Rita’s Italian Ice is a quick-serve restaurant that dishes up heavenly frozen treats, a full line of coffee and espresso drinks, and other indulgent delights. We had previously worked with the franchisee to construct two stores in the metro area, but this particular store was unique: it would be the first Rita’s Italian Ice in Minnesota to offer donuts. Who doesn’t love a good donut?

Our Approach
Since the store was moving into a brand-new building and tenant space, the 1,200-square-foot build-out was fairly straightforward, despite a tight timeline. But donut service wasn’t the only new territory the store was chartering; it was also one of the first to feature the brand’s new corporate standards for colors and finishes. We followed these to create a contemporary vibe that included seating areas both indoors and outside on a small patio.

A significant piece of our work involved donuts. (If only we could say this on every job!) With our portfolio of restaurant experience, we were able to help the Rita’s team understand how the new donut system would fit into their existing operations. The new grease-producing system (i.e., a fryer) made the potential for fire hazards much higher, so it was important for everyone to be on the same page. We met regularly with the team to walk through requirements associated with the new mechanical parts and finishes.

The Results
We finished work on schedule to allow the store to open in May 2016, before the busy summer months kicked in. Since then, this new Rita’s has been keeping customers cool with its signature Italian ices and custards while meeting early-morning donut and coffee cravings. Sweet success!