Rita's Italian Ice has signed a master licensee development agreement with South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. to expand the brand in India. The agreement calls for 50 new Rita's stores to open throughout the next several years, with the first slated to open in New Delhi in the fourth quarter of 2012.
South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. is a subsidiary company of South Asian Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd. based in New Delhi.
"India's booming economy and growing market make the country an excellent strategic fit as Rita's furthers its global reach," said Jonathan Fornaci, chief executive officer of Rita's. "We are thrilled to partner with South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. who has more than a decade of hospitality and management experience in India, and a successful, well-established infrastructure."
The New Delhi-based South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. also has master license agreements with U.S. brand Quiznos and Australian brand Muffin Break. It is a multi-brand multi-unit franchisee of domestic brands including partnership with India's Wagh Bakri Tea Company to operate Tea Lounges across India.
"We will leverage our strength to become the leading provider of high-quality treats in India, with a focus on achieving excellence and building the Rita's brand," said Parvin Juneja, chief executive of South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. "We chose Rita's as a respected and proven leader within the industry, and a well-suited partner. We are very proud to introduce Rita's famous Ice and creamy custard to India."
Rita's Italian Ice locations in India will feature the brand's classic menu with traditional Italian Ice and Cream Ice, as well as Misto Shakes, Gelatis, Blendinis and more.
Rita's was assisted in the India license acquisition by Edwards Global Services Inc., an Irvine, Calif., company specializing in taking U.S. franchises global.
Rita's recently announced another master licensee in China and a renewed interest in franchise growth. The company is actively seeking partners for major international markets across several continents, and also is actively pursuing area development agreements and multiple-unit operators throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, the Carolina's, and the Northeast, and single-unit franchisees in the mid-Atlantic region in the United States.
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