Rita’s Italian Ice, the United States’ largest Italian Ice concept with more than 625 outlets, has awarded a master franchise agreement for all of Canada to Canada Water Ice Company Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta.  

Steve McDonough, president of Canada Water Ice Company and a franchise veteran, will serve as the master franchisee overseeing growth throughout the country. The agreement calls for 80 outlets to be developed over the course of the next five years.

“We are proud to introduce Rita’s Italian Ice to Canada”, says Jonathan Fornaci, CEO of Rita’s. “Steve McDonough and his franchise team will enable us to expand Rita’s brand to many more fans throughout North America.”

With its motto, “Ice, Custard, Happiness,” Rita’s is dedicated to serving up a big dose of happiness with its freshly made, custom treats, which will be served in Canada soon. 

Guests can choose from traditional Italian Ice made fresh daily with real fruit, including the most popular flavors, Cherry, Alex’s Lemonade, Mango, Swedish Fish, and Cotton Candy, just to name a few. 

If guests prefer a more decadent Ice treat, without the heaviness of ice cream, Cream Ice, is the choice and is offered in silky-smooth flavors.

Finally, health-conscious guests can still enjoy a taste of Rita’s with sugar-free flavors also available. 

Rita’s Italian Ice is made fresh daily on-site at each outlet, making it like no other frozen treat, and is served in a fun-filled atmosphere.

Rita’s the “Home of Cool Treats” offers many delicious options in addition to Italian Ice, including Misto Shakes, a combination of Italian Ice and Custard blended into a cool, creamy, customizable treat, a personalized Blendini, which is Frozen Custard and Italian Ice with your choice of mix-ins such as Snickers blended together or, a Gelati, your choice of Italian Ice layered with creamy Frozen Custard. 

Other tempting treats include Rita’s twist on an old-fashioned favorite, Milkshakes, made with Rita’s famous Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard and are available in a variety of flavors, topped off with whipped cream.   

Far from being just another ice cream or frozen yogurt franchise, Rita’s Italian Ice has virtually created a different category of options and continues to dominate with a unique combination of frozen-treat offerings.

"We love Rita’s Italian Ice products and their long history and track record of success,” says Steve McDonough.  “We can't wait to grow the brand and share our love of Rita's with our fellow Canadians. One taste and you become an instant fan. It’s true: The world needs more Rita’s."

The new Canadian master franchisee will offer franchise opportunities to thosewith quick-service restaurant experience and multiunit operators with an emphasis on satellite and mobile units.

From inquiry to opening, Rita’s seasoned executives provide an unparalleled level of support. Qualified franchisees benefit from a 28-year-old brand, which is a predictable, measurable, and sustainable investment opportunity. 

Candidates interested in opening a Rita’s Italian Ice should possess a passion for the brand and serving guests and families in a fast-paced environment. In addition, it is strongly desired that area-developer candidates have past franchise operation or area development experience.

Rita’s Italian Ice locations in Canada will feature the same great combination of freshly made ice in a clean, fun atmosphere that patrons have loved since the first Rita’s location opened in Pennsylvania in 1984.  

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Desserts, Growth, News, Rita's Italian Ice