Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dairy Queen Moves Forward with New Owner, Name

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dairy Queen Moves Forward with New Owner, Name

Article excerpt

The major Dairy Queen franchise operations in metropolitan Oklahoma City have emerged under new ownership and a new name of Sooner Dairy Queens after three years in the throes of bankruptcy reorganization.

The new owner, David W. Coleman, who in August bought the franchises formerly operated by Dunn's Dairy Queen of Norman, said he is operating a slimmer company and moving forward with it.

"This is a new company, not connected with the past, and we're moving ahead," Coleman said. "I plan to stay here." The Sooner Dairy Queens' office is located at 4925 SW 7th St. in an office-warehouse complex. It was moved from Norman and consolidated with a maintenance facility already located in Oklahoma City.

Sooner Dairy Queens is owned and operated by Phoenix Management Inc., which is wholly owned by Coleman.

Before buying the Oklahoma City franchises, Coleman previously operated 16 Dairy Queens in and around Waco, Texas, for seven years.

He said that contrary to the normal winter slow cycle of business, his best business volume since taking over the Dairy Queen operations in Oklahoma was in January.

"November through February is usually pretty slow and unpredictable," he explained. "The weather cooperated, the (advertising) coupons cooperated and the management machine and the employees made a big effort, and the last week of January was our biggest week. I am real optimistic about that.

"We are buying new equipment and doing the things that will make the service better and the quality of the product better. We think the customer will notice the difference. We are doing limited table service in our stores, something that we did in Texas for the convenience of the guests. It was not being done when I got here.

"We have made some major equipment purchases, and we have some capital expenditures earmarked for the near future," he said. "We have some of the equipment already in place and some on order that will probably be in place by March 2." Coleman declined to say how much he paid for the Dairy Queens, the amount of equipment purchases and other expenses, nor would he reveal sales figures.

"It is not what you would see out front," he said. "It is behind the counter, in the kitchen, or related to Blizzards and DQ machines, or anything to do with the products or service to products. It is related to providing better products to customers.

"We are just going to be changing our service to the customers from the inside out in the operation first, then we will go from a facility standpoint second. The customers will see operational changes this month and next month, then they will see the building changes at a later date.

"We won't do anything real extravagant. We are going to take the conservative approach and make sure we've got everything ironed out before we step on to the next level." Coleman said he had operated successful Dairy Queen restaurants for other owners several years, and when the opportunity came to acquire the Oklahoma franchises, he decided it was time to own and operate his own business.

"I really like Oklahoma City a lot as a place to live," he said. "It reminds me a lot of Fort Worth. It is convenient to get around. People are friendly. Coming from Texas, I was a little nervous about how somebody from Texas would be received, but I have been received very well here. I am glad to be here. The people are very friendly, very helpful here. And so far, the weather has been kind. …

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