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Kona Ice Franchise Opportunity

Own a Kona Ice Franchise

Have you ever wondered what the largest food truck company in the world looks like? Or how the largest food truck company in the world has ranked #1 in franchisee satisfaction by the Franchise Business Review 9 years in a row? It looks a little bit like this:

  • A company of passionate, hardworking employees dedicated to the Kona Ice brand day in and day out.
  • A brand that is designed to be good, do good, for good.
  • A business that supports and ranks #1 for culture, women, veterans, and more.
  • A recession-proof business model that thrives during any economic season.

Kona Ice wants everyone in its family to feel welcomed and supported. If you’ve dreamed of starting your own business and are looking to find an established company that’s fun, innovative, and dedicated to you, then look no further.

Over the last fifteen 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 nine years—coming in at #1 overall the last several years. If you’re wondering what it would be like to buy a Kona Ice franchise, complete the form to download the Kona Ice franchise report.

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Download the Kona Ice Franchisee Satisfaction Report

Only the brands that exceed FBR’s franchisee satisfaction benchmark are displayed on our website. Here’s how Kona Ice franchise owners rated their franchise. 

Highlights include:

  • 98% of franchisees believe their franchisor acts with a high level of honesty & integrity.
  • 99% of franchisees agree that they enjoy operating this business.
  • 100% of franchisees are likely to recommend this franchise to others.
out of 100
Kona Ice
Franchise Owner Satisfaction Report
Review completed: July 2023
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 detailed Kona Ice Franchisee Satisfaction Report. 

Kona Ice Awards from Franchise Business Review

2024 Top Womens
2024 FBR Top
2024 Best Culture
2024 FBR Hall of Fame
2023 Most Innovative
2023 Top Veterans
2023 Top Food
2023 Rock Star
2023 Best Culture
2023 Recession Proof
2023 Top Women
2023 Best in Category
2023 Top Franchise
2022 Most Innovative
2022 Top Veterans
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 Top
2019 FBR Rockstar
2019 FBR Innovative
2019 FBR Food
2019 FBR Veterans
2019 FBR Womens

Kona Ice Franchise Information

Business Model

Kona Ice sells shaved ice, but that’s not all they’re about. The company has donated over $100 million dollars to communities and organizations across the country since its inception in 2007. The company states, “selling the world’s most incredible shaved ice is what we do, but giving back is who we are.”

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 1,500 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

Giving Back:

Ever wonder if you’re making a difference? With Kona Ice, you’ll see it happening right before your very eyes. With over $100 million dollars given back to local communities 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 around. With a “be your own boss” mentality, the business has ranked #1 in Franchisee Satisfaction by the Franchise Business Review nine years in a row. Even better, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked them the #1 New Franchise. Kona Ice is thriving across the United States—from New Hampshire to California. And as of 2014, it’s been proven to work in three international markets as well. The best part? Roughly 75% of franchisees are so successful, they’re 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, targeted national eBlasts, Facebook and Instagram content, and national PR, we’ve 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: With a full onboarding process and immersive learning experience, we’ll have you up and running in no time.
  • 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 $100 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
  • Access to proprietary operations software
  • Custom signage for your KEV
  • Dedicated PR team to get you local press
  • Video tutorials and webinars for ongoing education
  • In-house podcasts
  • In-house design team for custom marketing materials and content
  • Optional digital marketing program to increase sales in your area
  • Weekly Wednesday: a weekly 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:

Kona Ice is proud of its 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. They guarantee that we’ll have you in business and off on the right foot in no time.

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-expenses-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 starting business 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 Information
  • Corporate Address: 5945 Centennial Circle, Florence KY 41042
  • Contact Name(s): Jeff
  • Contact Email: [email protected]
  • Phone #: 859.371.3203

Kona Ice Franchise 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 Franchising

Kona Ice Franchise Reviews & Testimonials

Actual owner reviews from our third party, independent surveys.

  • We believe that our Senior Management are GOOD people at the core. We have never once questioned their integrity or honesty. We believe they really want us to succeed AND love Kona Ice.

    Candace & Mike, Kona Ice Franchise Owners

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI
  • Kona franchise system is SO well thought out, supportive, and designed so we (franchisees) cannot fail.

    Daniel & Laura, Kona Ice Franchise Owners

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI
  • Training is excellent. Both online and in person training offered. I love the ability to go on the Kona Resource center and watch videos of things I don’t know how to do, or can’t remember how to do.

    Jeanne, Kona Ice Franchise Owner

    Overall Brand Rating:

    FSI

Kona Ice mobile trucks specialize in serving premium, low-sugar shaved ice in a variety of flavors. 99% of Kona Ice franchise owners would recommend the franchise to others. Download the Kona Ice Franchise Report.

Request Information
  • Min. Cash Required: $20,000
  • Net Worth Required: $25,000
  • Total Startup Investment: $149,995 - $189,300
  • Franchising Since: 2008
  • Franchise Units: 1,682

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

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION

I would like to explore funding for my business venture from Benetrends Financial (minimum investment $50K, US only).