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5. Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen
Number of SBA loans : 478
Total dispersed: $157 million
Average loan size: $328,383
Failure rate: 8%

Dairy Queen celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and its famous Blizzard treat -- blended soft serve ice-cream with candies, cookies and fruits -- turns 25.

Berkshire Hathaway, the company run by legendary investor Warren Buffet, acquired the iconic company in 1998. Today, it boasts 5,700 locations around the globe and a single-digit failure rate for its SBA-backed franchise loans, making it one of the safer investments in the food franchise market. A first-time owner will face a $35,000 initial license fee.



NEXT: Dunkin Donuts

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Source: Loan data is from the Small Business Administration, covering loans made from October 2000 through September 2009. The failure rate represents the number of loans in liquidation or charged off, divided by the number of loans disbursed.
LAST UPDATE: Apr 26 2010 | 4:53 PM ET
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