• News
    • All-In-One Drive-Thru System
    • Employees Celebrate 120 Years of Combined Service
 
The Howard Company
  • Products
    • Digital Menu Boards
      • Digital Display Classroom
    • Indoor Menu Boards
      • Illuminated Menu Boards
      • Non-Illuminated
    • Outdoor Drive-Thru Solutions
      • Drive-Thru Menu Boards
      • Digital Drive-Thru Menu Boards
      • Order Confirmation System
      • Speaker Post
      • Headsets
      • Canopy
      • Clearance Bar
      • Directional Signage
      • Accessories
    • Decor
    • Merchandising
  • Installation
    • Installation Services
    • Field Data Collection & Management
    • Request an Installation Quote
  • About
    • History
    • Industry Awards
    • Associations & Memberships
    • Return Policy
  • Resources
    • Literature
    • Online Catalog
    • Videos
    • White Papers
    • Web Stores
    • Blog
    • Case Studies
    • Food Picture Library

Rita's Italian Ice

 

Noodles & Company Menu Board Refresh

Background

Rita's Italian Ice, an expanding East Coast-based frozen ice treat chain, was born in the summer of 1984 in the Philadephia suburb of Bensalem. Expansion began in 1987, with the small chain being purchased by a private equity group in 2005. Under new leadership, quick growth followed and the chain doubled in size within a year. As a result of the usual growing pains, marketing and product displays in the stores and walk-ups were scattered among six or more suppliers with each furnishing menu systems of varying size and shapes to the new franchisees. Dated menu boards, confusing product displays, no target customer or age group being addressed, plus the issue of needing new artwork for the ice images and the demand for Limited Time Offer (LTO) products were all issues that pushed the new management team to look for a business partner who could help address their problems.

 

Rita's Italian Ices corporate team met the Howard Company at the 2007 National Restaurant Show in Chicago, Ill. In subsequent discussions we were asked to develop concepts for the different kinds of store fronts. Rita's needed their concepts to educate their guests about the ice treats they made, show their treats as freshly created product, be different from the competition, and be happy and fun! Long range goals were for the menu boards to be flexible and easy to use for the franchisees, and to bring all the different boards into a few standard sizes and designs.

Implementation

The Howard design team interviewed several Rita's corporate staff and select franchisee partners to learn what worked and didn't work in the treat stores. The immediate need was to support existing systems while developing the new menu boards. A data base compiling menu board size and style from all existing stores was generated. A webstore with a direct link from their personal logins on their "CoolNet" website was created for franchise partners to easily order annual updates and products. Because the data base had already identified their menu board needs, it was a fairly simple task to make the annual flavor and product update kits in custom sizes for each franchise partner.

The expansion plan was focused on creating a menu board for new walk-in stores in strip malls around the country, so developing a non-illuminated menu board featuring a prominant banner proclaming Rita's promise of "Ice made fresh daily", easily updated and interchangeable dimensional graphic product panels and easy to change flavor strips became the primary design emphasis. Keeping the Rita's trademark blue and red color scheme was also an important design need. The curved front layered look of the new panel menu board was a hit with both Rita's corporate and their franchise partners!

Not forgetting the walk-up stores, a similar panel board was designed to hang on the exterior of the store fronts, above the order windows where customers standing in line would have a clear view of the product line and flavors of the day. This system was also magnetic and easy to change. Inside, the Today's Ice Flavors board was accessible for sliding flavor strips out as needed.

As franchise partners became interested in selling Rita's Ices at sports venues and on food trucks, The Howard creative team designed and developed concepts to adapt to these new situations.

 

Rita's Italian Ice

RitasStoreFront_Full_TheHowardCompany.jpg

Rita's Italian Ice, an expanding East Coast franchise concept, uses colorful graphics to entice guests into their stores.

 

Results

Today Rita's franchise partners all order their annual product and flavor updates directly from The Howard Company using their dedicated webstore. Kits are created to make the process of ordering as stress-free as possible. The website has visual guides showing the Rita's product lines, helping partners determine what system they need to purchase items for. Franchise partners enjoy having only one source to look for their menu board needs. They are assured of consistant product quality and sizes, and receive one-on-one support if any issue arises. The Howard Company is proud to service over 600 franchise partners all over the United States!

Meeting the needs of our customers is a primary goal of The Howard Company and its brand companies.  Customers looking for supplier stability, quality menu boards with competitive pricing and a dependable customer service department find these traits evident in every Howard Company product. The Howard Company and its brands continue to offer their customers the highest quality products and outstanding customer service at an affordable price.  Our return customers attest to our desire to keep our products on the top of their list when looking for new or replacement menu boards for their stores. 

We have a solution for you

The Howard Company is your best resource as you seek out products for your restaurant or retail store. We work with virtually all materials and we are as comfortable indoors as outdoors. Our focus on quality and service sets us apart in our various marketplaces. We want to be your first call when you need advice on your menu systems, Point of Purchase needs, or in-store marketing and merchandising. Our high quality solutions help you focus on building your brand, serving your guests, and selling more product!

READY TO LEARN MORE?
Yes, Request a Quote >

Need Help?

Find a Local ContactWe’re located throughout the United States and around the world ready to help you.

Find a Local Contact >

Request a QuoteWe want to hear about you. 
Send us a request for a quote today.

Request a Quote >

The Howard Company

1375 N Barker Road
Brookfield, WI 53045
800.782.6222
info@howardcompany.com

  • Products
  • Installation
  • About
  • Resources
  • 1-800-782-6222
  • Contact
  • News
  • WEBSTORE
This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System