Franchise Spotlight: Dan Byrne, Dairy Queen®

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Dairy Queen franchisee Dan Byrne speaks of his life experiences with more passion than most.  He said, “I love getting up every morning and making a difference in my business.”

Dan’s Story

Byrne, a franchisee for 32 years, began his career at Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins. After many years with the Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins brand, he sold all of his stores and moved into Dairy Queen. And, for the last 15 years, he’s been the proud owner of two Dairy Queen stores in Florida, one of which Direct Capital helped him acquire.

With some notable titles, Byrne is not only a proud franchisee but a big supporter of community initiatives. In 2000, he was elected by his peers to serve on the Franchise Advisory Council, something that not many franchisees get asked to do.

In 2015, he was named Children’s Miracle Network (“CMN”) Franchisee Ambassador for Dairy Queen. In this role, he told World of DQ®, he hopes to help others in the DQ® system focus on CMN Hospital’s initiatives and grow the program.

“Kids are important to our brand, our business, and our future,” he said in World of DQ magazine. “I want to use my relationships and passion to help get more operators involved in supporting their local CMN Hospital. I’m honored to be in this role and am looking forward to working with more people who care about CMN Hospitals the way I do.”

And, if there’s anything else you should know about Dan it’s this: He is the proud owner of a once-black 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle that is now completely wrapped in Dairy Queen regalia.

His Ormond Beach Location

When Byrne was ready to expand, he went searching for the next best location. It turns out, that location was in Ormond Beach, Florida.

He knew the previous franchisee of the Ormond Beach store and wanted to see if he could help buy him out of it. He went in wanting to see the volume and variables before making any commitments. He soon realized, though, that the store was “critical and inconsistent” and only bought it after negotiating down the price.

Wanting to keep the business within the family, he put his daughter, Angela, and son-in-law, James, in charge. He said, “And the rest is history. The community already loves them.”

So much so, he said, that store sales were up 2% in May (three months after the acquisition) and they expect to be up 25% in June 2015. In total, Byrne told us, they are looking to increase revenue by 100k in one year. A big contributor to that growth will be the newly released DQ Bakes! Program, about which, he said, “I think it’s going to be phenomenal.”

His Relationship with Direct Capital

Byrne’s relationship with Direct Capital started back in 2010, when he first started seeing Matt Goyette, Vice President of Major Accounts for Direct Capital, at different conferences and expos. When he moved into the Ormond Beach location, he looked to Goyette and Direct Capital for help with financing that acquisition, and he’s been working with Direct Capital ever since.

Relationships are important to Byrne. “We’ve formed a nice working relationship for this store and projects in the future,” he said. And the client relationship managers at Direct Capital agree. They’ve greatly enjoyed the relationship they’ve built with Byrne.

Timothy Amero, Senior Franchise Client Service Manager, said, “We’re pleased to have had the opportunity to provide the financing Dan needed to acquire the Ormond Beach Dairy Queen location. Dan’s extensive knowledge, energy and passion for the Dairy Queen brand is unmatched. We are excited to continue growing our relationship and would like to congratulate him on being named the Children’s Miracle Network Brand Ambassador for Dairy Queen.”

Because Direct Capital’s process is, as Byrne said, “seamless and painless” when he opens up his next location – a Dairy Queen/Orange Julius in a Florida mall – he’ll be looking to Direct Capital again. “I’ve been able to turn stores into goldmines for over 20 years,” Byrne said, “This could be a home run.”

He said that with all of the great things happening in the world of Dairy Queen franchisees he’s thrilled to be a part of it all – and to have us be there with him.

“I can’t say enough about the job Direct Capital has done for us,” he said. “I’ve been around a long time. I’ve worked with the best and the worst. To be able to pick up and the phone and call your lender… that’s a relationship.”

To discover ways that Direct Capital can help your franchise grow like Dan’s, visit our Franchise Financing page!