cluster, Macaroon, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Banana Pudding.
1986: Whoppers®, Snickers®, Peanut Buster
1987: M&M’s Peanut®, Nestle Crunch®, Nerds®, Golden Grahams®, Cinnamon Toast Crunch®
1988: Mint Chocolate Cookie, Ginger Snaps, Apple Crunch, Pecan Praline
1989: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
1991: Egg Nog, Strawberry Banana, Irish Mint, Peach, Raspberry, Pumpkin Pie
1992: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Mud Pie, Rocky Road
1994: Cheesecake, Fudge Pecan Brownie, PB & J
1995: Chocolate Almond, Pecan Crunch, Walnut Fudge
1996: Mint M&M’s, Fudge Oreo, Cappuccino Heath 1997: Mint Oreo, Nutty Butterfinger, Berry Banana w/Vienna Fingers®
2000: Georgia Mud Fudge, Yukon Cruncher, Whopp’N Wild
2001: Grape Kool-Aid ® Explosion, Mocha Chip with Nescafe®, Baby Ruth®
2002: Blizzard of the Month introduced(!), Mocha Chip, Yule Flip Peppermint Chip, All American, Chocolate Extreme
2003: Choco Cherry Love, Keebler® Fudge Stripe, PB Oreo, Strawberry CheeseQuake, Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum, Caramel Apple Pop, Twix®
2004: French Silk Pie, Cchocolate Dipped Strawberry, Brownie Batter, Puckerberry
2005: Dream Pie Blizzard Treats, Double Fudge Cookie Dough
2006: Peanut Butter Butterfinger, Monster Cookie
2007: Caramel Waffle Crisp
2008: Kit Kat®, Tin Roof Brownie, Girl Scout Thin Mint®
2009: Turtle Oreo, Midnight Truffle, Raspberry Truffle, Girl Scout Tagalong®, Oreo Cookie Jar, Candy Cane Chill
2010: Caramel Brownie, Buster Bar, Strawberry Golden Oreo, Pecan Pie, Oreo Brownie Earthquake, Reindeer Bites
2011: Nutty Banana (This is only so far because I can’t give away the WHOLE year!)
The DQ system has many loyal customers. One recent letter to the corporate headquarters was from a self professed, “Fudge Bar Fanatic.” It is easy to understand why people fall in love with this product—at 50 calories per no-sugar-added bar, and with zero calories from fat, and zero grams total fat, saturated fat and transfat, not to mention six grams of dietary fiber—what’s not to love?
This woman’s family now buys 8-10 boxes of these delicious DQ novelties at a time so they won’t run out. The best part for this customer is that they have little or no affect on her blood sugar so she can frequently enjoy one after dinner.
By the way, I talked to my co-workers in the corporate Consumer Relations area and found out a DQ Fudge Bar is considered one point for the Weight Watchers program. Another great reason to visit DQ stores!
Many DQ® customers have fun memories of the DQ system. One mom recently sent a letter to the corporate headquarters about a cute story they like to tell over and over again in their family.
“More than 20 years ago, our son, who was just a small boy at the time, told us he wanted to go to ‘Big Lips.’ We had no clue what he was trying to tell us, but later as we drove by our local DQ store, he pointed to your red logo and explained, ‘There, that’s where I want to go.’
‘Big Lips’ has been our name for the DQ brand since then. You can imagine our pleasure when we saw the advertising campaign using the logo as lips with a tongue licking them. Our son is now grown with a family of his own, but we all still love eating DQ treats.”
Such a great memory this family has about the DQ system. Do you have any funny DQ stories you tell over and over again in your family?
A customer recently contacted me about a cool DQ® memory he shares with his wife. The husband and wife celebrate every single wedding anniversary by sharing a DQ Banana Split.
It all started when the couple eloped to Michigan from Cleveland, Ohio, and after all the costs for the wedding license, filling up the VW Beetle, etc., they only had 50 cents when they left to return home. They stopped at a DQ store in Coldwater, Mich., and shared a Banana Split.
They love to relive that experience every year, although that 50 cent price tag has increased a bit. Do you have any special wedding anniversary traditions?
In the spirit of the holiday season, we offered a free Reindeer Bites Blizzard® Treat to any customer who visited their local Dairy Queen® location with a live reindeer on Christmas Eve. And sure enough, on Dec. 24, “Dancer” and her owner, Tammy, paid a visit the DQ store in South Lyon, Mich. The appearance was covered by the local TV news, and not only did Tammy receive her free Blizzard Treat as promised, but her six grandchildren did as well.