scalable business model
How Our Seasonal Franchise Benefits You
We’re a seasonal franchise. Here’s how you can turn that to your advantage.
The ability to operate Rita’s Italian Ice either year-round or as a seasonal franchise offers a major advantage over similar business opportunities. It gives our franchisees time to strategize their business growth while positioning their product as a truly special treat for guests.
Seasonal business helps you focus on growth
While demand for frozen treats tends to dip in colder weather, some franchisees do choose to stay open year-round, either at full hours or part-time, which helps them bring in revenue to help with fixed costs like leases. Other franchisees simply use the off-season to recharge or attend to other business ventures.
“I was in an ice cream concept, and not only did we do ice cream, we did low-calorie foods, so we were open from 7 in the morning to 11 at night. Doing that 12 months a year, it was a grind,” says multi-unit franchisee John Vanore. “You really didn’t have time for yourself. With Rita’s, we’ve got four months to rejuvenate and give it heck in the following season.”
For multi-unit entrepreneurs, the winter season is a great time to explore ways to expand their business. While their existing locations are closed or operating at reduced hours, they can focus on site selection, lease negotiations and all the other aspects of opening a new location. By not having to split time between operations and business development, they can get new stores ready more quickly.
Off-season revenue streams
Opening more full-size stores isn’t the only way they grow. Rita’s franchisees can also take advantage of additional revenue streams that go beyond the four walls by catering events, adding mobile carts or trucks, and locating in special venues like sports arenas. Simplified menus, inventory and staffing can help drive higher profit margins with these revenue streams, while the captive audience helps make demand more predictable.
The off-season revenue streams also serve as effective marketing, getting franchisees out into the community, reaching new customers and building relationships that can create more in-store demand when the season comes around again.
“Catering is an incredible way for our franchisees to expand awareness of their brand and their business in their market while also growing revenue,” says Executive Vice President of Operations Lauriena Borstein. “We have a terrific training program to teach franchisees how to go business-to-business; you don’t have to have sales experience to have an excellent catering business at your store.”
Use seasonality to increase customer engagement, build demand
Seasonality also helps engage customers by building up demand in the off-season, creating an air of excitement for when Rita’s opens back up in the spring. Franchisees keep guests engaged through social media and email blasts to loyalty club members, letting them know when they can finally come in for the first of many visits for the season.
“I think the seasonality is part of what makes Rita’s special; it’s the uniqueness of the brand,” says Philadelphia-based multi-unit owner Jordan Kasner. “After the new year, we start getting people excited, posting on Facebook, putting up signs at the store, sending out email blasts. When the spring rolls around and the weather gets warmer, people are looking for it; they’re ready for it.”
Find out more about our franchise opportunities
To learn more about the Rita’s franchise opportunity, fill out the form on this page to access our Franchise Information Center, where you can find detailed financial results, startup costs and more.