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Rita’s Italian Ice wanted to lean in to a new forward-thinking drive-thru model but didn’t want to stray too far from its walk-up windows of yore. Senior Director of Design Construction Jeff Baker was tasked with coming up with a compact stand-alone store.

The resulting 800-square-foot prototype can fit in existing parking lots at shopping centers and takes up just 16 parking spaces. It has both the 40-year-old walk-up window element to satisfy existing customers, but it also offers a drive-thru for customers on the go.

The first Rita’s compact drive-thru unit in Hermitage, Pa., has proved successful enough to become part of the chain’s development plans going forward. It will pop up in shopping centers in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. 

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