There’s no better feeling than seeing a crave-worthy restaurant concept in the middle of a long drive. Both Kleinman and Weiner had this in mind when they decided to open the newest DQ Grill & Chill location in Sunbury, Ohio, directly on the route from Cleveland to Columbus. The hot and tasty menu served in a modern open-air environment in conjunction with the heritage treat options provide the perfect quick-stop option for road trippers headed into town for a Buckeye game. The concept will also attract the Sunbury-local families looking for a delicious meal served in a comfortable space.
“We looked for really strong and close-knit communities for our newest location,” said Kleinman. “Sunbury is a really nice, rapidly growing community and there is definitely demand for our product there. Each day is filled with family and community-oriented activities and our restaurant is the perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner in between these activities.”
Both Kleinman and Weiner were already familiar with the Dairy Queen model, with an existing DQ Grill & Chill location in New Albany, OH. When weighing options on expanding their franchise portfolio, the two didn’t entertain the idea of other concepts, knowing that sticking with the DQ® brand was the best route.
“The development team is extremely collaborative with the corporate team,” said Kleinman. “Our experience opening new locations has exceeded our expectations, which has a lot to do with our interface with the corporation.”
In opening the new concept in Sunbury, the business-duo plan to immerse themselves in the community beyond just opening a new restaurant. Instead, they plan to become community partners.
“We hire a lot of young people in the community to work for us,” said Kleinman, who already has 35 local students of the entire 60-person staff on the payroll. “We think it’s important to teach local students communication, problem solving and budgeting skills. Also, it definitely doesn’t hurt them to get a few dollars in their pockets considering this is a lot of their first jobs.”
Becoming a community partner is something that goes beyond the Sunbury location, and is instead a trend that can be seen system-wide.
“We’ve always loved the Dairy Queen brand since visiting the treat locations as kids,” said Kleinman. “It’s different from other franchises – it’s very community-centric. We hire people to run our restaurants that live in the community and are looking for a genuinely good place to work.”
Once the Sunbury location is up and running, Kleinman and Weiner will begin scouting real estate for their next three to five locations, following the same model of growing within a family-oriented community and hiring locals looking for a great place to work.
For more information on Dairy Queen franchising visit https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/Company/Franchise-With-Us/.