For a brand that has been successful for more than 75 years, the addition of 318 new Dairy Queen locations across the globe in 2016 shows impressive staying power.
In total, 82 locations opened in the U.S. in 2016 and nearly 100 percent of those were DQ Grill & Chill model restaurants. The brand has shifted its growth heavily to the QSR concept because of the high quality of product it is able to provide to fans.
“Our food business across the U.S. has improved plus 40 percent over five years. We definitely have a high-quality dessert product and we have a high-quality food product,” said Jim Kerr, executive vice president of development for US & Canada.
In addition to updating the menu and educating consumers about the DQ Grill & Chill concept, Dairy Queen has redesigned and readjusted the look of the brand at an aggressive pace. In the past three years, in the U.S. and Canada, Dairy Queen remodeled more than 850 stores. Kerr says that rapid rate is going to continue in upcoming years.
“We’re really given the opportunity to plan long-term,” he says. “We execute daily but we’re given the opportunity to look at where we want to be five years out, 10 years out, and we don’t open stores just to open stores. We have a real, high-quality perspective to opening restaurants so our franchisees are always successful.”
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