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Would you miss Dairy Queen?

Continuing my “Would you Miss” series

Dairyqueen_2


Does Dairy Queen provide such a unique product and customer experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does Dairy Queen treat its employees so astonishingly well that those workers would not be able to find another employer to treat them as well? Does Dairy Queen forge such unfailing emotional connections with its customers that they would fail to find another fast food restaurant that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What say you?

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42 Comments

  • Kevin Mason says:

    I actually WOULD miss Dairy Queen. I don’t stop there very often anymore, but I do have a craving for a Blizzard every now and then.While there are many places that offer a similar product to the Blizzard, no matter what town I’m in, it’s usually pretty easy to find DQ.I would hate for DQ to go the way of Tastee Freeze!

  • Dave Knox says:

    Yes i would miss DQ. Sure they haven’t had the best marketing and branding activities over the course of the past few years. And with their new store signage of “Chill and Grill”, I still haven’t tried anything on the Grill part of the menu. But still the same, I think the Blizzard has an unmistakable place in the hearts of people across the country, especially in Middle America. When you are craving a Blizzard, nothing else hits the spot. Not to mention that I still havent found a place that replicates their Ice Cream cake.

  • stephanie says:

    At first, my reaction was ‘No.’ But after thinking about it for a minute, I’d have to change that.I almost never visit DQ anymore, but, looking back, it was a major part of my childhood. From the post-little league game visits to the half-day ‘treats,’ most of my ice cream consumption started there. Granted, once the fro-yo fad started, I made the switch like almost everyone else I knew. But in the back of my mind, I knew a Peanut Buster Parfait or Mr. Mistee was just around the corner.So, yes, after all that, I would miss Dairy Queen.p.s. I love this series! I’m not sure if you’ve done it before, but how about Krispy Kreme? The retail store are dropping like flies (and yes, it’s something that I would – and do – miss)

  • I already do. Even though the newer Dairy Queens are cleaner and more “hip to the scene” I miss the way the used to be. The older one we had in town were more like your classic drive in’s in more of the blue collar side of town but the newer ones are in the sanitized upper crust section of town. It’s almost as if they share the same name but are really two different companies.The same holds true with Dunkin Donuts. I miss the older Dunkin when the it seemed like it was a “real” donut bakery whereas the new ones are nothing more than coffee shops that also serve donuts that are stale in comparison to what you got in their older format. I’m just glad Krispy Kreme is still around for that real donut experience and Sonic seems to have taken over what Dairy Queen used to be.

  • Joseph says:

    I would not miss it. The blizzards are delicious, but theres so many alternatives to that — so it wouldn’t be a huge loss for me.

  • BIG Kahuna says:

    God do I miss DQ. So many memories of walking to my local DQ and ordering a parfait. Living in St. Thomas really crushes any real form of obtaining good ice cream.DQ is for me that one special place to go for icecream. John, please don’t take it away!

  • Lewis Green says:

    Yes. I love the old-style funky look and the soft ice cream.

  • Yes, for a specific reason. They (mostly) occupy a niche unfulfilled by anyone else. There are a number of towns – or locations in indistrial or working-poor residential sections of larger towns – where there is little food choice, and the fulfill this need.They also (or “especially” if you inherently find fast food an evil of modern society) provide an interesting social focal point. Not all are laid out to act like the old drive-in (see Sonic for a functioning model of this), but their attitude seems to permit it anyway. Locals meet there, and more than with other fast food come inside and hang out, instead of just using the drive through lane.Unlike a lot of other “would you miss” entrants, nothing would take the place of many DQ stores if they left.

  • Jason says:

    If DQ left, where would I get my Peanut Buster Parfaits?

  • Chris says:

    No matter what other treats they come up with, or what other ice cream shoppes do, DQ sundaes still are the best. I absolutely would miss DQ. And on a personal note — that was my high school hang out!!!

  • Chris Wilson says:

    They are my small town favorite. I would and do miss them. The closest one to me is over an hour away.Actually, I could use a Blizzard right now!

  • k says:

    I’ve been there only once and I would miss it.I would go there more often if it wasn’t for the fact that I live on the other side of the North Atlantic Ocean.

