About Dairy Queen

About DQ Image


The founders of the Dairy Queen system were men and women who introduced a new kind of dessert treat and, in the process, developed the foundation of the franchising industry. The history of the DQ system is a story of a unique product that created an industry.

The Story of Sweet Success

For over 80 years, the DQ system's recipe for success has been simple. It's been a combination of hardworking people who own and operate restaurants, and great-tasting food and tempting treats served in our establishments.


Our phenomenal story began with the 10-cent sale of a then unnamed product on August 4, 1938, in Kankakee, Illinois. A father and son partnership in Green River, Illinois, had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product for some time. They contacted Sherb Noble, a good friend and customer, who agreed to run the "all you can eat" trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store. Within two hours, he dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert.


Back then, food franchising was all but unheard of, but the new product's potential made it a natural for such a system. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, there were fewer than 10 Dairy Queen stores. However, shortly after the war, the system took off at a pace virtually unrivaled before or since. With only 100 stores in 1947, it grew to 1,446 in 1950 and then to 2,600 in 1955. Today, the DQ system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 7,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries.


Although much has changed in the world and in the DQ system through the years, one constant has remained: DQ restaurants are still, and always have been, the place to find kids' sports teams celebrating a victory, business people on their lunch break and families taking time out to enjoy great food and soft serve treats. And success for the DQ system is as simple today as it was in 1940. Satisfied customers lead to successful restaurants. Each owner of our independently owned and operated establishments worldwide is committed to nothing less than making you happy. And Happy Tastes Good!

Childrens Miracle Network

Our Commitment To The Community

DQ loves kids. Whether its little league teams celebrating at our restaurants after games, children enjoying dinner with their parents, or teenagers visiting for cool treats at the end of a date, DQ and kids go hand in hand. And, if these cherished youngsters ever became sick or injured, we want to help assure they have the best medical care available.


That's why the Dairy Queen system has been a proud national sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN) since 1984. Dairy Queen operators throughout the United States and Canada have raised more than $135 million for CMN. From collecting customers' pocket change, to selling paper Miracle Treats and holding special events, our support enables us to give something back to the communities in which we do business.


CMN is an international non-profit organization dedicated to generating funds and awareness programs to benefit kids treated at 170 children's hospitals throughout North America. CMN raises funds through innovative cause-marketing promotions and other programs developed to meet the business objectives of its sponsors. CMN also boasts the largest national television fund raiser in North America, produced in Walt Disney World and aired the weekend following the U.S. Memorial Day holiday. CMN's hallmark is that 100 percent of locally generated donations stay in the community to benefit kids treated at the local CMN hospital.


CMN hospitals represent the premier pediatric healthcare facilities in their respective communities, treating children of all afflictions, including cancer, birth defects, accidents and muscular and cardiovascular diseases. These facilities, which provide care based on filling the needs of families rather than on their ability to pay, treat more than 17 million kids each year.

Childrens Hospital of Iowa

The Perfect Fit

Dairy Queen and CMN are a perfect fit. The Wilson Avenue DQ is a proud sponsor of The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. All donations made to our store, go directly to The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, a part of University of Iowa Health Care.


We thank our patrons for their support in our efforts to raise money for this worthy cause. Please consider making a donation.

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