Vice President International R&D- Remote - #740395

International Dairy Queen, Inc.

Date: 01/14/2022 17:30 PM

City: Bloomington, Minnesota

Contract type: Full Time

Work schedule: Full Day

Company Description

Since 1940, Dairy Queen® has been one of the world’s best known and loved brands. Based in Minneapolis, MN, International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. As a leading franchisor, there are more than 7,000 independently owned and operated restaurants in the U.S., Canada and 20 countries around the world. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire.

Here at IDQ, we create extraordinary Fan experiences every day and we do this through our commitment to hiring and retaining only the best in class talent. We firmly believe that our employees are the catalyst to the success of the company where their initiative, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit are recognized and rewarded. We're looking for motivated, passionate and dedicated individuals with an inherent need and ambition to go after bigger challenges. 


    Job Description

    We have an exciting opportunity available for a Vice President-International Research & Development.  Ideal candidates will be based out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area but will consider remote candidates.  This role will lead the overall international research and development strategy and execution in alignment with business goals, desired customer experience, and overall market opportunity. Initial focus of the position is to lead the international product development team by leading team members, executing where required and working closely and collaboratively with internal and external partners.  Position will provide excellent customer service, drive results and help optimize menu and ingredients; position must create positive relationships with franchisees and be able to influence them towards key business outcomes.  Over time, this role can expect to absorb components of FSQR (Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory) international leadership.  This role will require the ability to travel at least 30% to various international locations.

    Skills required range from executive strategic planning and teamwork to managing direct reports to executing and managing certain R&D projects and participating in various meetings such as executive and regional team, franchisee and vendor meetings.  Work closely with all cross functional teammates to ensure alignment of all products, programs, processes and initiatives.  This role supports all international markets, currently including China, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Mexico, and Caribbean countries and could expand as DQ opens and develops additional international markets overtime.

    Principal Accountabilities Include:

    Focus on Developing and Maintaining High Quality, Safe Innovative LTO and Core Menu Products

    • Define and execute product development and FSQR standards and processes that develop and maintain a strong pipeline of safe, high quality and innovative products and core menu product improvements that drive sales and transactions globally and meet business timelines
    • Lead the efforts to rapidly iterate, test and validate new innovative / fresh ideas, products or platforms, that help achieve the DQ Menu Vision & Strategy. Drives creative initiatives to conclusion.   Improve existing processes and collaborate cross functionally to further tie in R&D efforts to business insights, metrics and recommendations   
    • Oversee and execute the supplier qualification, development, specification, commercialization and maintenance of safe and innovative new and core menu items and associated ingredients and packaging.  May lead or participate in components of equipment qualification.   Actively participate, often leading, cross functional teams including franchisee groups through the product development process at both a high level and, as needed, at the benchtop level
    • Interpret/analyze competitors’ activities, industry and consumer trends, opportunities and food technology advancements to conceptualize, develop and maintain innovative processes, products and platforms which drive operating efficiencies and IDQ profitability

    Relationship Building and Communication

    • Develop strong business relationships with both internal and external partners, including strategic external vendors, industry trade groups, franchisees and all internal DQ departments to ensure cross-functional execution of business needs are achieved.  Work closely with franchisees to learn from them and influence their understanding and support of the product development and FSQR strategies, plans and processes
    • Present information, strategies and product concepts to cross functional leaders, franchisees and professional organizations in a manner that inspires understanding, action and realization of corporate goals
    • Present a positive image of the DQ organization and maintain a positive energy in all interactions

    Team and Department Leadership

    • Develop strategies and team & department (R&D and International) goals that align with company and department mission and business goals
    • Provide routine coaching and direction to team members to help ensure department and company goals are prioritized and met
    • Identify and implement strategies to generate team member satisfaction, performance and success




    • Undergraduate degree in food science or related fields.  Master’s degree in related field preferred
    • At least 10 years of progressively responsible R&D experience with a QSR or Food Service company.  Background in both international product development and international FSQR preferred
    • At least 5 years of experience effectively managing professional level product development staff and leading cross-functional teams
    • Demonstrable record of achievement in leading a multi-culturally diverse international team to create and implement and maintain a pipeline of successful products
    • Understanding of food and packaging products, from a raw materials perspective through manufacturing and distribution and, ultimately, to restaurant consumers


    • ·Strong ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects across multiple regions of the world and requests simultaneously, within a deadline-driven environment
    • Ability to lead and collaborate strategically with other cross functional leaders as well as having the ability to execute projects and participate in regional cross functional team meetings
    • Ability to work across time zones (evening and early morning video meetings) and ability and willingness to travel internationally to all regions and countries where DQ does business
    • Ability to identify and remove barriers that allow the success for product development teams by ensuring staff has the tools, processes, skill sets and training to succeed
    • Relationship building skills with the ability to create mutually beneficial relationships with both internal and external clients.  Ability to collaborate with and influence others and work cross functionally to create “win-win” solutions
    • Superb written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to articulate R&D concepts and strategies to a variety of audiences, including senior leadership teams and franchisee leadership groups/councils

    Additional Information

    All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines. 


    Benefit package includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, employer paid basic life insurance, short and long-term disability, paid sick and vacation, 401(k) match, tuition reimbursement, wellness challenges and more!

    Covid-19 Requirements

    International Dairy Queen (IDQ) requires all U.S. employees to submit their vaccination status and documentation.  IDQ is an equal opportunity employer and consistent with federal, state, and local requirements, will consider requests for reasonable vaccination accommodation based on disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs where it is able to do so without undue hardship to the Company.


    IDQ is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values the strength diversity brings to the workplace. IDQ participates in the US E-Verify program.  You must be work authorized in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship.

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