DQ has announced the return of its popular “Free Cone Day” on Monday, March 20. The ice cream chain said anyone can get one free small vanilla soft-serve cone complete with a curl on top — limit one per person, while supplies last — at participating Dairy Queen locations nationwide. No coupon is necessary and Free Cone Day will last all day long.
“We like to think of Free Cone Day as the beginning of our favorite season – treat season,” Dairy Queen Executive Vice President of Marketing Maria Hokanson said. “As we welcome the first day of spring, we invite all fans to stop by a DQ restaurant, get their free cone and make great memories with friends and family.”
Spring blooms with treat szn. Celebrate the official first day of treat szn with Free Cone Day on 3/20! Grab a free small vanilla cone and ring in the treat szn. pic.twitter.com/gMUG4mbkAD
— Dairy Queen (@DairyQueen) March 7, 2023
HISTORY OF DAIRY QUEEN
Where did Dairy Queen start? Joliet, Illinois. That’s where Sherb Noble opened his first Dairy Queen on June 22, 1940. Dairy Queen became an immediate sensation by specializing in a revolutionary invention, soft-serve ice cream. Noble was born in Clemons, Iowa, in 1908. He attended a two-year dairy program at Iowa State College and worked his way through school at Hutchinson Ice Cream Company, where he learned the frozen dairy trade.
In 1938, Noble ran an ice cream store in Kankakee called Sherb’s. His supplier and friend, John McCullough, was experimenting with a softer ice cream and offered it to Noble. Noble tested the soft-serve as a 10-cent all-you-can-eat special. His entire stock, 1,600 servings, ran out in under two hours. Two years later, Noble opened a new store at 501 North Chicago Street in Joliet. John McCullough had always referred the cow as the queen of the dairy business, so Noble named his new store “Dairy Queen.” It was a huge success, and Noble saw the opportunity to open franchises. Within a year, he expanded to 10 stores. By 1955, there were 2,600 across the country.
Today, Dairy Queen has over 7,000 locations in over 20 countries.
1940: First Dairy Queen® restaurant opens in Joliet, Illinois.
1949: Malts and shakes debut.
1951: Banana splits appear on the menu.
1953: First Dairy Queen restaurant opens in Canada.
1955: The Dilly® Bar debuts.
1957: The Dairy Queen Brazier® concept is introduced.
1959: First Dairy Queen restaurant opens in Panama.
1962: International Dairy Queen, Inc. (IDQ) is formed.
1968: The Buster Bar® Treat appears on the menu.
1971: Peanut Buster® Parfait debuts on the menu.
1979: First Dairy Queen restaurant opens in the Middle East.
1984: Partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Children’s Miracle Network begins.
1985: Blizzard® Treats are introduced.
1988: IDQ purchases Orange Julius® Brand
1991: First Dairy Queen restaurant opens in Mexico.
1992: First Dairy Queen restaurant opens in China.
1995: DQ Treatzza Pizza® and Chicken Strip Basket debut.
1998: IDQ acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
2003: The Blizzard of the Month program kicks off.
2005: GrillBurgers are introduced.
2006: First Miracle Treat Day in Canada and the U.S.
2010: Mini Blizzard Treats are introduced.
2015: The DQ system celebrates its 75th Fanniversary.
2018: DQ mobile app launches.
2019: First DQ restaurant with the Next Gen design opens.
2020: The Non-Dairy Dilly® Bar debuts.