Franchise Opportunity Rating
Review completed: August 2021
$127,750 - $151,550
5945 Centennial Circle
Florence KY 41042
Sarah - 859.282.3203
Kona Ice mobile trucks specialize in serving premium, low sugar shaved ice in a variety of flavors. Kona Ice conducted their franchise review with US franchisees in September 2019, and collected feedback from 80% of the active franchisees (477).
The Kona Ice franchisees rate every question on our survey above the industry benchmark, with the highest marks around Core Values and the Leadership team.
Franchise Business Review has worked with over 1,100 franchise systems. We independently contact all open and active franchisees and invite them to participate in our satisfaction survey. Only the brands that exceed our satisfaction benchmark are displayed on our website. Not all brands share their results publicly, but Kona Ice shares their satisfaction scores to show their commitment to franchise relationships, their culture, and transparency.
Actual owner reviews from our third party, independent surveys.
"The franchisee community of Kona is made up of the best people. Not just good business people, but genuinely NICE people, who care about each other."
Steve, Single Unit Owner, Large Market (250,000-499,999 population)
"Tony [Lamb] lives the values he talks about. I trust him completely. If there was something the brand could do to improve my ROI as a franchisee it would be to partner with national PTA organizations to get greater exposure with schools. Also, partner with national companies (Walmart, etc) to provide more opportunities for our trucks to be allowed to park in their lots and set up fixed locations."
Russell, Multi-Unit Owner, Small Market (50,000-99,999) and Medium Market (100,000 - 249,000)
"I think senior manegement is wonderful. They know the struggles of the business, because most of them are running their own franchises. I love this idea! When they speak, I shut up and listen. Because they know what they are talking about."
Frances, Multi-Unit Owner, (50,000-99,999)
We sell shaved ice, but that’s not what we’re all about. Company-wide, we’ve given back and raised over $80 million dollars to communities and organizations all across the country since our inception in 2007. It’s more a part of who we are than any other aspect of our brand. It is how we operate. To put it simply, giving back is who we are, selling the world’s most incredible shaved ice is what we do.
One of the best things about Kona Ice is that the business model is simple. The brand works for you, not the other way around. Our goal at corporate is to make your Kona Ice experience as enjoyable and stress-free as eating a cup of shaved ice!
MEET THE KEV: The Kona Entertainment Vehicle
Having built over 1,300 of these wonderful trucks, Kona Ice has perfected the KEV. This state-of-the-art truck is literally a mobile billboard for your business - it sells itself!
- Drives in anywhere, anytime, fully equipped to serve thousands per day
- Patented Flavorwave for self-serve flavor dispensing
- Choose from an endless variety of exotic flavor combinations
- Tropical music rocks from the BOSE enhanced sound system
- First mobile food truck to be completely NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) approved
ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT: Year Round Opportunities
We’re not just a shaved ice truck - we have units of every size for any venue. Once you own a Kona truck, you will have access to:
- The Kona Mini: The most popular ancillary unit is a smaller, more agile version of the KEV. It’s designed for indoor events and smaller outdoor venues. It’s a low-risk, high-reward investment that can truly make your business last all year.
- The Kona Kiosk: The Kona Kiosk hit the streets in 2015 and has been a huge success. Perfect for semi-permanent venues or large events, the Kona Kiosk can serve the same amount of people as the truck. It’s smaller than a truck, but it has the same visibility and could be the perfect supplement to your Kona business.
- The Kona Trailer: Sometimes you only need the back half of the KEV - and that’s exactly what you’ll get with the Kona Trailer. It’s perfect for large venues where you’ll be established for the majority of your season.
- The KEV 2.0: The newest addition to our Kona ancillary family has been the KEV 2.0. It’s a smaller, more agile version of the main Kona truck. It’s great for when you want to expand in your area, but want to keep the mobility of the truck!
INCREDIBLY LOW OVERHEAD
- Average of 6% food cost
- No real estate expenses
- Single person operation per unit
- Multi-unit expandability
- Fully contained & completely mobile
- Incredible franchisee buying power
Everyone’s favorite feature of the Kona Ice truck is the ability to load up on flavors to their heart’s content. In a day and age where self-serve dessert is all the rage, Kona has taken that step for the mobile shaved ice industry with our patented Flavorwave.
- Large, protected territories
- No forced expansion
- Territory assigned by zip code(s)
- Promotes working partnerships with neighboring franchisees
ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE
Kona doesn’t just sell gourmet shaved ice, it brings an unforgettable experience that appeals to the kid in all of us!
- Schools reward students with regular Kona visits
- Parents, kids and staff alike say Kona Day is the best day of the week at daycare
- Sports teams and leagues invite Kona to the ballpark whenever there’s a crowd
- Businesses book Kona as a special treat for employees
- Birthday parties, church festivals, block parties and company picnics can all benefit from the Kona Ice experience
- We’re mobile, so really, we can be just about anywhere!
“With Kona, I have put more smiles on kid’s faces and received more genuine thank you’s in 8 months than I ever did in my 25 years in the consumer electronic business.” - Cheri Wells, franchisee in Ventura, CA
KONA GIVES BACK
Ever wonder if you’re making a difference? With Kona Ice, you’ll see it happening right before your very eyes. With over $80 million dollars given back to local communities all across the country, Kona Ice is defined by our community involvement. Because we’re a mobile franchise, this allows you to be directly involved in your community at every touch point.
