Rita’s Franchise Company, concept owner of Rita’s Italian Ice, the nation’s largest Italian Ice concept with more than 550 locations in 18 states, announced the appointment of Jonathan Fornaci as president and CEO, effective immediately.
Rita's Italian Ice
Private equity firm Falconhead Capital acquired a controlling stake in Rita's Water Ice Franchise Company, and the interim CEO says the firm plans to grow Rita’s into a major East Coast brand.
Thomas Christopoul, an operating partner at Falconhead and now chairman and interim CEO of Rita's, says Rita’s product and following helps it stand out among dessert competitors.
Rita’s Italian Ice is continuing its partnership with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for a sixth consecutive year. But this year, Rita’s consumers will have a new way to donate to the pediatric cancer research foundation: by text-messaging through their phone.
Throughout the month of June, Rita’s customers can donate to ALSF by purchasing a paper lemon for $1—which can be customized and posted to that store’s “Wall of Hope”—or they can text “ALEX” to 85944 for a one-time donation of $5.
Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer relations, new product innovation, and new markets.
David J. Thomas never planned on a career in franchising. When he left the military after a 12-year stint as an Army officer, Thomas went back to school to become a teacher. To help make ends meet, he began delivering meals on the side for an emerging concept called Steak-Out.
Before long, Thomas, who had overseen operations for a mess hall during a tour of duty in South Korea, was inquiring about opening his own Steak-Out restaurant, attracted by the promise of working within a proven system not unlike that of his former government employer.