Dairy Queen franchisee expanding to Knoxville area
One of America’s most iconic restaurant brands, Dairy Queen, is making a comeback in the Knoxville area, with one new store already open in Morristown, another getting ready to open in Farragut next month, and others under construction or planned.
But these aren’t the quaint Dairy Queen ice cream stands of the past, where customers ordered from outside through a small window and ate sitting in their cars or on outdoor tables.
Instead, all of the new Knoxville-area stores will be of the DQ Chill & Grill fast casual concept that Dairy Queen introduced in 2002, and which has been growing fast nationwide.
Dairy Queen’s largest franchisee, 34-year-old Matt Frauenshuh, and his company, Fourteen Foods, already own 180 of the DQ Chill & Grill stores in 10 states, and Frauenshuh says he plans to open about 15 total in the Knoxville area.
The Morristown store opened this week, and the second store, across from McDonald’s at 11208 Kingston Pike, is scheduled to open Sept. 13 in the former Krispy Kreme doughnut location, Frauenshuh said Friday. He spoke by telephone from his home base in Minneapolis, which also is where Dairy Queen’s parent company, International Dairy Queen, Inc., is based. Just like Knoxville-based Clayton Homes, Dairy Queen’s parent company is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
Frauenshuh also has DQ Chill & Grill stores under construction or planned, with real estate already purchased, in Athens, Maryville (on the site of a former car wash on Lamar Alexander Parkway), Seymour, and Sevierville, he said. Other sites under development are in Oak Ridge and Halls.
Dairy Queen, which was founded in Joliet, Ill., in 1940, now has more than 6,000 locations in the U.S., Canada and 18 other countries.
Frauenshuh took over seven DQ Grill & Chill locations from his parents after college in 2006.
“I’m from Minnesota, and I’ve always loved the role Dairy Queen plays in the community,” Frauenshuh said. “We are a faith-based company, and we get to share in unique experiences with our customers. My family started with one restaurant in 2002 in Minnesota.”
He said he already has 80 of the DQ Chill & Grill locations in Kentucky, and has other stores in Middle Tennessee, Iowa, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Alabama.
“I have the rights from DQ for most of Tennessee, all but the Memphis area,” he said. “Knoxville was a perfect fit for us. It’s a strong economic market that’s continuing to grow, and geographically it makes sense with our growth plan.”
All of the DQ stores in the Knoxville area will serve breakfast, he added.
“DQ is one of the fastest-growing restaurant brands,” Frauenshuh said. “It’s unique in the restaurant world, and it fills a niche similar to that of Chick-fil-A, focusing on community values. Our stores get to share a lot of hub-of-the-community experiences. Source:”http://www.knoxnews.com/business/dairy-queen-franchisee-expanding-to-knoxville-area-3a70cbdc-1134-4bbf-e053-0100007f3d15-390735371.html