All-Star Franchisees: Matt Frauenshuh of Dairy Queen
All-Star Franchisees: Matt Frauenshuh of Dairy Queen

Matt Frauenshuh is the owner of 180 DQ restaurants in 10 states—and he’s just getting started.

The Dairy Queen system has been a part of Matt Frauenshuh’s life long before he became the brand’s largest franchisee.

Growing up, Frauenshuh’s family worked with Intenational Dairy Queen, Inc. to develop real estate for the company’s corporate office and former regional offices. When the DQ Grill & Chill® concept made its debut back in 2002, the brand’s leadership team asked the Frauenshuh family to be one of the first owners of the new type of restaurant. That same year, his family opened three DQ Grill & Chill locations.

Still in college at the time, Frauenshuh helped out by working as a manager. But after he graduated, he decided it was time to take on an even larger role in the company. In 2006, he took over seven locations from his father, helping to grow the brand through his newfound development group—Fourteen Foods. By 2008, he had acquired 33 restaurants, followed by an additional 60 two years later. Under Frauenshuh’s leadership, Fourteen Foods now owns 180 restaurants in 10 states, with locations in Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.

Today, at 34-years-old, Frauenshuh has made the Dairy Queen system an important part of his life and one of his deepest passions. 1851 Franchise recently spoke to Frauenshuh to learn more about that passion, as well as what ultimately continues to drive his success with the brand.

What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?

Franchising has always been a part of my life—I’ve been playing different roles in the industry ever since I was a kid. I love the business model and the fact that it gives entrepreneurs like me the opportunity to build your own business while having the support of a corporate brand. But I’ve always known that I wanted to break into the industry on my own, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

How did franchising change your life?

The biggest thing franchising has done for me is give me a platform to give back to local communities across the country. My development group—Fourteen Foods—has worked with a variety of organizations like the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, United Heroes League and Salvation Army. Last year, we were able to donate $600,000 to various charities across the country.

Why did you pick Dairy Queen?

The Dairy Queen brand has a connection with its customers that can’t be matched by any other brand. Our fans come to celebrate with us, rather than just come in for a quick bite on the go like other QSR concepts. We get to share in some of our customers’ most important celebrations—from a student making the honor roll, to a group of kids coming in after winning a big game, to families gathering to share sweet treats for someone’s birthday.

That’s why the Dairy Queen system is able to have such a strong impact on the community. We have the opportunity to act as a hub or center for an entire region where people choose to meet on a daily basis.

Why should someone else buy a Dairy Queen franchise?

There’s so much room to grow with the Dairy Queen brand, both personally and professionally. Even with 180 restaurants open across the country, we’re scheduled to open 17 new restaurants throughout Tennessee and Alabama in the upcoming year. The brand is willing to work with its owners to make their business ownership goals a reality.