Warren Buffett’s company is making over Dairy Queen with new menu items including sandwiches — and Subway allegedly isn’t happy about it.
A Subway insider recently told the New York Post that Dairy Queen is “ripping off” the chain with its newest oven-baked sandwiches line.
Dairy Queen is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The billionaire allegedly visited Subway’s headquarters in Connecticut last year as he had, “expressed a passing interest in buying the nation’s biggest sandwich chain,” according to the Post.
While at the HQ, Buffett and a top Berkshire Hathaway exec, Tracy Britt Cool, “got a good look behind the counter,” sources told the Post.
While it’s not uncommon for top figures like Buffett to make such visits, many are questioning the timing of the release of Dairy Queen’s new specialised sandwich line, which closely aligns with particular menu items from Subway.
Its’ newly launched menu, ‘DQ Bakes!’, includes three new Artisan-style Sandwiches, which started appearing in restaurants last month.
“This is a game changer for our system. The DQ system has introduced ovens into our locations — DQ Bakes! ovens. DQ Bakes! are hot, delicious, made-to-order sandwiches, snacks and desserts, available any time of day,” said Barry Westrum, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Dairy Queen, in a press release at the time of the launch.
The new oven-baked DQ Bakes! sandwiches include the Chicken Bacon ranch sandwich, the Chicken Mozzarella sandwich, and the Turkey BLT.
Subway has identical hot menu items, including its’ Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt and its’ Turkey & Bacon Avocado sandwich.
“They copied us. They went to our vendors,” a Subway insider told the Post.
While these are popular sandwich combinations that appear in many different chains nationwide, Dairy Queen also allegedly uses similar equipment to Subway when it prepares sandwiches.
“Dairy Queen’s franchisees are being given a choice of buying ovens from one of two manufacturers that are also used by many Subway franchisees,” according to the Post.
A Dairy Queen spokesperson was quick to shoot down the narrative.
“The ovens we are using are readily available within the quick-service restaurant industry and coffee houses, and are available from multiple suppliers,” he told the Post.
We reached out to Dairy Queen and Subway for comment and will update if we hear back.
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