What is it about growing up with the DQ® system that was a direct correlation with the size of the products my parents would allow me to order? My first memory is of a push-up style soft-serve treat I could get myself out of the self-serve freezer at my local DQ store. While I would have preferred to get the same Peanut Buster® Parfait my Dad would order, he would always talk me into something smaller because he knew my eyes were bigger than stomach.
As I grew older and started grade school, I moved through ordering the other novelties, including the DQ Sandwich, Dilly® Bars of various flavors and the Buster Bar®. Then I can remember going through a Strawberry Sundae phase in about 6th grade. I would occasionally switch up the flavors—sometimes hot fudge, sometimes caramel.
When I got my first driver’s license, my favorite product was a Crunch Cone because it was easy to handle in the car. Then, by the time I was graduating high school, the Blizzard® Flavor Treat was rolled out, introducing me to a whole new delicious treat platform.
However, with the recent introduction of the Mini Blizzard size, the pattern has shifted. Now I’m able to still get all the same great taste of a Blizzard Treat, but as a smaller indulgence with little guilt.
My past memories of the DQ system just show how this brand has something for everyone. Do you remember how your DQ purchases have changed over the years?
I love theater- music, drama, dance…the arts. Just love all of it. One of my earliest memories is as a tiny girl going to see The Nutcracker Ballet with my parents. If I close my eyes I can still see that stage and the dancers. Wonderful!
I am currently assisting one of our local community theater groups with props for their April production. With most of our city currently buried under several feet of snow, garage sales are out of the question. Rats. Thank goodness for second-hand stores, discount stores and online sale sites.
I have made a connection in the last couple of days that will help me find the last bits of furniture I will need for our set. Connections. That’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? Connecting with others in your community, building relationships and getting to know people…really know them, not just the “Hi,” “Bye,” “I’ve seen you in the community,” kind of know.
This kind of connection is what American Dairy Queen Corporation upholds as one of our values — giving back to the communities in which we live, work and do business. It’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be part of the DQ Family.
What kinds of things are you doing in your community?
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?
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?
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.
UUGGGHHH. There isn’t much I hate more than Christmas shopping. The pressure of getting the right gift is like a gorilla sitting on my chest. I get nervous and can’t breathe. What if it’s not the right size, shape, color, frequency, game, flavor, style, amount, character… you get the picture. But then, as if an angel appeared at my door and told me to just trust, a Christmas tree showed up in the lobby of our office. I was greeted by Santa and some carolers proclaiming the good news. The good news of the American Dairy Queen Corporation toy drive, that is!
It’s all so simple! All I have to do is take a tag off the tree and that one single little piece of paper relieves all my stress. I know exactly what I need to buy. I need a Costco gift card, I need a pair of size 3T snow pants and I need some mittens, preferably pink. All of a sudden, I can’t wait to get to the mall. The thought of being able to do something nice for someone else that is so easy makes me giddy (well, that or the 13 candy canes I ate). At any rate, I was off like Dasher and Dancer, Donner and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and finally Donner and Blitzen. And since I’m already at the mall, I guess I may as well finish up shopping. Gift receipt please!
**Each year ADQ is proud to help families within our community by participating in toy and coat drives, adopting families, and volunteering with local charities throughout the year. Thank you for all of your generosity in your own communities throughout the year!