On the Heels of a Wild Winter, Rita's Italian Ice Predicts a 'Cool-Ossal' Ice Storm on the First Day of Spring

The Nation's Largest Italian Ice Retailer to Give Away 1.4 Million Cups of Italian Ice on Sunday, March 20

TREVOSE, Pa., March 7, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- After a long, cold winter, Rita's Italian Ice (www.ritasice.com), the nation's largest Italian Ice concept with more than 550 stores in 18 states, is predicting a "cool-ossal spring Ice storm" designed to bring their signature Ice, Custard Happiness to more than one million consumers. Commemorating the 19th Annual First Day of Spring Free Ice Giveaway, Rita's Italian Ice will offer everyone who visits a participating location one free, regular-size (10 oz.) cup of Italian Ice in the available flavor of their choice. The celebration will run from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at more than 550 Rita's Italian Ice locations across the country. The company predicts that its Treat Team members will scoop up more than 1.4 million cups of Ice as part of the annual First Day of Spring event.

"To mark the start of warm weather and cool treats, Rita's is proud to once again offer a free Italian Ice to those looking to ring in spring with a taste of happiness," said Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Jim Rudolph. "For 19 years we've planned this annual, free event as a way to generate excitement for the season, and to say 'thank you' to our loyal Rita's Italian Ice lovers and the communities that support us year in and year out."

Rising in popularity each year, Rita's Italian Ice expects this year's "cool-ossal" event to be bigger than ever, generating lines that wrap blocks and stretch sidewalks. In the past, Rita's Italian Ice has given away enough delicious Italian Ice to fill more than 13 tanker trucks! Everyone is invited to take advantage of this Ice-cool offer, which takes place only once a year. Last year, the number of people who visited a Rita's Italian Ice location on the first day of spring totaled more than 30 times the average number of visitors to Disney World that the same day.

Offering fresh, delicious, customized treats, Rita's Italian Ice is dedicated to delivering a high-quality dose of happiness served quickly and with a smile. Rita's offers more than 40 delicious flavors of Italian Ice as well as their signature Misto® shakes, creamy Frozen Custard, tempting Gelatis, delectable Blendinis® and fat-free Slenderita® soft-serve.

About Rita's Franchise Company

Rita's Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 18 states with more than 550 stores. Rita's brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happiness™. The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, and layered Gelati, Light Line® treat options, as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini ®creations. Rita's was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by The Wall Street Journal's "Startup Journal." In a 2009 Zagat survey of more than 6,000 fast-food fans, Rita's was ranked No. 2 in the Top Ice Cream/Custard category. For more information about Rita's, please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit www.ritasice.com. The World Needs More Rita's!

SOURCE Rita's Italian Ice

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