American Dairy Queen Corporation Announces Julie Davis as New Franchise Development Director

American Dairy Queen Corporation Announces Julie Davis as New Franchise Development Director

Franchise Industry Veteran to Spearhead Nationwide Expansion of the Brand Through DQ Grill & Chill QSR Concept

Julie Davis

Julie Davis

Since its inception in 1940, when the first Dairy Queen location opened its doors in Joliet, Illinois, the chain has been a front runner in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. With more than 6,800 franchised locations, over 2,700 of which are the new DQ Grill & Chill model, the brand’s growth momentum is showing no signs of slowing down. Much of this success can be attributed to the brand’s unparalleled legacy, rich in tradition and nostalgia, and the backing of a strong corporate leadership team. Gearing up for a strong close to 2018, American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) is excited to announce the addition of Julie Davis to the corporate team as the brand’s new Franchise Development Director.

For nearly 20 years, Davis has held franchise development leadership positions with various franchise brands in the QSR space including Schlotzsky’s, Popeyes, Dunkin’ Brands and El Pollo Loco. Through these various positions, Davis has been able to drive her expertise specifically in the QSR segment, building trust and consistency with prospective franchisees looking to grow within QSR.

“I love being a part of someone trying to achieve their American Dream,” said Davis. “Working with franchisees I am able to help entrepreneurs diversify their business portfolio by working with incredible brands. And on the client side, I am able to partner franchisors with amazing franchisees who make up the backbone of the franchise.”

Davis was initially drawn to the Dairy Queen system through the initial stages of the interview process when she saw the transparency and knowledge behind the leadership team. Instead of looking to fill the role quickly, she noticed the corporate staff wanted to fill the role with the right person who would be there for the long run. Davis is excited to join the dynamic team as they put a large focus on technology and growth moving into 2019.

“I was confident in the strong franchising  system and extremely inspired by the way the corporation  has incorporated technology solutions into the business,” said Davis. “From site selection to mapping analytics, and even inside the building with the consumer facing technology and LMS training solutions, the Dairy Queen brand has both a rooted history and a forward-thinking outlook when it comes to the business. These two qualities combined have positioned it as a leader in the segment.”

Davis plans to hit the ground running in her new development role at ADQ. She will spearhead growth through a multi-unit lens utilizing technology to target both new and existing markets with forecasted success. Specific markets of interest include Sacramento, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and Orlando, Florida as it sets its sight on growth through the remainder of the year.

“As we move forward, the important thing is to lay groundwork for future years, and this means strengthening our leadership team to offer something better to our franchisee family,” said Jim Kerr, ADQ Executive Vice President, Franchise Development, US & Canada. “With the help of our committed franchisees, our strong work culture and our commitment to the brand legacy, we are excited for what is to come.”

International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. Through its subsidiaries, IDQ develops, licenses and services a system of more than 6,800 locations in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire. For more information visit


This Broccoli Caesar Salad Proves That Raw Veg Rules

I consider a Caesar salad to be a pretty perfect food. In fact, it is probably one of my Top 10 Favorite Foods of All Time. I know! It’s a salad! But it’s a salad with a creamy, anchovy-packed, cheesy dressing and golden-brown bread nuggets (also known as croutons). I am not a professional, so I can tell you that when I “taste” my Caesar dressing, I do it by inserting a big ol’ spoonful of it into my mouth. Followed by a second one, just to be sure it’s right.

But do you know who is a professional? Chris Morocco. That is why I jumped at the opportunity to make his Broccoli Caesar, which is every bit as delectable as the original, and an even a better match for that dinner party you’re hosting this fall weekend.

Chris used both raw broccoli (more on that in a minute) and Napa cabbage as the base instead of Romaine, two heartier, sturdier greens that stand up well, long after dressing. “In fact, it’s only going to improve with age,” Chris says. So prep it ahead of time and let the flavors—spicy garlic, briny anchovy, bracing lemon zest—really soak in.

broccoli caesar

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

Peel. Those. Stems.

“There’s something pleasant about keeping a salad raw, even when it’s a root vegetable like carrots, or the cruciferous greens in this recipe,” Chris says. “It’s a good counterpoint to the richer and more decadent food you’re generally eating in the fall.” The key, though, is to make sure the texture is, indeed, pleasant—not the squeaky kind of raw that is difficult to chew.

