Rita’s Italian Ice named top franchise for veterans

Entrepreneur magazine includes Rita’s frozen desserts franchise among the top franchise picks for veterans transitioning to civilian life

A soldier with his back to the camera holds a gleeful little boy who is hugging the man’s neck while clasping an American flag. An out of focus American flag can be seen flying in the background.

Rita’s Italian Ice was once again named among the top franchises for veterans by Entrepreneur magazine.

The skills you gained in the military can help you be a top operator with our unique frozen desserts franchise. While our owners come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from corporate America to the restaurant industry, Entrepreneur magazine has recognized that our successful franchise business is ideal for military veterans.

How Entrepreneur ranked the franchises

Entrepreneur magazine invited franchise companies that offer financial incentives to veterans to participate in a survey about their veterans programs. “From there,” the magazine says, “we developed our ranking of the top 150 franchises for veterans, taking into account each company’s veteran incentive, how veteran franchisees are attracted to and supported by the company, and how each company scored in the 2018 Franchise 500.”

To help support veterans, we offer a 50% discount off our $30,000 franchise fee to all veterans who were honorably discharged and are qualified franchise candidates. That’s a significant savings to give you a headstart on making your entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Why Rita’s is a great business for vets

We are a proud member of VetFran, the branch of the International Franchise Association (IFA) that helps U.S. military vets transition into civilian life by giving them greater access to franchising opportunities.

The skill sets that veterans develop during their time in the military happen to dovetail perfectly with the skills you need to be a successful franchise owner. Rita’s is a great business in which to develop up-and-coming leaders. Our Treat Team members tend to be high school and college students, and many franchise owners enjoy helping them develop a strong work ethic and leadership skills.

As a franchise owner, you’ll teach them how to make our delicious Italian ice in the store every day, and how to make the perfect swirl of frozen custard atop a Gelati. You and any of your full-time managers will learn all the particular facets of running a Rita’s at our corporate headquarters in Trevose, PA, and then you’ll pass along those skills to all the people you’ll hire to work in your Rita’s franchise.
A row of various colorful Italian Ice and frozen custard treats are grouped together in Rita’s branded cups.

An accessible investment

Rita’s provides you with a simple but proven formula that you can follow to build your own successful business.You have the freedom to grow the business at your own pace.

Rita’s startup costs are already accessible, with a startup investment ranging from $150,500 to $440,900. In the business world, especially in the foodservice franchise segment, that’s pretty affordable. Our uncomplicated business model, based on just two core products of Italian Ice and frozen custard, makes Rita’s a great entryway into food franchising.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to join one of the top franchises for veterans, please explore our research pages. You can fill out the form on this page to access our Franchise Information Center, where you’ll find detailed financial results, a breakdown of startup costs and in-depth Q&As with Rita’s franchisees.

A double? Why not a triple?

Rita’s franchise is the perfect business model to stack up into a multi-unit franchise investment for your portfolio

A line of people at a Rita’s window outside on a sunny city street.

Rita’s simple business model and flexible footprints make it easy to to scale a multi-unit operation quickly.

Rita’s franchises welcomes single-unit investors, but did you know our simple operations and flexible footprints make Rita’s a perfect franchise for a multi-unit strategy? Sean Evans of Dallas and his business partner spotted that opportunity before they even signed on the dotted line.

After 20 years in retail, the last 10 as a district manager for Footlocker, Evans had experience juggling multiple locations. And after delving into the Rita’s brand, he and his partner were convinced that signing a multi-unit deal was the smart decision.

“One of the big things that we were deciding on was, do we want to do more than one? Or do we want to just do the one and see what happens? That kind of thing. But you know, through partnership and conversation with Rita’s, we worked different plans,” Evans says. “They came up with different scenarios: “If you decide to do multi units, here’s how it can look.” You know, it wasn’t like five at a time and boom, there you are with everything happening at one time. It was more like, do the first one and then space them out, open them nine months apart and go after the next one. So on and so on.”

Allowing time to build at a moderate pace with intention “just makes more sense,” says Evans, whose first unit opened in Q1 this year. They are planning to open four more Rita’s locations over the next few years.

How to build multi-unit franchises with Rita’s

We have several advantages when it comes to multi-unit investments. Here are some of the components that make it easier for you to scale a three-pack, five-pack or more with Rita’s Italian Ice:

Flexible footprints. Start with your standard store, with walk-up or walk-in service and potential drive-thru service; then engage with your community through catering; and then consider our mobile program that allows you to grow your business outside your four walls and take the product to the consumer.

Multiple revenue streams. You can cater parties or set up at events year-round, particularly if you have a mobile unit. It provides extra revenue streams and is also a great way to do grassroots marketing, especially in territories where Rita’s is new. And if you operate in an area where you choose to open seasonally, you can still save on labor and utilize the off-season for catering and community events. Many franchisees also spend time in the off-season strategizing for opening their next Rita’s unit.

Simple operations. With just two core products and no cooking, our business is easy to run and operates on high margins. That also makes it easier to train employees, and the fun working environment makes Rita’s an employer of choice for teens and young adults.

A branded cup reads Blendini and has colorful candy nuggets in a pile on one side of the cup and a tuft of pale blue cotton candy on the other. A mixture of those two items with vanilla frozen custard can be seen in the cup.

Our two core products, Italian Ice and frozen custard, are the base of all the unique products we sell.

Unique products draw customers. Rita’s Italian Ice gives customers something new to try. That novelty gives you a major leg up when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. We offer frozen custard, the smoother, creamier version of soft-serve ice cream; and Italian ice, the upscale version of a slushy that’s made with water and real fruit. The cost of goods is low, and the concept is unlike other frozen dessert franchises.

Learn more about our multi-unit opportunities

A unique franchise like Rita’s offers an incredible opportunity to scale up and own multiple units. Please explore our research pages to see what our brand has to offer. You can also fill out the form on this page and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!