Will Dailey and Damon Draught
DQ Grill and Chill | 275 Atwood Ave., Cranston
The pitch: DQ Grill and Chill features hamburgers and sandwiches, as well as various combo specials and dessert offerings. The Cranston location is the first DQ Grill and Chill to open in Rhode Island.
Years in business: Opened April 23
Employees: Approximately 80, depending on the season.
Cost to obtain franchise: $35,000 franchise fee; $1.1 million to $1.9 million total investment.
Before opening franchise: Dailey and Draught served in the U.S. Army together with the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) in upstate New York.
Reason for opening: Draught owns a couple of Dairy Queens in upstate New York and Dailey discussed the possibility of opening one together in Rhode Island because, Dailey said, the idea was intriguing to him. Dailey’s wife, Shari, and Draught’s wife, Sonja, are also co-owners of the new establishment.
“A lot of people look at franchises and they see the corporate name. That is true that is a representation of that corporation. But we don’t want people to forget that behind that name, there are two guys who are small-businessmen and who are local. It’s not always the corporate brand they see, but there are people who are behind that [who] are local members of the community.” – Will Dailey
“Damon and I were both military guys. Being part of a franchise with a formal structure and processes that are put in place, it was really kind of easy to adapt to how the process and the system works.” – Will Dailey
“It’s not just what I call the ‘daily operations’ of the store but also learning … a sense of not only how to run and manage a business but also how to think about your business in terms of its own entity. Decisions made for the business are based on what’s best for the business, as opposed to the individual or one of the owners. Every decision you make is for the business. You have to think of it in that regard to make sure you’re making the right decisions for the right reasons.” – Will Dailey
“My wife and I and our son, we love Rhode Island and we want to stay here. It was just a natural fit for us. We really enjoy the community and the state as a whole.” – Will Dailey