You do this by making sure the broccoli florets are not so small that they would turn to fluff and disappear into the dressing, but not so big that they’d be confused for crudit´e. When it came to the stems, I made sure to peel them before slicing, just like the recipe instructs. No cheating here. Those stems have a bad rap, but once the firmer outside is gone, I find them to be the most tender and flavorful part of the whole veg.

Full disclosure: I did not make this recipe for a dinner party, though I plan to soon. I made it for myself. And though it doesn’t call for it, I also added golden-brown bread nuggets in there, because it was dinner, and I was hungry. Like I said, I’m not a professional, but I don’t think Chris would complain.

Get the recipe:



Shoney’s Launches Fall Fest Featuring Several Seasonal Pumpkin Items and a New Pecan Pie

Shoney's Launches Fall Fest Featuring Several Seasonal Pumpkin Items and a New Pecan Pie

Pumpkin is the undisputed flavor of fall and, with its popular annual Fall Fest, Shoney’s, America’s Dinner Table for more than 70 years, is giving its guests what they crave.

Now through December 2, the iconic, All-American brand is infusing its menu with seasonal pumpkin favorites and a new Pecan Pie, the latter which may stick around even longer if guests love it.

Shoney's Launches Fall Fest Featuring Several Seasonal Pumpkin Items and a New Pecan Pie

David Davoudpour,
Shoney’s Chairman and CEO

“Nobody does pumpkin better than Shoney’s and our call to duty is giving our guests what they want,” said Mr. David Davoudpour, Chairman and CEO of Shoney’s. “Since becoming an integral part of American history, Shoney’s has treated guests to freshly-prepared high-quality food at a great value with friendly service. We’re bringing back some of our most popular pumpkin favorites and introducing a new Pecan Pie that we know will be a hit. As we’ve said every day for since 1947, ‘Let’s Eat!’”

Shoney’s guests can enjoy the following through Thanksgiving Day:

  • Pumpkin Pie – Shoney’s delicious pumpkin pie baked in a flaky crust and topped with whipped topping. Available by the slice or whole.
  • Pumpkin Pie Milkshake — Creamy vanilla bean ice cream blended with Shoney’s Pumpkin Pie. Finished with whipped topping and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
  • Pumpkin Pancakes – Fresh fluffy pancakes with whipped topping, garnished with cinnamon sugar & drizzled with warm syrup.

In addition, Shoney’s new Pecan Pie, a slice of holiday heaven, is served topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle. It is sure to become a signature dessert item, joining Shoney’s nationally-renowned Strawberry Pie and Hot Fudge Care as American treasures.

Shoney’s is also bringing back its popular Shoney’s Bucks. Today through December 31, guests who buy a $25 Shoney’s Gift Card receive $5 in bonus bucks, which can be redeemed in January and February 2019.

Always known for having best-in-class value, Shoney’s was voted one of the best 8 family dining restaurants in the United States in the 2016 Consumer Picks Survey via Nation’s Restaurant News, placing #6 overall. In the survey, Shoney’s was recognized for having the best rating for value among all family dining chains and also scored well for its service, menu variety and diners being likely to recommend it.

Since acquiring the great American eatery in 2007, Mr. Davoudpour has been on a driven and spirited mission to reinvigorate and revitalize Shoney’s, a family-friendly, southern-style restaurant brand. Shoney’s is one of the first, and has always been one of the most popular, family casual dining concepts in the United States.

Price and participation may vary. Guests are encouraged to contact their local Shoney’s restaurant for further details.

Shoney's Launches Fall Fest Featuring Several Seasonal Pumpkin Items and a New Pecan Pie

Shoney's Launches Fall Fest Featuring Several Seasonal Pumpkin Items and a New Pecan PieShoney’s is a Nashville-based company that operates in 17 states and is now growing through franchising following an extensive revitalization effort. Since its humble beginnings in 1947 as a Charleston, West Virginia drive-in restaurant, guests have enjoyed Shoney’s family-friendly, casual dining experience. Visit for more information on restaurant hours, locations and special offers. Shoney’s is offering franchising opportunities to qualified single and multi-unit candidates. For more information, visit You can also follow Shoney’s on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and YouTube.