Dairy Queen App Downloads Soar During Blizzard Promo

The QSR grew app downloads by 974% during an app-only promotion.

May 15, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Dairy Queen sold its iconic Blizzard for 85 cents in early April through its app only, and the promotion was a boon to app downloads, reports QSR Magazine.

From February to March, the Dairy Queen app grew downloads 193%, and from March to April, it grew downloads 974%. In April alone, the app had 3.3 million new installs—just short of overtaking McDonald’s for the top spot. According to Adam Blacker, vice president of insights at Apptopia, it’s rare for any app to ever break over 1.5 million downloads, which Dairy Queen more than doubled, pulling it ahead of Starbucks and Domino’s, which often compete for the second spot in Apptopia’s monthly chart of top QSR apps. Dairy Queen app downloads increased in late March when the QSR announced the promotion, and then downloads surged again in April when the promotion went live.

Consumers are using apps more frequently. Global research from Airship, a mobile app company, found that of the 11,000 shoppers surveyed in February, 33% are using apps more often, and 45% report about the same usage as they did last year. Only 13% have decreased their use, and 10% have not utilized apps.

Most millennials (81%) are using retail apps more or the same as last year, along with 79% of Gen Xers. But Gen Zers and boomers are below the average, both at 72% of respondents reporting using retail apps more or the same amount. High-income households experience heavy usage (82%), followed by medium-income households (79%) and low-income households (75%).

With c-stores increasingly competing directly with QSRs, recruiting foodservice pros is more important than ever. NACS Magazine gave tips for keeping c-store kitchens fully staffed in its October 2022 issue.