Friday, September 15, 2006

Let’s all go to the Dairy Queen (but not just yet, ok)

Ah, nothing can get the local populace excited more than the prospect of a fast food chain arriving in our burg (to server burgers and such no doubt).

The return of the Dairy Queen, a much discussed and apparently desired thing is apparently back on the front burner as the Franchise Development Manager for IDQ trolls our waters looking for an investor and/or manager.

Depending on how quickly they can locate someone to take on the task of bringing back the Blizzards to the north coast, there’s a chance that the cool summer treats may actually be available by next summer.

They have scouted out a few locales in the area and hope to introduce the company’s new design of restaurant chain to Prince Rupert, who lost their franchise back in 1999. Currently there are only seventeen of these new style DQ’s in Canada, three of which are located in B. C. ( this restaurant concept is currently popular in the USA, and seems to be the direction that they are going in)

So if there is such a thing as state of the art in the world of ice cream, Rupert will be on the cutting edge of the Banana Split, once the plans move past the hoping stage. Here to tide everyone over is a list of their treats, mmmmmm, ice cream.

The story was featured prominently on the Daily News’ new look front page.

By Patrick Witwicki
The Daily News
Friday, September 15, 2006
Page One

Local Blizzard fans could be in for a treat as early as next summer.

Dairy Queen is looking to return to Prince Rupert, and their head office is openly seeking a franchise owner to get it started, said Chris Falle, Franchise Development Manger of IDQ.

“We’re excited about the potential of moving back to Rupert,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of locations we’re looking at.”

Dairy Queen is seeking a location in the downtown core, he said. IDQ would also prefer to find local ownership to run the franchise in Rupert.

“We’ve been looking for a franchisee … a person that has ties to the community,” said Falle. “It’s best if we keep it tied to Prince Rupert.”

Falle himself is a former Rupertite, and would love to see Dairy Queen return to the North Coast, as early as next July. That will all depend on how quickly they find a visible owner, however.

“Our typical turn-around time is a year,” he said. “We could potentially be up there in July. That just depends on how fast we find a franchisee and approve them financially.

“I honestly believe if we get the franchisee we’re looking for, we’ll be in Rupert for along time. It’s a lot of hard work though.”

The prior Dairy Queen in Rupert closed down in 1999, but it had nothing to do with the economy, said Falle.

“The Dairy Queen in Rupert was always well represented in Rupert,” he said. “First and foremost, we did not close down that restaurant due to financial reasons.”

However, in its absence, IDQ has been waiting for the right moment to return to Rupert, and by all accounts, that time is now, said Falle.

“If you look at Dairy Queen traditionally, they are very popular in small communities,” he said.

“But we also have a proven history in Rupert, and with the recent port development, we see a lot of potential in Prince Rupert.”

The new Dairy Queen location would be based on the company’s new design, focusing on the restaurant side of its franchise. Only 17 of the new facilities exist in Canada, including three in B. C.

But not to worry – ice cream will still be the main focal point, and that is another reason why IDQ would prefer to return to Rupert by July 2007.

“Of course we’d like to be there by then,” said Falle. “That’s our peak period. But our new concept has an emphasis on the food side of things, so if we don’t open until October, that’s okay too.”

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