Laura Maier is bringing Dairy Queen back to Long Island.
The former health-care administrator turned restaurant owner said she is on schedule to open Long Island's first Dairy Queen Grill & Chill franchise in Massapequa on Monday.
Other Dairy Queens that operated here years ago specializing in frozen treats have closed, so Maier's debut Grill & Chill restaurant will be the only Dairy Queen location on Long Island, company officials said.
Maier has hired 80 people so far and is looking for about 20 more employees, she said.
"We are looking for someone who can smile and engage with the customers," Maier said. "We can teach you the rest."
Maier said the restaurant, located at 5366 Sunrise Hwy., requires a staff of about 100 because many of the workers she is hiring are high school and college students who aren't able to work full time. The restaurant, with seating for 85 and a drive-through window, will be open 14 hours a day, seven days a week, she said.
Openings on the staff include hospitality positions working with customers, jobs in the "chill area" making ice cream treats, and positions in the grill area.
Maier, who worked in the health-care industry for 12 years, said she remembered the Dairy Queen near her childhood home in Old Tappan, N.J. She's had the idea of opening a Dairy Queen here on Long Island, where she lives now, for a long time. More than a year ago she approached Dairy Queen about opening an LI restaurant and later went through an extensive process selecting a location.
American Dairy Queen Corp., based in Minneapolis, has more than 4,000 U.S. stores and has been focused on expanding in New York State and the New York City market area, said Jim Kerr, vice president of franchise development.
The company, a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffett' Berkshire Hathaway Inc., places its restaurants around shopping centers, schools and "family-oriented areas," Kerr said.
Globally there are more than 1,000 stores in about 20 countries, including China, Thailand, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Maier's location was formerly a Burger King. She plans to open another Dairy Queen in Nassau County within the year, she said.