Rita's Italian Ice

2015 Franchise 500
At a Glance

Products & Services: Italian ice, frozen custard, gelato

Number of Locations: 555

Total Investment: $140.2K - $413.9K

Founded: 1984

Began Franchising: 1989

About Rita's Italian Ice

In 1984, former firefighter Bob Tumolo opened his first Italian ice store in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, naming it after his wife Rita. His mother helped him make the Italian ice, and his brother John helped him open three more stores over the next three years, all in the Philadelphia area. Customers began asking about how to open their own Rita's Italian Ice, so Tumolo began franchising in 1989. The franchise system was sold to private equity group McKnight Capital Partners in 2005. Then in late 2011, investment firm Falconhead Capital bought a controlling interest.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2014 555 0 0 0
2013 552 0 0 0
2012 552 0 0 0
2011 545 0 0 1
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new units internationally.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $140,200 - $413,900
Franchise Fee: $30,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6.5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Veteran Incentives: 50% off franchise fee
Financial Requirements
Net Worth: $300,000
Liquid Cash Available: $100,000
50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 2 - 15. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
Financing Type In-House Third Party
Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 5 days. At franchisee's location: 2-4 days. At training campus : 2 days.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising,
Other marketing support: PR support

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #84 (2015), #81 (2014), #121 (2013), #156 (2012), #76 (2011),
America's Top Global: #125 (2012),