Ranked the #1 New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2013 and Highest in Franchisee Satisfaction from 2014-2019 by Franchise Business Review, Kona Ice’s reputation is proclaimed as being one of the most innovative brands and “be your own boss” businesses around. In fact, we’ve made the Fastest Growing list the past six years. Kona Ice is thriving all across the map - from New Hampshire to California. And as of 2014, it’s been proven to work in three international markets as well. And in addition to that, roughly 75% of franchisees are purchasing a second unit within the first two years.
Kona Ice has a full time marketing team of graphic designers, digital marketers, copywriters and videographers that create content for Google AdWords campaigns, Facebook campaigns and Instagram campaigns. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on these marketing campaigns that are designed solely to make the franchisee’s phone ring and fill up their inbox. You focus on building your contact database, as corporate provides:
- Professionally designed email advertising to targeted markets
- Slick and creative direct mail and customizable leave-behind materials to close sales
- Kona-branded giveaways and merchandise to promote the brand
- Individual mini websites for franchisees as part of our Find A Kona feature
- Social media assistance accompanied by posts and yearly campaigns
- Corporate website that speaks to all areas of the Kona business
- Location-based searching to direct customers to local operators
- Dedicated web developers who manage website SEO & a massive national Google Ads campaign
- Corporate run social media contests & campaigns to promote brand awareness and engage your customers
“I think the vision Tony has for Kona is very exciting. So it allows us on a local level to really promote a brand that we believe in.” - Linnea Weikleenget, franchisee in Jackson, MS
KONOLOGY: the business of shaved ice
We place a great deal of our time and resources on the continuing education of our franchisees. If every franchisee had the same information as our most successful franchisee, then everyone has the potential to succeed. We cover such topics as:
- New Employee Orientation
- Online Marketing
- Customer Service
- Fielding Phone Calls
- Gathering Information
- Organizing Your KEV
- Pricing Information
ADDITIONAL KONA SUPPORT
- Annual Kona Konvention
- Veteran franchisee coaching & mentoring
- Online forum where franchisees share ideas & techniques
- On demand support for day to day operations
- Custom signage for your KEV
- Dedicated PR company to get you local press
- Video tutorials
- In-house podcasts
- Monthly webinars
- The Kona Konnect: a monthly newsletter sent out to franchisees from corporate
- The KnowledgeBase: an online forum of aggregated information for franchisees
LOW COST INVESTMENT
- $15,000 - $30,000 cost investment
- Fixed royalty - a fraction of industry standard
- No paralyzing build out costs
We have pre-arranged financing with a sister company in place specifically for Kona Ice, giving you the opportunity to expand at your own pace.
Kona Ice is the fastest growing mobile franchise in the country. Meeting or exceeding most expectations, franchisee satisfaction is through the roof! Don’t miss this opportunity!
Territories are still available in major markets! Contact us for more information.
1 Proprietary Nutritional Product: Through Kreations Flavoring, we provide a product that meets all of the federal nutritional standards for schools.
2 Ancillary Equipment: You can customize your business model with the four additional products we offer - the Kona Kiosk, the Kona Mini, the Kona Trailer and the KEV 2.0.
3 Digital Marketing Campaigns: With a combination of Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and national PR, we’ve got you covered on the web.
4 Unmatched Corporate Support: You want proof? Highest in franchisee satisfaction with two different agencies since we’ve started. Hear it from our franchisees with testimonials on our website.
5 Established Brand: With twelve years in the industry and representation all across the country, and even internationally, Kona Ice is a well-developed and respected brand.
6 Extremely Quick Startup: We’ll have you up and running in 30-60 days, guaranteed.
7 Fixed Royalty: No penalties for succeeding.
8 Incredibly Low Overhead: Approximately 6% food cost in an industry with an average of 32%.
9 Community Involvement: With over $80 million given back, our communities have embraced us as the best fundraising tool around.
10 Product Innovation: With our brand new Kona Krafted line of flavors, we’re constantly following flavor trends to create new flavors to introduce to the shaved ice world.
At Kona Ice, we believe you should go into business for yourself, but not by yourself.
QUICK & EASY STARTUP
We pride ourselves on our franchising process. When you decide you want to start your own business, we understand that you don't want to wait years to make that dream a reality. We can guarantee that we’ll have you in business, generating revenue within 30-60 days of your deposit.
The Kona Experience is not just for our customers. We strive to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our franchisees too. And that all begins at Kona Kollege.
Your Kona Ice journey begins with an all expense paid trip to the training program at the Kona Ice Corporate Headquarters. You’ll meet your support staff and gain firsthand knowledge in the following:
- Marketing strategies from our corporate marketing team
- Day-to-day operations from one of the largest franchises, which is housed at corporate
- Initial setup of your business & digital marketing
- No holds barred Q&A with the owner & CEO, Tony Lamb
- Hands-on training on your brand new Kona Ice truck, including a test drive on our safety course
- One-on-one training and advice from several veteran franchisees
You’ll graduate from Kona Kollege with a 30 day plan that will have you primed and ready for success. On top of your startup plan, you will be set up for multiple follow up calls throughout your first year to ensure a smooth and successful start to your business!
Although many businesses struggled through the pandemic in 2020, interest in business ownership and self-employment is at an all-time high. We talked to current franchisors Christina Chambers from InXpress, Paul Pickett of Wild Birds Unlimited, and Tony Lamb from Kona Ice to get their take on what 2021 will look like for existing and new franchise owners.
February Black History month, but Black history and Black-American accomplishments should be celebrated all year long. In recognition, we take a look at the top award-winning franchises that can also boast the highest likelihood of black-owned franchises.