A changing of the guard at International Dairy Queen is coming up at the end of the year.
The Twin Cities-based company announced Thursday that President and CEO John Gainor will retire. His successor will be Troy Bader, who has been the chief operating officer and was recommended by Gainor, Dairy Queen says.
What will this mean for your banana split?
Don't expect any big overnight changes at the chain. But it has been gradually evolving and that's likely to continue.
The company's statement says that under Gainor, who's been president since 2008, Dairy Queen "continued to modernize the iconic 77-year-old brand."
That's shown up in the expansion of their food menu and the rollout of "Grill & Chill" franchises.
As National Restaurant News puts it, Gainor "helped the company evolve from a chain that served primarily treats like Peanut Buster Parfaits and Blizzards into a well-rounded, quick-service concept."
A couple years ago the "DQ Bakes" promotion was billed as the biggest menu expansion in the company's history.
Dairy Queen execs are almost certainly not thrilled about the Moorhead franchise, which has resisted "modernization."
The contract they signed about 70 years ago, gives them the freedom to keep serving treats – like Monkey Tails, Chipper Sandwiches, and butterscotch sundaes – that were discontinued long ago at other DQs.
You can't argue with the bottom line, though, and the company has been successful as it's moved to the "Grill & Chill" model.
National Restaurant News says from 2012 through last year Dairy Queen's sales were up 27 percent and they're now the 20th largest restaurant chain in the U.S.