Fresh out of business school, Matt Frauenshuh took on quite a daunting task- turning around seven of his family's DQ Grill & Chill restaurants that had been losing money.
Frauenshuh installed new management teams, and the restaurants started to pick up. Then he started to expand by buying other Minnesota locations. He pushed on both buying existing and building new DQ Grill & Chill units. Today, he has over 180 in 10 states, and expects to reach the 200-unit mark within a year.
At just 34-years-old, Frauenshuh is the fast casual giant's largest franchisee.
The DQ Gril & Chill concept means a steady cashflow for the entrepreneur and has allowed Dairy Queen to compete with other QSR giants.
“It gives us a lot more predictable business,” Frauenshuh said. “In the past, Dairy Queen was known as an ice cream shop. It was highly seasonal. With the Grill and Chill, it acts more like a QSR, with more predictable cash flows over 12 months. It helps us to just run a more efficient business."
Frauenshuh credits his success to the concept's model as well as his process of acquiring smaller franchisees who have ensured their restaurants are really ingrained in their communities.
“We’ve got a team of marketing folks, and their entire job is to figure out how to respond to communities,” Frauenshuh said. “They’re working in communities to find partnerships. They find fundraisers, work with baseball teams and schools, hand out frequent reader cards or sponsor a baseball team or a youth mission trip."
He continued, “We look at it as, we have a lot of responsibility to give back to the community. Dairy Queen is not just a place to get food. It’s a fun place to be.”
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