Rita’s Italian Ice, the Italian Ice concept with more than 600 stores in 24 states, announced the appointment of Eric Taylor, a 15-year franchise veteran, to the position of senior vice president and chief development officer to lead the 30-year-old brand’s franchise development and growth.

Eric Taylor joined the Rita’s team in April 2014 and is responsible for the expansion of the Rita’s global footprint. He has held senior leadership roles in multiple leading restaurant chains such as MetroMedia Restaurant Group, where he oversaw restaurant brands in over 40 states and 20 countries worldwide. In his most recent restaurant capacity, Taylor was vice president, International Franchise Development at Sbarro.

“Eric’s experience growing franchise businesses, leading sales teams, and opening restaurants successfully both domestically and internationally is a perfect fit with our overall expansion plans,” says Jeff Moody, CEO of Rita’s. “We are very happy to have him join our leadership team during this critical time of accelerated growth.”

Rita’s Italian Ice, which is celebrating 30 years in business, has been aggressively expanding across the U.S. and internationally. Rita’s goal is to open 85 stores across the states this year and has already opened in several new markets, including Alabama, California, Utah, and Minnesota.

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