  • Denise says:

    A quick read of these comments indicates DQ enjoys great — albeit somewhat latent — brand equity due to its heritage — “a major part of my childhood” “memories” “my high school hang out!!!”It’s too bad the company seems more interested in modernizing the brand vs. tapping into the rich emotional connection people have with a brand they grew up with.I’d like to see them clean up their store experience AND be nostalgic with their brand positioning. It’s possible to do both — see Krispy Kreme, In n’Out, Ruby’s…

  • Gopal Shenoy says:

    I have lived in the US for 18 years, never once have I gone to DQ. So my first reaction when I saw the question was No, I would not miss it all. But then reading the comments here, I can see how DQ has been a big part of people’s childhood. How many brands can elicit a similar response?Looks like I am missing something really good – the blizzard. I should try it next time I go by DQ in the neighboring town.

  • When I was a kid DQ in my area didn’t serve food. IT was a walk-up window – and wait in the long line – experience. They would board it up for the winter and in the spring on opening day it seemed the whole town was there.Where I live now there were two in the general area. One was the restaurant version the other the walk-up ice cream only variety. The restaurant closed a couple of years ago. The ice cream stand is still going strong.You can keep your Blizzard – I want a large soft serve cone half vanilla half chocolate. I might even go for the hard chocolate coating as well.I’d miss it.

  • Brittaney C. says:

    I would miss Dairy Queen solely for the fact that it was just about the only place my mom would take us ‘out to eat’ when I was little. The thought of no more Mr. Misties (now known as Arctic Rush) or Peanut Buster Parfaits is sobering…They may not have attracted a new audience since the 90s, but those nostalgic for fast food the way it used to be still appreciate this place.

  • James says:

    Finally, one I would miss.Heck, yes, heck, yes, heck yes.Growing up, I have fond memories of Dilly Bars. As a single, I have fond memories of walking the mall enjoying a Blizzard. For my last birthday, I had an ice cream cake from DQ. When we learned we were miscarrying, we had Blizzards and took a walk at the beach. When our son was born 14 months later, I left the hospital late in the evening to buy magazines and newspapers to commemorate the day, and two Blizzards. To cap a long day of local tourism, we had Blizzards. To celebrate the completion of a long drive, we bought Blizzards as we re-entered town. In a few years, I look forward to introducing my daughter to Dilly Bars in the next year or two. (My wife will also every so often get a hankering for one of their meals that includes toast and gravy.)If my wife had her way, we’d have Blizzards far more often. (And weigh over 200 pounds each, no doubt.)Glad to live in Seattle, living in L.A. meant long drives to find the full-service ones.May not be the healthiest food, but DQ rocks. Don’t take my DQ!

  • YES DQ is the best thing going in fast food right now.Best Fast Food Customer serviceBest Fast Food Dollar ValueBest National Fast Food Cheese BurgerBest National Fast Food Soft Serve Ice CreamBest National Fast Food Ice Cream CakesTo name a few reasons why everyone would miss DQ.And To thoese who have not been to DQ in a while. Go there today and have the Cheese Burger let us know if you would miss it!

  • Brett says:

    Wouldn’t miss it at all. I love Blizzards, but I haven’t had one in at least five years. However, I find it interesting that most commenters would miss the Blizzard, rather than Dairy Queen overall. Does the Blizzard sum up all that’s good about DQ?

  • Shaun Dakin says:

    Yes.Blizzard.Yummy.Shaun DakinStopPoliticalCalls.org

  • bob says:

    I’ve never had Dairy Queen because they have never been part of metropolitan New York so, no, I wouldn’t miss them.

  • I wouldn’t, but I try to stay away from the fattening food, which is basically the menu of every fast food chain in America. I also think their ice cream is rather bland.Dairy Queen capitalizes on the “Oh honey, the kids are hungry, pull over” crowd. Tends to be off major highways. If Dairy Queen disappeared, Sonic would fill the void.

