Company cites success of Colonie location in drive for expansion
The Dairy Queen chain has identified the greater Capital Region as a key growth area and plans to add about 15 locations of its Grill & Chill restaurants over the next decade, with the first slated to open as early as next summer, according to Jim Kerr, the company’s vice president of franchise development.
Kerr said strong response to the DQ Grill & Chill that opened in December at 1652 Central Ave., Colonie, is backed up by market analytics that suggest the region could support six locations in the immediate Albany area and nine more regionally, from the Berkshires to Amsterdam and Poughkeepsie to Lake George. Besides the Colonie DQ, the only other locally is in Ghent, about 30 miles southeast.
“The area is very promising,” says Kerr. “We tend to be a brand that attracts families, but we also attract across demographic lines and income lines.”
The company is scouting real estate and recruiting franchisees. Kerr says the owners of the Colonie location, the Monette family, likely will add another location — they have one in Malone in addition to a number of varied businesses elsewhere in the North Country — and company projections call for two or three more franchisees in the region. Financial figures provided by Dairy Queen show a new location typically costs about $1.7 million to open, not including the cost of real estate, and prospective franchisees must have $400,000 in liquidity for one location, $2 million for multiple.
Dairy Queen has 6,700 locations in 28 countries, about 5,700 of which are in the U.S