Entrepreneur magazine names Rita’s among 2019’s Top Franchises for Veterans

See why Rita’s makes perfect sense for veterans seeking a transition into civilian careers

A little girl clutches a small American flag while she hugs her father, who is wearing combat fatigues. A large American flag waves in the background on the right-hand side of the photo.

Entrepreneur magazine ranked Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard at No. 41 among the 150 Top Franchises for Veterans. If you or someone you know is a veteran looking for a smart business opportunity, this is another great reason to consider owning a Rita’s franchise.

Entrepreneur compiles the annual rankings based on a number of criteria. While, as the magazine notes, “hundreds” of franchises offer incentives to veterans such as discounted franchise fees, not all are worthy of inclusion in the rankings.

How the franchises were ranked

In order to determine the best franchises for veterans, Entrepreneur did a deeper dive. They sent a survey to all of the companies that offer veterans discounts and then analyzed those results.

“From there, 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 2019 Franchise 500,” the magazine wrote.

Why vets are a great fit for Rita’s

Running a Rita’s franchise requires skill sets that are commonly acquired and honed during military service. Taking a leadership role while also maintaining the ability to work within the structure of a franchise business and being a team player is key to success, with Rita’s or any franchise.

In addition, running a Rita’s franchise requires a strong work ethic and a desire to help others develop their leadership skills. Most employees are teens and young adults, and franchisees who enjoy motivating and inspiring future leaders will find Rita’s a good fit.

Rita’s is proud of our men and women who have served our country, and as such we are a 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.

We want to do our part in making it easier for veterans to build new civilian careers for themselves as entrepreneurs. We offer an accessible startup investment as well as simple operations, which don’t require any expensive, high-maintenance stoves, ovens or fryers.

The opportunity to own a Rita’s is the opportunity to run your own business with the backing of experts and a proven track record of success. Our franchise owners come from all walks of life. However, with honorably discharged veterans, we already know you’re capable of following a roadmap to success.

Own a Rita’s

Rita’s offers a 20% discount off our initial franchise fee to all veterans who were honorably discharged and are qualified franchise candidates. Ours is a unique franchise opportunity with 600+ units nationwide and plenty of areas available. To learn more, please explore our website. 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.

How we help you broaden your customer base

From mobile units to catering, Rita’s offers alternate revenue streams that help boost customer traffic and make the most of your franchise investment

Two lines of people in winter coats stretch across a parking lot in front of a Rita's Italian Ice franchise.

Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard is the ideal franchise for people who want to operate seasonally, because in most colder climates we shut down for the winter. Franchisees can build up demand, and sure enough every First Day of Spring, Rita’s shops tend to see long lines of hungry guests waiting for their fix.

But for those who are located in warmer territories or simply want to make the most of their franchise investment during the winter months, Rita’s has several ways to help them keep the revenue flowing.

Reach more people

Some franchisees who are closed during the winter months still leave the door open for special events and catering. They can promote catering for school events like concerts and basketball games, for office Christmas parties and other community events. Adding food trucks or even mobile carts is a relatively low-cost way to expand your reach.

Franchisees can choose to take carts or trucks where the guests are, work with special venues to provide carts as a regular offering to their guests, or open fixed-location Express Units in special venues. Some of our franchise owners operate carts or Express Units in arenas, water parks and youth sports facilities, which can all provide steady business.

By taking Rita’s to the people, you can generate more traffic for your shop without dipping too far into your capital for another franchise investment on a second build-out. Special venues and mobile business are valuable marketing tools, introducing the brand to new guests who can become loyal fans.

Save on labor and operating costs

Many franchisees use their social media channels to show guests they’re still available for catering, fundraising and bulk orders, or to let them know that the shop will be open for limited winter hours on weekends. These tactics help cover fixed costs like rent while still reducing payroll.

Carts obviously have a simplified product offering and lower operating costs, which helps franchisees generate revenue at higher profit margins than in-store business. Inventory is easier to handle and staffing is simple, too.

Maintaining a skeleton crew also means franchisees don’t have to go out and hire additional staff specifically for carts and mobile units. Instead, they can utilize the team members they already know and trust.

Why Rita’s is a great franchise investment

We sell Italian ice and frozen custard, and everything on the menu is made from some combination of those two items. Rita’s is a unique franchise opportunity with 600+ units across the country, and we still have many prime territories available.

Rita’s is a happy business that requires no food franchise background and is much simpler to operate than most restaurant businesses. Our startup costs range from $175,500 – $435,000, and we offer opportunities for both multi-unit and single-unit investors. Franchise candidates need $100,000 in liquid capital and a net worth of at least $300,000.

Get started today

If you’d like to learn more about Rita’s, we’d love to hear from you. Please fill out the form on this page to access more information about the franchise investment including startup costs and more. You can also discover more about our brand by exploring our website.