By: Sarah Kirkup and Jesse Borek
By the end of this month, Dairy Queen, owned and operated by franchisee Laura Maier, will be opening its third Long Island fast food restaurant in Huntington Station.
The $2.5 million location will be the smallest of the three locations owned by Maier. At 3,200 square feet the restaurant will seat up to 47 people at a time. Over the last three years, Maier has also opened Dairy Queen’s in Massapequa and Levittown.
Scott Levy, an assistant manager in Massapequa, will be moving over to Huntington Station when the location first opens.
“The first day is a zoo and is absolute chaos,” Levy said. “People get tired of McDonald’s and Taco Bell, so this is something different.”
Dairy Queen, a fast food restaurant that specializes in Blizzard shakes and Ice Cream cakes also serve lunch options like sandwiches and salads.
The store on Jericho Turnpike, which is close to many high schools including Walt Whitman High School, will provide students with multiple inexpensive options with Dairy Queen’s five dollar lunches.
“It will really be in their budget, so they don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a good meal,” Maier said.
Maier and her staff in Massapequa have already started hiring and training workers for the opening day. The store will create at least 80 new jobs with a special interest in hiring high school students looking to start their first job.
“We love working with 16,17,18 year olds because usually it’s their first job,” Maier said. “They form friendships here that will probably last them a lifetime and that’s really neat, because I think we all remember our first job.”
Even though Maier, the former health care professional, had no experience in the restaurant business prior to opening Dairy Queen’s, Maier felt that there was a demand for it on Long Island. Because of its close proximity to Long Island, Brooklyn natives are excited for Dairy Queen to become more accessible.
“I grew up on Dairy Queen in Brooklyn,” Jenny Fabbricatore, an assistant food service director at Stony Brook University said. “I can’t wait for it to open.”
As for the future of Dairy Queen on Long Island, Maier plans to break ground on a fourth Dairy Queen site in East Northport by next Summer.