How much Dairy Queen Franchise Cost 2024 | Profit Margin?


Starting a franchise business can be an exciting venture, and one popular option is to open a Dairy Queen franchise. With its iconic soft-serve ice cream and a wide range of delicious treats, Dairy Queen has become a beloved brand across the globe. If you’re considering joining the Dairy Queen family, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process, from understanding the business model to the application process, cost breakdown, profit margins, and more.

Business Overview of Dairy Queen Franchise

Dairy Queen, often referred to as DQ, operates under a franchise business model. This means that individuals or groups can invest in a Dairy Queen franchise and run their own store while benefiting from the brand’s established reputation, support, and proven systems. As a franchisee, you will have access to Dairy Queen’s extensive menu, including their famous soft-serve ice cream, burgers, hot dogs, and other delectable treats.

Dairy Queen franchises offer a unique opportunity to tap into a thriving market. With a strong customer base and a global presence, the brand has built a solid reputation for quality and innovation. By becoming a franchisee, you can leverage this reputation to establish a successful business in your community.

How to Apply for Dairy Queen Franchise

To start your journey towards owning a Dairy Queen franchise, you will need to go through an application process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply:

  • Research and Preparation: Before applying, conduct thorough research on Dairy Queen’s franchise requirements and guidelines. Understand their brand values, target market, and potential competitors in your area. This will help you make an informed decision and demonstrate your commitment to the brand during the application process.
  • Contact Dairy Queen: Get in touch with the Dairy Queen franchise development team through their official website or by calling their designated franchise hotline. Express your interest and request an application form.
  • Complete the Application: Fill out the application form, providing accurate information about your background, financial status, and any previous business experience. Dairy Queen uses this information to assess your eligibility and suitability as a franchisee.
  • Initial Interview: If your application meets Dairy Queen’s criteria, you will be invited for an initial interview. This interview may be conducted in person or over the phone, depending on your location. Be prepared to discuss your motivations, financial capabilities, and overall business plan.
  • Business Plan Presentation: Once you have successfully passed the initial interview, you will be asked to present a detailed business plan. This plan should outline your strategies for marketing, operations, and financial management. Dairy Queen will evaluate your plan to ensure its alignment with their brand objectives.
  • Location Selection: If your business plan meets Dairy Queen’s standards, you will work closely with their team to identify and secure a suitable location for your franchise. Dairy Queen offers guidance and support in assessing potential sites, considering factors such as foot traffic, local demographics, and competition.
  • Training and Support: Upon finalizing the location, you will undergo comprehensive training provided by Dairy Queen. This training covers various aspects, including customer service, product preparation, inventory management, and marketing strategies. Dairy Queen continues to offer ongoing support and guidance to help you succeed in your franchised business.

Cost and Fees Breakdown

Starting a Dairy Queen franchise involves several costs and fees. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of these financial obligations before making a commitment. Here is a breakdown of the costs and fees you should consider:

  • Franchise Fee: The initial franchise fee for a Dairy Queen store is $45,000. This fee grants you the right to operate a Dairy Queen franchise and access their well-established brand.
  • Equipment and Build-out Costs: Setting up a Dairy Queen franchise location requires investment in equipment such as soft-serve machines, grills, freezers, and seating fixtures. The build-out costs, including interior designing and construction, can range from $300,000 to $500,000.
  • Working Capital: It’s crucial to have sufficient working capital to cover your initial operational expenses, including rent, utilities, staffing, and inventory. Dairy Queen recommends having at least $400,000 to $600,000 in working capital.
  • Royalty and Advertising Fees: As a Dairy Queen franchisee, you will be required to pay ongoing fees for royalties and advertising. The royalty fee is typically 4% of your gross sales, and the advertising fee is set at 5% to 6% of your gross sales.
  • Additional Costs: Various additional costs include insurance, permits, licenses, training fees, and professional fees associated with legal and accounting services. These costs may vary depending on your location and specific circumstances.
dairy queen franchise

It’s important to consult with a financial advisor or accountant to determine the exact costs for opening a Dairy Queen franchise in your area.

Also Read: How much Waffle House Franchise Cost 2024 | Profit Margin?

Profit Margin

While profit margins can vary, owning a Dairy Queen franchise provides the opportunity for a lucrative business endeavor. The profitability of your franchise will depend on various factors such as location, operational efficiency, pricing strategy, and market demand. Dairy Queen’s extensive menu and loyal customer base contribute to its potential for generating strong returns.

On average, Dairy Queen franchisees can expect a profit margin ranging from 15% to 20% of their gross sales. It’s essential to note that profitability requires consistent effort, effective cost management, and providing quality products and services to customers.

Pros and Cons

Before diving into any business venture, it’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of starting a Dairy Queen franchise:


  • Established Brand: Dairy Queen has a well-known brand and a loyal customer base, which can help attract customers to your franchise.
  • Support and Training: Dairy Queen provides comprehensive training programs, ongoing support, and access to resources to help franchisees succeed.
  • Menu Variety: With a diverse menu that includes ice cream, hot food options, and signature treats, Dairy Queen offers a wide range of products to cater to different tastes.


  • High Initial Investment: The cost of starting a franchise, including equipment, build-out, and working capital, can be significant.
  • Competitive Market: Depending on your location, you may face competition from other fast-food chains and local dessert shops.
  • Time Commitment: Owning and operating a franchise requires significant time and effort, especially during the initial stages of setting up and establishing the business.

It’s essential to carefully evaluate these pros and cons, considering your personal circumstances and business goals, before making a commitment to a Dairy Queen franchise.


Starting a Dairy Queen franchise can be a rewarding entrepreneurial journey. From the initial application process to understanding the costs, profit margins, and pros and cons, this guide has provided valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. Remember to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and develop a solid business plan to increase your chances of success. By leveraging Dairy Queen’s established brand and support systems, you can embark on a fruitful business venture in the exciting world of soft-serve ice cream and delectable treats.


Can I open a Dairy Queen franchise in any location?

Dairy Queen has specific criteria for selecting franchise locations. Factors such as population density, commercial viability, and competition are considered when evaluating potential sites. It’s recommended to consult Dairy Queen’s franchise development team to assess the suitability of your desired location.

Do I need prior experience in the food industry to open a Dairy Queen franchise?

While prior experience in the food industry can be advantageous, it is not mandatory. Dairy Queen provides comprehensive training programs to equip franchisees with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate their stores successfully.

Can I own multiple Dairy Queen franchises?

Yes, Dairy Queen allows qualified franchisees to own and operate multiple locations. However, it’s important to note that specific criteria and financial requirements must be met to be eligible for multi-unit ownership.

How long does it take to open a Dairy Queen franchise?

The timeline for opening a Dairy Queen franchise can vary depending on factors such as finding a suitable location, acquiring necessary permits and licenses, completion of construction, and training. It’s recommended to consult with Dairy Queen’s franchise development team for a more accurate estimate based on your specific circumstances.

What ongoing support does Dairy Queen offer to franchisees?

Dairy Queen provides continuous support to its franchisees. This includes operational guidance, marketing assistance, research and development of new products, access to purchasing networks, and regular communication channels to address any concerns or queries.

Hey everyone, Vishal here! I'm fascinated by the world of business, especially the exciting potential of franchising and spotting the next big idea. In my writing, expect a mix of in-depth franchise breakdowns, thought-provoking new business ideas, and practical advice to turn those ideas into reality.

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