Dairy Queen Wants To Expand Its Business In The Off-Season

Some foods have a season, and in much of this country, ice cream is one of those foods. That’s why Dairy Queen, a chain that people associate with ice cream, is serving up more traditional fast food to keep busy in the off-season. They’ve expanded the menu to include more toasted sandwiches and warm desserts, and are advertising them on TV, but will that be enough to get people in the door when even established fast-food places are struggling?

Dairy Queen has served burgers and fries for decades, but people don’t necessarily associate the chain with things that aren’t soft-serve ice cream. Bloomberg reports that the chain has improved sales each month this year even as the weather outside gets colder, but getting people in the door year-round will still require reminding people that they can get things other than frozen dairy products there.

Menu changes sometimes come with grumbling from franchisees, though. Dairy Queen is a mostly franchised business, and it’s restaurant owners who have to pay up for equipment when there are menu changes. For the new “artisan” sandwiches, for example, each restaurant needed to pay about $6-8,000 for sandwich-toasting ovens.

Warren Buffett’s Ice Cream Chain Looks to Fix Its Winter Problem [Bloomberg]