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Dairy Queen launches Stackburger line as the chain sees record sales in 2021

Dairy Queen Flamethrower Stack Burger and Small Ice Cream Cone

Source: Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is expanding its burger offerings so that fast food chains look beyond blizzards and other desserts.

The new Stackburger line is Dairy Queen’s largest menu expansion in 20 years with five burger flavors for US customers. Flamethrower, Loaded A1, Bacon Two Cheese Deluxe, Two Cheese Deluxe, and Original Cheeseburger. A hamburger or a 0.5-pound triple burger — hence the name Stackburger.

Hamburgers will be permanently added to the company’s DQ Grill & Chill menu. It accounts for 72% of Dairy Queen’s more than 3,300 US restaurants. The Stackburger line is also available in Canada.

Dairy Queen is not the only restaurant chain to expand its offerings to attract more customers. Panera Bread is increasing dinner orders by adding items such as flatbread pizza to its menu, but Dine brand IHOP made a quick wave a few years ago by naming it IHOB to promote burgers. change to.

Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of Warren Buffett, has owned Dairy Queen for 25 years. With net revenue of $ 84.3 million in 2021, the fast food chain was a relatively small component of the Buffett empire, with net revenue attributable to shareholders of $ 89.8 billion at the end. Last year, Dairy Queen’s annual revenue increased 18% to $ 224.7 million, according to a franchise disclosure document.

It’s been a while since the official launch on Tuesday. In an interview, International Dairy Queen CEO Troy Bader said in an interview that the chain began to look critically at the menu nearly five years ago when it took control of the company. According to Bader, he couldn’t be “everything for everyone,” so he tried to figure out what the customer wanted.

Dairy Queen has landed on two foods, chicken strips and hamburgers. The chain first revamped its chicken strip offering before tackling burgers.

“I think this is one of the first true menu strategies we’ve done within the Dairy Queen system for a very long time,” Bader said.

In markets such as the southeast, food already accounts for the majority of sales, outpacing sweets. Customers who bought lunch or dinner there also tended to buy blizzards and ice cream cones.

It took several years to improve the hamburger, and it started in earnest in 2019. Dairy Queen has created a new, airy and sturdy bread that is sufficient to handle the weight of the three hamburger patties. I replaced the cheese option with white cheddar and sharper American cheese.

Dairy Queen CEO Troy Badder

Source: Dairy Queen

“We were proud of the burgers, but we knew we could do better,” Bader said.

The chain then tested Stackburgers. For almost a decade, Dairy Queen has tested new menu items in Birmingham, Alabama, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and South Bend, Indiana. The same was true for restaurants in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. Included in the test. With a total of nearly 100 locations involved, it has become the largest test of the chain in over 20 years.

The pandemic also caused a delay. As the national labor crisis exacerbated supply chain problems, Dairy Queen chose to postpone its launch, originally scheduled for late fall 2021. The franchisee wasn’t left in the fuss.

But the chain wasn’t worried that the customer was at home. Dairy Queen’s sales fell sharply in the six weeks of spring 2020, Birder said, as the pandemic led to a blockade and even feared visiting drive-through lanes. However, the business recovered rapidly.

“From now on, we have only record sales,” he said.

In the two years from 2020 to 2021, same-store sales in the United States of the chain increased 17% compared to 2019 levels.

Bader is confident that hamburgers will continue to grow in sales. Dairy Queen soft-launched Stackburgers on February 7, and so far, unit sales have increased by double digits without ads.

Dairy Queen is sitting so far while fast food competitors such as McDonald’s are testing or adding plant-based burgers.

“There’s a lot of new news in Stackburgers, and the franchisee’s work situation didn’t want to introduce too many new items. That’s what we do when we think of plant-based proteins,” Bader said. Mr. says. He will continue to monitor and monitor and see what role he can play within the Dairy Queen system. “

Berkshire Hathaway is preparing to hold a face-to-face annual shareholders meeting on April 30 for the first time since the pandemic began. And comfort.

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