Minor DQ Ltd, the franchisee of Dairy Queen in Thailand, aims to double its sales growth and business size over the next 3-5 years.
According to general manager Nakarintr Thamhatai, the company plans to double the number of owned and franchised Dairy Queens to 1,000 branches and increase sales to 4.8 billion baht by 2023.
To achieve the plan, the company will open at least 40 Dairy Queen stores nationwide this year, half of which will be under the company's own investment and the rest on a franchise basis.
Mr Nakarintr declined to disclose the investment value of this year's expansion, saying only that the number of Dairy Queen stores would rise to 540 by the end of 2019.
There are 500 Dairy Queen stores nationwide, up from 434 stores in 2017. The chain has a presence in every province except Uthai Thani and Narathiwat.
Mr Nakarintr said Dairy Queen sales in Thailand grew by an average of 4% during the past five years, boosted by two crucial factors: consumer dining behaviour, which has shifted towards snacks and desserts, and the country's tropical climate, which makes ice cream a top treat.
"Dairy Queen Thailand is one of the top three largest markets in terms of branches outside the US market, following China and Latin America," Mr Nakarintr said, adding that there's still much more room to grow in the country.
The company will look to broaden its customer base and increase the variety of its offerings, particularly additions such as hot dogs and beverage items that will appeal to Thai palates.
Dairy Queen targets a young clientele aged 18 to 29 years old.
The company expects to increase sales by 23% to 3 billion baht this year. Plans call for launching food trucks to transport Dairy Queen offerings closer to customers and continuing to increase focus on the delivery platform.