In pursuit of their dream, many obstacles had to be overcome. One of the major obstacles faced by Robert and Laurie was the fact that they were purchasing their first Dairy Queen® which had the worst business reputation in the state of Texas then in 1987. This Dairy Queen® had made $46,000 in sales the year prior to their purchase, while the DQ ®nationwide average was $400,000 per year then.
A second obstacle Robert and Laurie faced was the inability to get the local bank to lend them money. The owner wanted $50,000 and Robert and Laurie’s life-long savings since meeting at age 16 was $18,000. The attitude of the local banker was a very closed-minded one, stating “Robert you’re too young and besides I know that business and there is no way you will succeed in that old run-down Dairy Queen.”
Robert and Laurie could not get the bank to lend them money no matter what they did. They turned once again, to close friend and business mentors Bob & Jennifer Bowen, who helped by co-signing papers for the loan they needed to buy their first DQ. Keep in mind; it was with a bank 130 miles away from their store where they were finally given the opportunity to fulfill their dream. Fortunately this story has a very happy ending.
The obstacle of making the worst Dairy Queen® into one of the best Dairy Queens® took a lot of time and effort. Countless hours were spent by Robert, Laurie, and many dedicated Team Members passing out coupons, knocking on doors inviting people to their Dairy Queen®. Once the people were there, the whole team took pride in making the customers feel at home, learning their names, and keeping the restaurant very clean. Several of these original Team Members are still with Team DQ® today!
Robert and his wife Laurie, now own many Dairy Queens throughout Texas and are proud to have their children Lensda and Bob involved in their family business.