Started by three Californian college friends, Kauai reached South African shores in 1996. The Kauai management team have developed, invested in and built a chain of over 150 stores, which includes our “In Motion” model at the Virgin Active health clubs. Kauai is proud to be South Africa’s number one healthy casual dining restaurant chain. In February 2015 Kauai was acquired by Real Foods (Pty) Ltd, a multi-brand food group with unmatched dedication to healthy, natural food, innovation, social responsibility and integrity.
• Kauai is the leader in the healthy fast casual space – we offer delicious and nutritious meals and smoothies, made with natural, whole fruit and vegetables, which are all freshly prepared in our stores. This focus on healthy, fresh options is highly differentiated in the quick service restaurant space, and is strengthened by our 22-year heritage: Kauai has been helping South Africans eat healthy for 22 years, and based on our track record, customers know that they can trust Kauai to always deliver healthy, delicious meals and smoothies – quickly and conveniently. Some of our most-loved, iconic products, like the Princess Wrap, Strawberry Stinger and The Gem smoothies have been on Kauai’s menu since the first store opened.
• Kauai is known for bringing the latest global health and wellness trends to South Africa. This innovation in healthy eating has always been part of the brand’s DNA and we continue to respond to the growing trends in the health space.
• We pride ourselves on using only the best, freshest, ethically sourced ingredients with whole ingredients and no artificial colourants, flavours or preservatives.
• Kauai has a well-established loyalty programme, with a large user base which we leverage off to drive marketing communication.
• Kauai has exceptionally strong partnerships with two of the leading health brands in South Africa: Virgin Active Health Clubs (the leading gym chain in South Africa), with Kauai stores in 93 Virgin Active health clubs across the country. This partnership (spanning 15 years to date), is the ideal healthy ecosystem, allowing Virgin Active Health Club members to grab healthy meals, drinks and snacks before or after their workouts. Kauai is also a key partner to Discovery Vitality and Discovery Insure, through their Active Rewards and Vitality Drive programmes.
Our menu includes a variety of healthy breakfasts, super food smoothies, nutrient dense raw juices, signature wraps, salads, hot bowls and various meals as well as Barista brewed coffees and teas.
Please note that around 50% of the Kauai stores are owned by us, however our strategy is to grow via franchising. The corporate owned stores give us the first-hand experience of the effect of our decisions on the business model, and therefore assure franchisees that we are working hard on the overall system leading to better bottom line growth and not just sales growth.
Currently, we have four store concepts.
1. Kauai retail – this is our high street / mall model that you will typically see at your local shopping centre, and going forward will include the customize option as seen in stores like Rosebank, Kloof Street and Cresta shopping centres.
2. Kauai In Motion – Virgin Active health clubs. The first Kauai In Motion was opened in February 2003. This successful Kauai concept takes advantage of the healthy living facet of both Virgin Active and Kauai by tailor making a menu that is both functional for people at the gym balanced with the great tastes that Kauai has to offer. These stores have been specifically developed for trading with the limited volumes available within the health club environment.
3. KOHU – This model is specifically for Virgin Active classic health clubs and incorporates a niche and service experience.
4. Kauai@school – In keeping with our drive to educate and create awareness of healthy eating, this model gives selected schools who have bought into the concept of healthy eating for their students, a canteen environment with a menu in line with our values.
Getting you up and running:
We will assist with site selection, process and lease negotiations and suggest examples of store sales in similar environments (both franchise and corporate owned stores). From opening, we will help evaluate your ongoing performance against those benchmarks. A store opening task team will support to get you up and running.
You will receive ongoing attention from our field support personnel, as well as IT system support and ongoing IT systems development. The comprehensive Kauai operations manual guides you on how to run the business across every aspect. Procurement is also there to assist and continually monitor your theoretical food costs against those being achieved and works hard to improve food costs through robust supplier negotiations.
A key criterion of our search is whether you will be involved in the business on a day to day basis. The most successful franchisees are those who are involved full time in the business. We are not looking for franchisees who want to merely invest in a store, but rather chose to work with individuals who are actively involved in management of their business.
Role of the franchisee:
• General restaurant management work
• Staff management and training
• Customer care
• Restaurant maintenance
• Building and maintaining healthy customer communities
• Financial management
• Correspondence with head office and attending quarterly franchise meetings
• Managing compliance with all policies and procedures
• Team leadership
• Previous experience in owning a business is not a deal breaker but a definitely beneficial
• Proven track record and experience in Food service or a business profile to suggest you will be able to operate successfully
• Passionate, dynamic, and self-motivated
• Willingness to dedicate long hours and hard work to achieve results
• People orientated with excellent interpersonal and communication skills
• Commitment to learn and be a team player
No formal qualification is required although, in some instances, this may be an advantage. In summary, the franchisee must be an ‘owner operator’.
1st Franchise Opened
No. of Outlets
Average set-up cost
Initial franchise fee
Initial Working Capital
Minimum owners contribution
Management services fee
Initial agreement term
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