We’re in the business of smiles

Italian ice franchise has unique products, a loyal following, and a simple business model built for growth

When guests walk into a Rita’s Italian Ice, they know they are in for a treat. Bright smiles and bright colors greet them, along with a cornucopia of icy goodness. Guests have been loving our product since the first Rita’s opened in Philadelphia in 1984. Since then, franchisees have opened more than 600 units that dish out happiness alongside silky Italian ice flavors and creamy frozen custard.

Rita’s has thrived because we provide unique frozen desserts that combine the best of American and Italian dessert traditions. The result is an experience unlike any other that has earned Rita’s a cult-following. Rita’s has also thrived thanks to a business model that helps entrepreneurs start and grow a business that they love. Our walk-up and drive-thru options help make it a simple-to-run, simple-to-grow business model, while our walk-in and mobile options make it a great fit for entrepreneurs who are looking for a fun, community-oriented business.

A raving fanbase

Depending on where you live, a frozen custard and Italian ice franchise may sound like a brand new concept. But Rita’s franchisees have been thriving for more than three decades. The recipe for success is fairly simple: Combine unique frozen treats and smiling service with a commitment to engaging with the community — and watch the smiles become contagious!

Cartoon balloons and red and white awning border flank the left of a photo of a little boy in a red shirt eating a sprinkle cone from Rita's

Why Rita’s is Successful

We’ve demonstrated long-term sustainability, with 30+ years in business and multi-generational customers. We’re entrenched in our communities, and we’re growing.

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$28 billion industry
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Guest happiness index

Time-tested business model

Behind the happiness is a carefully calibrated business model that’s designed to help you reach new guests, win them over, and turn them into longtime fans and brand champions. Rita’s has a cult-like fanbase in the markets where we operate, and that’s no accident. Between our marketing game plans for franchisees, social media activity, and “gotta try” limited-time-only menu items, we keep guests talking about the brand.

The business model is also designed to be incredibly efficient. Franchisees need minimal staff to run a location — usually it’s just two to three people on a shift. Food costs are low, with very little spoilage. Preparation is simple. And support is abundant.

Before opening, new franchisees receive assistance evaluating business locations. They receive initial training to help them run the business. Then they receive ongoing support to help them master their skills, and increase revenue and profitability.

Rita’s systems have been refined over the course of decades. By joining the brand, you can tap into the collective wisdom of hundreds of franchisees who have already started, run, and expanded their own businesses.

Get started: Contact us and download a free report

To start a Rita’s, you and/or your business partners need at least $100,000 available to invest and a net worth of $300,000. Feel free to explore the opportunity by clicking “learn more” below. For an in-depth look at the business, fill out the form below to download a free Franchise Information Report, which includes financial performance details and an examination of how Rita’s stands out in the burgeoning frozen dessert space.