  • girl says:

    I live in San Francisco where there is NO Dairy Queen. I miss it dearly. Anytime I leave California I hit it up. Mmmm blizzard…

  • Oran Parker says:

    I would NOT miss DQ. I see them from time to time, but when it comes to fast food (which we rarely eat) then DQ would be my very last choice. As far a frozen treats are concerned…hmmmmm. That’s easy for me. The kids and I LOVE to run down to Sonic and sit in the cab of the truck talking with our tasty spoils. Now Sonic…heck…we’d miss that for sure. For me DQ just gets lost in the noise. I see their new ads, but have yet to have a single one make me think twice about stopping in. I don’t know…it just doesn’t register with me.

  • Yes. It was a part of my childhood and is now a part of my children’s. But our patronage wasn’t influenced by their new logo. That exploration in Pantone swooshes was just a waste of money.

  • I would miss it-but not because it’s a part of my daily life. As many have said, I’d miss it because it reminds me of my childhood, and of carefree, innocent summer days.With this in mind, DQ would be wise to skew its campaigns at families, not teens. Brand it as the spot to take your children after a sunny day at the park, or after winning the big game.Because when those children grow up…whenever they get nostalgic for their youth, they’ll turn to DQ just as we do.

  • John,Kudos to you for this clever and thought-provoking series. I must say, that when I saw the DQ post my first thought was, “No, and I can’t think of a single brand-name product that I would miss THAT much.” Maybe it’s the economic times, but right now the idea that I’m so attached to a brand (at least a product-focused one) seems strange to me.I’m not an anti-brand guy. For years and years I was an incredibly hard core Nike fan. And today I still like Nike, but if they disappeared I’d just wear something else.Sure DQ is fine, but so is Coldstone Creamery or a dozen other ice cream treat sources. There are so many comparable choices out there in just about every category, I can’t think of any brands I can’t live without right now.Want to know what I can’t live without?The Internet.Ideas.Conversation.Collaboration.Sorry for the buzzkill.

  • Pearl says:

    Yes, because Dairy Queen is the only place one can order a DQ Dude or a steak finger basket. Some of the DQs have phased out the Dude, but they are still worth asking for. The DQ in Roswell, NM, doesn’t serve Dudes, but they do serve a HungrBuster with green chile topping.The ice cream is special, too. No one offers anything comparable to a Dilly Bar, a Peanut Buster Parfait or a Blizzard.DQ needs serious help with its branding (the Moo-latte was a great product with an embarrassing name), but it’s a brand worth saving.

  • I would not. Now Orange Julius, on the other hand…

  • kd10021 says:

    I’ve driven by DQ a countless number of times over the years, and never been. Maybe that’s because I’m not a fan of ice cream. But I have been numerous times to Baskin Robbins, Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, Carvel, Steve’s, Cold Stone, Cows…Wouldn’t miss DQ at all.

  • ZaggedEdge says:

    Nope, too fatty in an age of good health.

  • Matt says:

    As they say in Texas:”You ain’t a real town in Texas unless you have a Dairy Queen.”Seriously. Other towns without ones are really considered villages. It’s positioned itself THAT WELL in Texan culture.

  • Debbie told me about losing her virginity while we were sitting on a concrete bench outside DQ. Saturdays after coming off the lake, sunburned, tired, dyhydrated and hungry, DQ was on the way home and nothing tasted as good as a cheeseburger. If you didn’t know who was working behind the counter you knew someone in line with you. Before my uncle left for Vietnam we went with him one last time to get cokes and cheeseburgers. He was afraid all he would eat for the next year would be fish, rice and C rations. He made it back wounded, but alive – and went right back to the DQ. It’s more than fast food. It’s a place to meet, to socialize, to bond. Yes. I’d miss it even though I live in a state that doesn’t have a DQ I go back there when I visit TN every few months.

  • cs says:

    i’m from Texas and on the drive from Dallas to Houston, ~4 hours, it’s SOP to stop and get a cherry shake in Centerville. tell me this, where else can i get a cherry shake?i’m definitely in the “would miss” camp.

  • Chuck says:

    I’d miss it for the above mentioned connections to childhood, and I agree that they should be doing more to connect with those feelings.

