How Much Can You Make with a Dairy Queen Franchise

Are you considering purchasing a Dairy Queen franchise and curious about the possible earnings? A well-known fast-food franchise with almost 80 years of history is Dairy Queen. It’s not surprising that many business owners are interested in owning a franchise given that there are more than 7,000 locations worldwide.

a dairy queen grill and chill restaurant

Our analysis shows that Dairy Queen franchise owners can typically turn a profit of about $194,000 per year.

The amount of money you may make with a Dairy Queen franchise, however, will vary depending on a number of variables, such as the store’s location and size, as well as your managerial skills.

Even while there is no assurance of success, if done properly, purchasing a Dairy Queen franchise can be a profitable option.

There are expenses associated with having a Dairy Queen franchise that you should be aware of.

The initial investment, which includes the franchise fee, equipment, inventory, and other costs, can range from $1.45 million to $2.4 million.

To be eligible for a franchise, you must also have a minimum net worth of $750,000 and $400,000 in liquid cash.

Owning a Dairy Queen franchise can be expensive, but if you’re prepared to work hard and run your company wisely, it can be a good investment.

Understanding Dairy Queen Franchise

It’s crucial to know what you’re getting into if you’re considering buying a Dairy Queen franchise.

dairy queen restaurant menu

A fast food restaurant franchise called Dairy Queen is known for its ice cream and dairy-based treats. J. established it in 1940.

F. Grundhofer, and the company presently has over 7,000 locations across the globe.

You must have a net worth of $750,000 and $400,000 in cash to open a Dairy Queen franchise.

The franchise cost is $25,000, and the total investment can be anywhere between $1,45,000,000 and $2.4,000,000. This comprises the price of the goods, equipment, and other costs.

You can use the well-known brand and menu of the business after you open a Dairy Queen franchise.

The business will also provide you with training and support, as well as help with site selection, building, and marketing.

You’ll be in charge of running your own Dairy Queen restaurant and making sure it adheres to the brand’s standards as a franchisee.

This includes selecting and educating staff, keeping track of inventory, and preserving the restaurant’s cleanliness and attractiveness.

Although investing in a Dairy Queen franchise can be profitable, it’s vital to remember that success is not always assured.

The location of your franchise, the level of competition, and the state of the local economy are just a few of the variables that will affect its success.

Before selecting a choice, it’s crucial to do your homework and thoroughly weigh the benefits and hazards.

Overall, for the proper person, opening a Dairy Queen franchise may be a gratifying and successful enterprise.

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Consider a Dairy Queen franchise if you’re interested in starting your own company and have the appropriate resources and expertise.

Initial Investment Required

You’ll want a sizable amount of funds if you’re thinking of starting a Dairy Queen franchise.

people buying ice cream at dairy queen shop

The initial investment needed for a Dairy Queen franchise can range from $779,675 to $1,729,160, according to SharpSheets.

This investment covers the upfront $45,000 franchise fee as well as the expenditures of constructing and outfitting your restaurant, purchasing equipment and inventory, and paying for other fees like marketing and training.

To be eligible for a Dairy Queen franchise, you’ll also need to meet minimum requirements for liquid capital and net worth.

You must have a minimum net worth of $750,000 and at least $400,000 in cash money to purchase a single unit, according to the company’s official website.

Keep in mind that multi-unit standards are more stringent if you intend to open more than one site.

It’s important to keep in mind that these charges are only estimates and that your actual expenses may change depending on a variety of variables.

For instance, the cost of labor and real estate in your area might significantly affect your entire spending.

You might also need to find additional sources of funding or take out loans to cover your initial investment.

Overall, substantial upfront financial resources are needed to operate a Dairy Queen franchise.

The potential returns, though, can be significant if you’re able to make the investment and manage a profitable business.

Ongoing Costs

After making the initial investment to start a Dairy Queen franchise, you must account for the continuing expenses of running the company.

dairy queen sign

These expenses will change based on the store’s size, location, and regional laws.

The royalty fee is one of the major continuous expenses for Dairy Queen franchisees. The franchisor receives this payment, which is often a proportion of your gross sales.

The current royalty rate for Dairy Queen is 4.5%, according to SharpSheets.

This charge pays for continuous assistance from the franchisor, such as marketing, instruction, and use of the Dairy Queen name and goods.

The fee for advertising is another recurring cost to take into account.

Franchisees of Dairy Queen are required to contribute to a national advertising fund, which is used to advertise the company’s products all across the nation.

According to Wolf of Franchises, the current advertising fee for Dairy Queen is 5% of gross sales.

When operating a Dairy Queen franchise, there are additional continuing expenses to take into account in addition to these fees. These expenses may comprise:

  • Cost of goods sold (COGS): This includes the cost of ingredients, supplies, and other materials needed to make Dairy Queen products. COGS can vary depending on the type of product and location of the store.
  • Labor costs: This includes the cost of hiring and paying employees to work at the store. Labor costs can vary depending on the number of employees needed and local minimum wage laws.
  • Rent and utilities: This includes the cost of leasing the store space and paying for utilities such as electricity and water. Rent and utility costs can vary depending on the location and size of the store.
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When determining whether to buy a Dairy Queen franchise, it’s crucial to carefully analyze these recurring expenses.

