This is no ordinary ice cream franchise. In fact, it’s not an ice cream franchise at all.

Two hands on either side of the photo hold Rita’s Italian Ices in Rita’s branded cups, touching the rims together as if in a toast, against a chalkboard background.

The franchise life is not for everyone. But there are ways to tell whether it might be the right life for you. Rita’s, as we said, is not just some ice cream franchise. It’s an amazingly unique franchise opportunity with 400+ units nationwide and growing, a concept that sells Italian ice and frozen custard. It’s a concept like no other.

There are a lot of compelling reasons to choose Rita’s. And there may be some compelling reasons not to. In fact, here are 5 reasons you just might NOT want to invest in a Rita’s Italian Ice franchise:

You don’t want a fun, happy business. People come into Rita’s for treats. Treats are fun. Treats make people happy. So instead of dealing with spreadsheets from the accounting department and daily meetings about incremental progress on some project you don’t care about, you could be running an exciting, feel-good business — like ice cream, only better — that puts smiles on people’s faces. Every day. And people are happy to see you. Every day. And you don’t ever have to earn a bonus for someone else again.

You don’t want simple operations. No restaurant experience? No problem. Why? No cooktops. No ovens. No complicated recipes. No inventory-control and food-waste headaches. Frozen custard you don’t have to mix up. Water, fruit and ice — does it get any simpler? Not much. It’s so easy you’ll literally be hiring teenagers to run the place.

That’s easy to scale in the off-season. A seasonal Rita’s is a beautiful thing. We know this because the majority of our 400+ franchises are in our core markets in the Northeast, where it’s been known to get pretty chilly in the wintertime. A lot of our franchisees use that downtime to operate on limited hours or to plan their next Rita’s opening. Every year, when we hold our Grand Re-Opening Day in the spring, people in those markets line up — sometimes in the early spring snow — for their first taste of their favorite reminder that spring and summer are coming.

You love working in corporate America. No one was ever laid off from their 9-to-5 job, right? Um… Look, we’re not saying people’s businesses never close. Sometimes, they do. But company loyalty and the gold watch retirement have long since gone by the wayside. Rita’s offers you a chance to control your own destiny, take a shot at your own piece of the American Dream. All our efforts to offer guidelines and processes and systems are designed to help you succeed, because we literally can’t do this without you. When was the last time someone at your corporate job told you that?

And you don’t want to be your own boss. There probably really are people who thrive on being told exactly what to do and how to do it. But maybe only because they never got to run the show. With Rita’s, you are in business for yourself. But you’re never in business by yourself. If you love the idea of having a time-tested business model to follow and expert guidance at your fingertips, all while you steer the ship, then, yes, this could be your opportunity. You will work hard your first few years, but you’ll be working toward your own profitability. And you’ll still be able to take your kid to the doctor or attend the school play without having to ask someone else if that’s okay.
A hand holds up a chocolate and vanilla swirled frozen custard in a Rita’s branded up against the backdrop of a Rita’s franchise with people lined up outside the window.

Your startup costs

Initial startup costs range from $175,500 – $435,000, according to our most recent Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). We offer opportunities for both multi-unit and single-unit owners. Rita’s franchise growth is on track to increase this year, offering entrepreneurs an excellent opportunity to grow along with us. Qualified candidates need $100,000 in liquid capital and must have a net worth of at least $300,000.

Learn more about the Rita’s opportunity

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 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 discover more about our brand by exploring our research pages.