  • stan says:

    There was one Dairy Queen in Portland that I used to like going to, and oddly enough, it was for their hot dogs. When all of the other DQ’s around town would boil their dogs, this particular one actually grilled them, which is a far superior way of cooking them. The last time I went to that DQ, however, they had also made the switch to boiling.As for their ice cream products, while I do enjoy them once in a while, I think I like ice cream from other restaurants better. Marble Slab and Cold Stone Creamery produce a far superior dish of ice cream, Shake’s (or Shakey’s) makes excellent frozen custard concretes, and I love to stop by the Tillamook Dairy for some freshly made ice cream whenever I make it to the Oregon Coast.It can sometimes be sad when a chain experiences a downturn and closes for good. I grew up on Skipper’s fish, but in recent years their business declined to the point where they had to start offering other food items like chicken and (the death knell) cheeseburgers! Not surprisingly, they closed all of their restaurants soon afterward. I was sad that they closed, but life went on. Fortunately, as I learned on my recent trip back to Oregon, the company has resurfaced, and it appears that they are back to just serving fish again. Hooray!

  • Jason Stoddard says:

    First, thanks for the opportunity to comment.As silly as it sounds, Dairy Queen is an emotional “lovemark”: My grandparents owned one of the first Dairy Queen franchises in Texas (Pittsburg, TX to be exact). My late grandfather, Sport Stoddard (yeah, that was his given name), is said to have coined the phrase “The Texas Stop Sign” in reference to the Dairy Queen logo elevated above the small town sky lines of rural Texas. Growing up, I always heard conversations and stories about post football/baseball/soccer/basketball game get-togethers at the Dairy Queen from my Dad and Uncle, heard the stories that the only way to get elected in that part of East Texas was to be a regular hand shaker and baby kisser at the DQ.Family Road Trips always included frequent stops at Dairy Queen, whether we picked up a burger and fries basket, a chicken fried steak finger basket, a sundae, a blizzard, or just stopped to use the bathroom–it was always Dairy Queen because Mom and Dad argued between whether Whataburger or Sonic had the best cheeseburgers–Dairy Queen was the agreed compromise. The year we made a trip to Vail for the 4th of July fireworks (ala the family truckster cause flying freaked Mom out), we must have had DQ twenty times, and heard Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” on the radio ten or twelve times more.I also have fond memories of Ron Stone hosting “The Eyes of Texas” out of KPRC in Houston, and DQ’s advertisements always fomenting conversations with Dad about a DQ story I had heard a thousand times, or a new story that the flicker of thought induced by the feature and the corresponding DQ commercial evoked.Even now, the oral history continues… driving with friends, I pass along the same stories, play the same “spot the Texas Stop Sign” car game, and find myself cleaning up the remnants of a blizzard from the console of my car. Buffet was no dumbey when he and his picked up the DQ–for Mid-westerners and Southerners, DQ is the part of the community fabric.Institutional memory=deep association=brand loyalty.

  • Mary Paul Stewart says:

    My visits are few and far between, but yes, I would hate to see it go. It’s a comfort thing.

  • J says:

    I am a current owner. Glad to hear you like the heritage of DQ and would hate to see it go.Corporate has a bug up thier ass about adding more food and competing with the fast food giants. Us owner’s do not understand why; here in MI DQ means ice cream not food (not like they have a Big Mac or anything memmorable). The changes they’re making are causing alot of confusion to customers by having Soft Serve Only, Brazier, Limited Brazier, Treat Center, and Grill & Chill. These different store types either require foods or some foods depending on the type.We owner’s are fighting with Corporate to limit the number of store types. We want only two; Grill & Chill and Treat Center. Grill & Chill would be food and ice cream treats and the Treat Center would only be ice cream treats. This way the Customer knows what they are getting when they walk in the door.Because of that bug in thier asses; they are not lending enough support to the store that mainly sell treats. This hampers our abilities to grow and promote our products.With respect to the cosmetic changes they are makeing. With enterance of Cold Stone, Culver, Carvel……etc. DQ corporate wants to make sure we do not loss our edge. These other brands have updated looks. We need to do something.Please instead of posting your comments here in a site that DQ Corporate will never see; write directly to DQ to let them know your feelings. We owner’s need your help to stop the mistakes they are making.Thank you

  • Chris Rippe says:

    Who cares about Dairy Queen? You know what I miss? The local ice cream stand I used to go to with my grandfather that the dairy Queen put out of business with a far inferior product and half the intimacy.

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