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 International Dairy Queen, Inc., to help 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 when he graduated from college, Frauenshuh decided it was time to take on an even larger role with 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 and an additional 60 in 2010. 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. Aside from having a strong family connection to the brand, it’s the brand’s customers that Frauenshuh has come to appreciate the most.
“Our fans come to celebrate with us, rather than just come in for a quick bite on the go like other QSR brands. 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 after winning a big game, to families coming in for a sweet treat for someone’s birthday,” Frauenshuh said. “For this reason, I believe we attract a higher level of employee, and what’s special about the brand is that we have a strong impact on the community. We’re really able to act as a hub or center of the community where people choose to meet on a daily basis.”
That’s why, giving back to the communities that have given him so much is a top priority for Frauenshuh. Fourteen Foods works with organizations ranging from youth sports programs, to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Leukemia Lymphoma Society and United Heroes League. Frauenshuh’s overarching charity of choice, though, is the Salvation Army. Between the various organizations that his team supports across the country, they donated $600,000 last year.
In the year ahead, Frauenshuh’s team is scheduled to open 17 new restaurants throughout Tennessee and Alabama, with an opening coming up this October in Farragut, Tennessee.
“For me, it’s all about having a lasting and meaningful impact on a community. We can do that with the Dairy Queen brand. We become the center of activity—a hub where people can come together, catch up and share in life’s everyday moments,” Frauenshuh said. “I’m looking forward to bringing that experience to even more people in the years to come.”