Kona Ice Franchise Opportunity

Kona Ice mobile trucks specialize in serving premium, low-sugar shaved ice in a variety of flavors.

Request Information

Kona Ice Franchise Opportunity

In recent years, many may have felt like global events have taken away their sense of control – over your finances, the way you work, or job security. For those who have dreamed of starting their own business and being their own boss, Kona Ice offers a fresh concept, in-house financing, and strong corporate support to help franchisees take control of their work life and finances. With Kona Ice, franchisees can take the leap into entrepreneurship with the safety net of the world’s largest food truck business and the business named #1 in Franchisee Satisfaction by Franchise Business Review eight years in a row.

Over the last thirteen years, Kona Ice has received a lot of awards – but they’re most proud of their Franchisee Satisfaction Award from FBR. The brand has made the top ranks over the last eight years -coming in at #1 overall for the past few years.

Kona Ice Owner Satisfaction Report

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. Kona Ice conducted their franchise review with US franchisees in September 2019, and collected feedback from 80% of the active franchisees (477).

Highlights include:

  • 99% of franchisees responded “agree” or “strongly agree” when asked if they respect their franchisor.
  • 99% of franchisees rate Marketing & Promotions above average, 54% higher than the industry average 
  • 98% of franchisees feel the fees they pay to the franchisor are fair, 45% above the industry benchmark. 
out of 100
Kona Ice
Franchise Owner Satisfaction Report
Review completed: August 2021
0-49 Below average
50-69 Average
70-100 Best
  • Poor
  • Average
  • Good
  • Very Good
  • Excellent
  • Training & Support
  • Core Values
  • Franchise System
  • Franchise Community
  • Leadership
  • Self-Evaluation

Not all franchise systems share their results publicly. Kona Ice does. Download the franchisee satisfaction report on Kona Ice for free.

Kona Ice Reviews & Testimonials

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)

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI
  • 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)

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI
  • 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)

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI

Franchising with Kona Ice

Business Model

Kona Ice sells shaved ice, but that’s not all they’re about. The company has donated over $80 million dollars to communities and organizations across the country since its inception in 2007. The company states, “giving back is who we are, selling the world’s most incredible shaved ice is what we do.”  

Kona Ice has a simple business model. The brand works for you, not the other way around. Their goal is to make franchise owners’ Kona Ice experience as enjoyable and stress-free as eating a cup of shaved ice. 

The Kona Entertainment Vehicle (KEV):

Having built over 1,300 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

Kona Ice has KEV units of every size for any venue:

– 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 the 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!

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

Patented Flavorwave:

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.

Protected Territory:

– 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

– Your KAV is mobile, so really, you can be just about anywhere!

“With Kona, I have put more smiles on kid’s faces and received more genuine thank you’s in eight months than I ever did in my 25 years in the consumer electronic business.” – Cheri Wells, franchisee in Ventura, CA

Givng 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 community involvement. Because it’s a mobile franchise, this allows you to be directly involved in your community at every touch point.

Proven Success: 

Kona Ice’s reputation is proclaimed as being one of the most innovative brands and “be your own boss” businesses around. In fact, they’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.

Key Benefits

Proprietary Nutritional Product: Through Kreations Flavoring, Kona Ice provides a product that meets all of the federal nutritional standards for schools.

Ancillary Equipment: You can customize your business model with the four additional products Kona Ice offers – the Kona Kiosk, the Kona Mini, the Kona Trailer and the KEV 2.0.

Digital Marketing Campaigns: With a combination of Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and national PR, Kona Ice has got you covered on the web.

Unmatched Corporate Support: Highest in franchisee satisfaction with two different agencies since we’ve started. Hear it from Kona Ice franchisees with testimonials on their website.

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.

Extremely Quick Startup: Kona Ice will have you up and running in 30-60 days, guaranteed.

Fixed Royalty: No penalties for succeeding.

Incredibly Low Overhead: Approximately 6% food cost in an industry with an average of 32%.

Community Involvement: With over $80 million given back, Kona Ice communities have embraced us as the best fundraising tool around.

Product Innovation: With their brand new Kona Krafted line of flavors, Kona Ice is constantly following flavor trends to create new flavors to introduce to the shaved ice world.

Marketing Support

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 Ice 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

Kona Ice devotes a great deal of time and resources on the continuing education of their franchisees. If every franchisee had the same information as their most successful franchisee, then everyone has the potential to succeed. They cover such topics as:

– Truckology

– New Employee Orientation

– Online Marketing

– Equipment

– Customer Service

– Fielding Phone Calls

– Gathering Information

– Safety

– Hiring

– Mixology

– 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

Training Programs

Kona Ice believes you should go into business for yourself, but not by yourself.

Quick & Easy Startup:

When you decide you want to start your own business, Kona Ice understands that you don’t want to wait years to make that dream a reality. In fact, they guarantee that they’ll have you in business, generating revenue, within 30-60 days of your deposit.

The Kona Experience is a one-of-a-kind experience for customers and franchisees alike. It all begins with the Kona Kollege.

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 and 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 the 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!

Franchise Contact Detail
  • Corporate Address: 5945 Centennial Circle, Florence KY 41042
  • Contact Name(s): Sarah
  • Contact Email: [email protected]
  • Phone #: 859.282.3203

Kona Ice Cost & Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

  • Initial Investment

    The total estimated cost for establishing the business (including: franchise fee, fixed assets, inventory, deposits, other fees and costs, and the working capital required for initial start-up).

    $127,750 - $151,550
  • Net Worth Requirement

    Net worth is the value of all assets, minus the total of all liabilities (what is owned minus what is owed).

    $25,000
  • Cash Requirement

    Your liquid capital, or the cash you need on-hand in order to be able to enter into the franchise agreement.

    $20,000

Kona Ice Videos

Learn what makes Kona Ice a fun, flexible & rewarding franchise opportunity

Hear why franchisees love & believe in Kona Ice’s franchise model

More About Kona Ice

Kona Ice Awards from Franchise Business Review

2022 Top Food
2022 Top Recession-Proof
2022 Top Women
2022 Top 200
2022 Best Culture
2021 Multi-Unit
2021 Top Veterans
2021 Top Food
2021 Top Women
2021 Top
2020 Second Career
2020 Best Culture
2020 Top Home-Based Franchise
2020 Top Food
2020 Top Veterans
2020 Top Women
2020 FBR Top
2019 FBR Food
2019 FBR Veterans
2019 FBR Womens
2019 FBR Top
2019 FBR Rockstar
2019 FBR Innovative

Connect with Kona Ice Franchise Today

Would you like to learn to use your IRA/401K to buy a business. Guidant Financial (min. $50K needed in IRA/401K, US only.)

Kona Ice mobile trucks specialize in serving premium, low-sugar shaved ice in a variety of flavors.

Request Information
  • Cash Required: $20,000
  • Net Worth Required: $25,000
  • Total Startup Investment: $127,750 - $151,550
  • Franchising Since: 2008
  • US/Canada Franchise Units: 1404

Available Markets

USA United States:

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY