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2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#73 Ranked #53 last year
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Initial investment
$150K - $174K
Units as of 2021
1,395 30.9% over 3 years

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Kona Ice franchise.

Shaved ice is an ice treat that adults and children alike may enjoy indulging in all summer long. Kona Ice took the shaved ice concept and ran with it by introducing flavorful blends unique to the company, complete with mobile units.

Tony Lamb founded Kona Ice in 2007, beginning to franchise the following year. Kona Ice is a mobile shaved ice company that has arguably grown to be one of the United States' most well-known food franchises. The concept behind the shaved ice mobile truck is to provide the perfect texture of shaved ice in delicious flavors to parties, events, fundraisers, and any other location their ice trucks can reach.

There are over 1,300 Kona Ice franchises located throughout the United States to go along with multiple locations in Canada.

Why You May Want to Start a Kona Ice Franchise

Owning a Kona Ice franchise calls for a potential franchisee looking to run a business that will give them flexibility. With this franchise, you may get to dictate your working hours and enjoy the mobility and flexibility that comes with it. If you love to interact with people and have a fun, easy-going nature, then a Kona Ice franchise may be the right fit for you.

Opening a Kona Ice franchise may offer a more predictable outcome than investing in a completely new brand that could struggle to thrive in an already crowded and competitive industry.

Kona Ice has been ranked in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 many times since its inception. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

What Might Make a Kona Ice Franchise a Good Choice?

It is crucial to note that opening a Kona Ice franchise may serve as an excellent opportunity for franchisees who may not qualify for other high-investment ventures. The franchisor claims that its startup figures are quite affordable, and they strive to make it easier for you by including a full setup Kona Ice truck that is NSF-approved. 

Once approved for a Kona Ice franchise, new franchisees will receive a multi-day all-expenses-paid trip to the Kona Ice headquarters in Florence, Kentucky for training. At Kona Kollege, franchisees will learn the ins and outs of running a Kona Ice franchise. A typical franchise agreement runs for ten years. Franchisees may be allowed to renew their agreement if they meet the company's requirements.

How To Open a Kona Ice Franchise

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. As part of your due diligence, you may want to speak to existing franchisees and ask the Kona Ice franchising team any questions you might have.

To be part of the Kona Ice team, you should make sure you're financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Kona Ice

Tony Lamb, Founder & CEO

Franchising Overview

Franchising Since
2008 (14 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is seeking new franchisees in the following US states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

This company is seeking new franchisees in the following international regions: Canada, Mexico

# of Units
1,395 (as of 2021)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
5945 Centennial Cir.
Florence, KY 41042

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Kona Ice franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing 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 Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$150,400 - $174,150
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
10 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing
Kona Ice has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

Classroom Training
30 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
Are exclusive territories available?
Take our quick quiz to find your ideal franchise

Work with our free FranCoach and get what you need to start a Kona Ice franchise.

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Kona Ice landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021