Dairy Queen plans to expand in Kansas City with its DQ Grill & Chill concept.
The owners of local franchisee Red Spoon LLC opened a location at 10350 N.E. Cookingham Drive in late July 2015 and are now looking at sites for a second location.
“I just live five minutes away so we are very passionate about this location,” said Frank Lombardo, owner of Red Spoon LLC with his wife, Angie. “We are looking in the Northland, we would like to keep it close, but we think there are a lot of opportunities throughout the metro.”
Another franchisee, A&M Family LLC, has purchased the former KFC building at 8669 W. 135th St. in Overland Park and plans to convert it to a DQ Grill & Chill later this year.
Dairy Queen currently has nine DQ Grill & Chill locations in the metro and surrounding areas, including Harrisonville and Warrensburg.
Jim Kerr, vice president of franchise development and a former Johnson County resident, wants to add more than 15 metro locations over the next 5 or 6 years. The company likes sites close to middle schools, high schools, churches and hospitals.
The first DQ Grill & Chill opened in 2002. The restaurants offer a variety of burgers and chicken sandwiches, DQ Bakes artisan-style sandwiches, Snack Melts and hot desserts a la mode.
They also offer $5 lunch specials such as the Crispy Chicken Wraps Lunch (two chicken wraps with chicken strips, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese and ranch dressing in a warm flour tortilla, along with a drink and a sundae). Also on the menu are Snack Melts, such as chicken bacon barbecue or chicken quesadillas.
The average size of the restaurants is 2,612 square feet and they feature an open-air grill, separate “grill” and “chill” order sections, booths and patio.
The DQ Grill & Chill now makes up about 35 percent of the company’s franchise system. There are more than 1,560 of the operations in 46 states.
DQ Grill & Chill is a quick service restaurant concept, while the Dairy Queen Brazier operations have an “older, more limited food menu,” according to a company spokeswoman. Dairy Queen is not pursuing further growth of the Brazier concept.