Despite the huge potential gains, it’s crucial to make sure that the continuing expenses are under control and won’t significantly reduce your earnings.

Potential Revenue

The stats look good when it comes to a Dairy Queen franchise’s prospective earnings.

The typical Dairy Queen shop makes about $1.4 million in income annually, according to SharpSheets.

It’s crucial to remember that this figure might change based on a number of variables, including location, competition, and marketing initiatives.

The menu options are one important variable that might affect revenue. Many Dairy Queen stores also sell food items such burgers, hot dogs, and chicken strips.

The chain is well known for its ice cream and other dairy-based treats. Franchisees may be able to draw in a larger consumer base and boost sales by diversifying the menu.

The time of year is another crucial factor. When people want to find refreshing delights to beat the heat in the summer, Dairy Queen is a well-liked hangout.

Sales, however, can decline in the winter when ice cream demand is lower. Franchisees can encourage sales growth by providing seasonal menu items and promotions.

Overall, a Dairy Queen franchise has the potential to be a successful investment even though there are no promises regarding revenue.

Franchisees can work to increase revenue and create a profitable business by carefully controlling elements like menu options, marketing initiatives, and seasonal specials.

Factors Affecting Profitability

Your prosperity as a Dairy Queen franchise can depend on a number of variables.

Some of the most significant ones are listed below:


Your Dairy Queen franchise’s location is essential to its success. A busy place with strong visibility and accessibility can draw more clients and bring in more money.

On the other hand, a store that is in a bad location could find it difficult to get clients and make money.

To be sure that your business will thrive there, it’s crucial to undertake in-depth market research and examine the area’s demographics before choosing a location.

Operating Costs

Your profitability may be greatly impacted by operating costs. Rent, utilities, labor, supplies, and marketing charges are among these costs.

It’s critical to keep these costs as low as possible while maintaining quality and customer service in order to maximize earnings.

Optimizing employee schedules, negotiating better prices with suppliers, and putting in place cost-saving measures like energy-efficient lighting and equipment are a few strategies to cut operating costs.

Sales Volume

Your profitability is directly associated with your sales volume. Your revenue increases as more products are sold.

It’s critical to offer a high-quality product, deliver first-rate customer service, and employ efficient marketing methods in order to improve sales volume.

Customers may visit your store more frequently and spend more money if you give discounts and promotions, for instance.


Your profitability may be impacted by the competition. It could be more challenging to draw clients and make money if there are a lot of competing eateries or fast food businesses nearby.

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It’s crucial to set your brand apart from the competition and provide distinctive goods or services if you want to remain competitive.

You may, for instance, provide unique flavors or menu items that are not offered by other fast food restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you make with a Dairy Queen franchise?

The amount of money you can make with a Dairy Queen franchise varies depending on a number of factors, including the location of your franchise, the size of your store, and the amount of competition in your area. According to Mashed, the average Dairy Queen franchisee earns between $50,000 and $90,000 per year.

How much does it cost to open a Dairy Queen franchise?

The cost of opening a Dairy Queen franchise varies depending on a number of factors, including the size of your store and the location of your franchise. According to IFPG, the initial franchise fee for a Dairy Queen franchise is $45,000. In addition to the franchise fee, you can expect to pay between $779,675 and $1,729,160 to open a new Dairy Queen franchise.

What kind of support can you expect from Dairy Queen?

Dairy Queen offers a range of support services to franchisees, including site selection assistance, training programs, and ongoing operational support. According to the Dairy Queen Franchising website, the franchise support team can help you through every step of the development process, from the first phone call to your grand opening.

How much experience do you need to open a Dairy Queen franchise?

While experience in the food service industry is helpful, it is not necessarily required to open a Dairy Queen franchise. According to IFPG, Dairy Queen is looking for franchisees who have a passion for the brand, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to customer service. If you meet these criteria and have the necessary financial resources, you may be a good fit for a Dairy Queen franchise.

What are the ongoing costs associated with owning a Dairy Queen franchise?

In addition to the initial franchise fee and startup costs, there are ongoing costs associated with owning a Dairy Queen franchise. These costs include royalties, marketing fees, and ongoing training expenses. According to SharpSheets, Dairy Queen charges a royalty fee of 5% on gross monthly receipts. Additionally, franchisees are required to contribute to a national advertising fund, which is currently set at 5% of gross sales.


According to the research and information provided, buying a Dairy Queen franchise can be a wise investment.

It is crucial to keep in mind that failure is possible and that every business endeavour has some level of risk.

Depending on several elements including location and size, the initial investment cost for a Dairy Queen franchise can range from $779,675 to $1,849,625.

Franchisees are obliged to pay continuing royalties and advertising fees in addition to the original investment.

Our data indicates that the typical annual income of Dairy Queen franchise owners ranges from $150,000 to $300,000.

However, this may differ based on elements like location, rivalry, and managerial prowess.

The brand awareness and customer loyalty that come with owning a Dairy Queen franchise is one benefit.

Since its founding in 1940, Dairy Queen has been a major player in the fast-food sector. In order to assure the success of its franchisees, the organization also offers training and support.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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