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308. Rita's Italian Ice

Last Year's Rank: 295

Investment Range: $196,128 - $455,500

Initial Franchise Fee: $35,000

Category: Restaurant

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Company Description


This franchised chain of specialty restaurants was founded in 1984 when the first Rita’s store opened in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Rita’s is known for its dessert creations including Italian ice, milkshakes and frozen custard.

The company’s founder, Bob Tumolo, named the restaurant for his mother, Rita, who helped make the titular ice for the first store. The brand spread throughout the area surrounding Philadelphia when Tumolo began selling franchise agreements in 1989. Since 2011, Rita’s has been majority-owned by the investment firm Falconhead Capital.

Company Statistics


Global Sales: $118,924,937

US Units: 565

International Units: 7

Total Units: 572

Percent Franchised: 100%

% International Units: 1%

US Franchised Units: 565

International Franchised Units: 7

Sales Growth %: -4.8%

Unit Growth %: -5.9%

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