The COVID-19 pandemic has overturned nearly every aspect of life, both personally and professionally, changing the way consumers and organizations do business. It brought celebrations to a screeching halt, with government stay-in-place restrictions enacted by most states nationwide, and nearly all events of every size were cancelled or postponed.
Tony Lamb, CEO and founder of Kona Ice was determined to find a way to keep the trucks operating while maintaining the safety of their customers and employees. Kona Ice leaned on innovation to identify and address a new opportunity to do business because of the changing landscape. The brand took the event-based business door-to-door, shifting from serving large crowds to individual consumers with Kurbside Kona.
“Rather than flounder in the uncertainty of this year, we redirected our time and focus into innovating the business model,” says Tony Lamb. “We invested in a low-cost app, rebuilt it to fit our service format and tailored it to meet the needs of our franchisees and customers. Using the app, customers can now order ahead and have Kona Ice delivered right to their “kurb.”
Since the pandemic began, organizations have been less willing to partner with outside organizations due to cash handling. Kona Ice quickly implemented a contactless pay system where customers can pre-pay online for their shaved ice treat, while also giving back to local organizations with fundraising.
“It’s been a challenging, but productive and innovative year for us, and the momentum behind our brand is stronger than ever before,” adds Lamb. “I have everyone who is a part of the Kona Ice family to thank for their optimism and trust during these unprecedented times, and our success as a whole.”
Bringing tropical tunes and cups of shaved ice everywhere it stops, Kona Ice offers its distinctive blend of entertainment and gourmet frozen treats across 49 states. Equally as appealing as the icy treats that the brand offers is its philanthropic commitment in the communities it serves. Nationwide, Kona Ice has donated more than $82 million to community-based organizations since the launch in June 2007.
Kona Ice provides entrepreneurs interested in investing in the franchise a full suite of support services ranging from initial and ongoing training to sales and marketing programs. The Kona Ice investment ranges in price from $127,750 – $151,550. An initial franchisee fee of $20,000 is required, and finance programs are in place to support qualified entrepreneurs in their Kona Ice investment.