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Upscale casual dining concept - highly profitable
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Kona Grill, Inc. owns and operates 43+ upscale casual restaurants in 23 states, and one U.S. Territory. Kona Grill restaurants offer freshly prepared food, attentive service, and an upscale contemporary ambiance that create an exceptional, affordable dining experience. Future development plans position Kona Grill as one of the fastest growing restaurant companies in the USA.


The high-volume restaurants feature a diverse selection of modern American appetizers and entrees and an extensive selection of award-winning sushi. Menu items are prepared from scratch at each restaurant and incorporate over 40 signature sauces and dressings. The diverse menu is complemented by a full service bar offering a broad assortment of wines, specialty cocktails, and beers. Kona Grill believes that their innovative high-quality recipes, generous portions, and flexible price points provide customers with excellent value which results in a diverse customer base.

The restaurants seat an average of 295 guests and are comprised of multiple dining areas that incorporate modern design elements to create an upscale ambiance that reinforces their high standards of food and service. The main dining area, full-service bar, indoor/outdoor patio, and sushi bar provide a choice of atmospheres and a variety of environments designed to attract new customers and encourage repeat visits from regular customers.

They locate restaurants in high-activity areas such as retail centers, shopping malls, urban entertainment districts, and lifestyle centers that are situated near commercial office space and residential housing to attract customers throughout the day.


Kona Grill’s restaurant design philosophy:

“All Kona Grill stores are uniquely designed to reflect the local culture, people and surrounding environment. We strive to create a familiar atmosphere, comprised of multiple dining areas with modern design element and a notch above setting that reinforces our high standards of food and service. We locate our restaurants in high-activity areas such as retail centers,shopping malls, urban entertainment districts, and lifestyle centers that are situated near commercial office space and residential housing to attract customers throughout the day.

Each location is uniquely and individually designed. Several factors are taken into consideration when developing the restaurant design; such as, who the local guest is that we are trying to attract, the type of center the restaurant is going into (i.e., lifestyle center, super-regional mall, free standing building, etc.), and we also take a look at what the other successful hospitality concepts in the market have done in the way of architecture and design to make sure what we develop is on par. By doing this, we are creating a collection of restaurants that showcases our flexibility and commitment to meeting as well as exceeding our guests and developers expectations again and again. When developing each space, we pay special attention to creating multiple dining experience options under the same roof. Our restaurants feature an indoor/outdoor bar, a cozy patio that typically has the ability to be closed up during inclement weather, a full service sushi bar, and plenty of dining room options. This gives our guests the flexibility to use our restaurants in a variety of ways whether it’s lunch, happy hour, a romantic dinner, or a late night snack and a cocktail.

Most of our restaurants display custom designed fish tanks which have become a signature feature of Kona Grill. We also try to add fire places inside the restaurants and fire tables or similar on the patio to add to the ambiance and to warm the space up. Typically, we design in water features such as water walls, water curtains or bubble columns that are used both inside and outside the spaces when possible. We pay special attention to our lighting design, incorporating unique as well as custom fixtures and elements that create interest as well as ambiance. We use various types of tiles, fabrics and wall coverings, giving us the ability to add texture and to create the feeling of individual spaces throughout. With each location, we work to create a space where there is truly not a bad seat in the house.

We take advantage of storefront opportunities by installing operable storefront systems that allows us to open up the restaurant to our patio and outdoor area whenever possible. We try to maximize the use of our patios by installing heaters, mist fans and roll down shades that enables us to use the area year round. Our sushi bars are positioned strategically in a central location to both the dining room and the bar so that guests on either side can enjoy the experience, adding to the overall energy of the restaurant. We take great care in the design and work to create comfortable, unique and energetic spaces that our guests will enjoy now and for years to come.”

Average customer spend is US$26, and with over 3,000 customers per week, an average restaurant has annual revenues of US$4-5M, giving an EBITDA of c.20%.

Kona Grill is seeking partners in the UK, who share their vision, and have the financial resources to open one or more units – typical investment is US$3-4M, but is of course site-dependent.

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