Rita’s franchisees offer up their positive results

From developing young leaders to working in a fun business, Rita’s owners share why they love owning our frozen dessert franchise

Rita’s Italian Ice is a great frozen dessert franchise for a lot of reasons, but sometimes you want to hear more than just the corporate line. When you’re looking into making a six-figure investment, you want to hear the truth straight from those behind the counter. During the due diligence process, you will talk to existing franchisees. Here’s a look at what you can expect to hear:

Three branded Rita’s cups feature, from left to right, a cherry Italian Ice, a chocolate Blendini with cookie bits mixed in, and a lemon Gelato with a swirl of vanilla frozen custard on top.

Rita’s menu is made up of a blend of two core products, Italian ice and frozen custard, making operations simple to run.

The operating costs can be pretty low compared to other work. Where your payroll’s pretty low, your cost of goods is pretty low, and when it comes to the food, it’s less perishable than most items. The shelf life is pretty good and you can get up and running with minimal overhead.

— Tom Kowal, multi-unit owner in New Jersey

I think customers come because Rita’s has a high quality product that tastes good. The frozen custard is an alternative to ice cream but it’s a really good, creamy product. If you have a good location with good service, people enjoy your treat team members. I’ve got a lot of good kids that I think people like interacting with and so they continue to come partly because of that, I believe, and partly because of the product.

— Albert Holley, multi-unit owner in Maryland

Rita’s is great for military guys because they love following policies and processes. With franchises and the way the operations are set up, you really just follow what has been established to help you open up a store. I would advise veterans strongly to look at the Rita’s franchise model because of the discounts that are offered to veterans and the potential for sales, and also having the opportunity to make people smile is a lot of fun.

— Rob Tarr, Area Developer for Alabama

The profit margin is very good compared to other contracts that I’ve been in. The product is a premium product. And people know the brand and love the product.

— Craig Dimes, multi-brand franchisee in Delaware

A group of kids, including a girl hugging a teddy bear, stand in line at a Rita’s walk-up window.

Rita’s is a good investment because compared to some of the other businesses out there, it is generally a fun atmosphere that you’re working in with kids or younger people. The customers or guests that come to the window, as I explain to my kids that work for me on the treat team, you’re not going to find people any nicer. 99 out of 100 people that come to the window have a smile on their face or are positive when they come up to the window. They know what they’re going to get. You just want to keep it that way. You want them to leave with a smile on their face. There aren’t a lot of businesses out there like that.

— Mike Sodi, multi-unit owner in Pennsylvania

Even though we are new to the franchising arena, they’re not taking advantage of that. That is a very satisfying feeling when you can feel like the corporate side of the franchise is also in your corner and not just trying to take your investment and wish you the best.

— Sean Evans, developing multi-unit owner in Texas

Learn more

Whether you want something simple to operate, something that’s easy to scale or just something that’s fun, our frozen dessert franchise could be right for you. To learn more about the Rita’s business opportunity, fill out the form on this page to access our Franchise Information Center, where you can find detailed financial results, a breakdown of startup costs and in-depth Q&As with Rita’s franchisees. You can also find more information about our franchise by exploring our research pages.

Rita’s new year will bring new growth, new advantages for franchisees

Our frozen dessert franchise has big plans in store for 2019 with new tech, new footprints and new ways to give franchise owners a competitive edge

Every new year brings with it new possibilities to be better, and we’ve set sights high at Rita’s Italian Ice. As we work toward strengthening our consumer value proposition and ways to increase our customer base, our frozen dessert franchise is launching new initiatives that are also focused on improving our bottom line.

President and CEO Linda Chadwick says Rita’s is looking to add up to 50 new locations in 2019 and broadening our presence in underdeveloped regions. “Some of the territories where we have an emphasis on growth include Texas, Florida, Louisiana, the Carolinas and of course New York, New Jersey and Virginia.”  

Rita’s is upgrading our consumer app and improving our digital presence, incorporating new marketing strategies to make the guest experience more user-friendly.

“We’re rolling out some new flavors and a new product line in 2019, and our focus is all about the family experience,” Chadwick says. “We have some really cool things coming up.”

A pregnant woman and her husband sit cross-legged on the grass with their toddler son between them, all sharing some frozen Rita’s treats.

Rita’s Italian Ice is renewing our focus in 2019 on creating a fun family experience, which will be the driving theme behind our marketing strategies.

Focus on the bottom line

With new leadership positions in franchise development, marketing, IT and overseeing our supply chain, Rita’s is working hard to engineer lower operating costs for our franchisees next year.

One of the exciting new initiatives Rita’s is rolling out in early 2019 is our On The Road mobile vans. A new vendor partnership will allow our franchisees to lease the vehicles with the option to purchase them when the lease expires.

“Once a franchisee gets a shop up and running, this is a great way to expand their footprint and get the Rita’s brand out there so that they can promote their store,” Chadwick says.

Other exciting developments for 2019:

We’ll be implementing mobile platform to boost catering revenue streams called Rita’s On The Road. The platform is designed to help guests more easily book Rita’s for their special events like weddings, bar mitzvahs and festivals.


Rita’s will launch our first modular building in 2019, which will speed up the timeline for opening a new shop. The sleek design will have a smaller footprint that will lower overhead costs to help increase profit margins.

“We do really well in a small footprint, and we want to get back to these neighborhood shops, which is so true to how Rita’s was founded,” Chadwick says. “This will also make operations even simpler and more streamlined.

“With our new technology, our new mobile platforms and the smaller footprints with our modular building, this is really a great time to buy,” she says, “particularly for multi-unit investors. We’d love to talk to you about a three-pack or a five-pack.”

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about the business opportunity with our frozen dessert franchise, fill out the form on this page to access our Franchise Information Center, where you can find detailed financial results, a breakdown of startup costs and in-depth Q&As with Rita’s franchisees. You can also find more information about our franchise by exploring our research pages.