#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Kauai

Kauai was founded in 1996 by three friends who wanted to bring the healthy eating trend to South Africa. Since its inception the brand has expanded to over 150 stores across the country, serving healthy and delicious smoothies and meals. Today Kauai operates under the multi-brand food group, Real Foods (Pty) Ltd.

What sets Kauai apart from other franchisors is their passion for all aspects of the business, from the brand values to the bottom line of each restaurant. As the majority of Kauai restaurants are still company-owned, franchisees are assured that the franchisor shares the same objectives and that decisions are made based on what is right for the brand as a whole. Kauai is committed to maintaining a supply chain that supports farmers using sustainable practices and to locally source fresh produce where possible.

Kauai aims to inspire a ‘real food’ revolution in South Africa and to make healthy eating habits accessible and exciting. Using only the best quality seasonal ingredients, Kauai customers enjoy real food that, where possible, contains no additives, preservatives, artificial colourants or flavourants, and is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Ingredients are sourced locally where possible, with a focus on ethically sourced produce.

Kauai’s menu includes a variety of healthy breakfasts, superfood smoothies, nutrient-dense raw juices, signature wraps and salads, and barista-brewed coffees and teas. Their new concept stores also have a ‘customise it’ section which allows the adventurous of spirit to experiment with a variety of raw, fresh ingredients. New concept stores also serve low GI frozen yoghurt with a choice of healthy toppings — think cacao nibs, goji berries and toasted almonds.

New-look Kauai stores now boast a contemporary black and white design which serves as the perfect backdrop for the natural, bright colours of their fresh products.

After an initial intensive 8-week training programme, Kauai provides ongoing staff and franchisee support with training and regular store visits from field service consultants. Quarterly reviews allow for comparisons against company benchmarks and the  identification of areas that require improvement. Franchisees also benefit from a large 150-strong store footprint which allows the supply chain team to negotiate competitive pricing on high quality ingredients.

Marketing support is provided not only via leveraging their national partner network (Virgin Active and Discovery Vitality), but also through ongoing economically relevant campaigns that help stimulate brand interest and draw new customers to the stores.

Kauai is looking for hands-on operators who are passionate about health and willing to embrace what the Kauai brand represents. Being successful in the service industry requires being able to work with people and motivate a team to deliver their best.


Founders: John Berry, Brett Harwin & Carl Harwin
Year founded: 1996
Area of origin: Cape Town, Western Cape
CEO: Dean Kowarski

1st SA franchise opened: 2003
Number of SA outlets: 150 +

Management fee: 6% of turnover
Marketing fee: 1% of turnover (health clubs) 4% of turnover (retail)
Agreement term: 5 Years
Renewal term: 5 Years

* Amounts quoted are VAT exclusive
Establishment cost: R650 000 (health club) or R2,1 million (retail)
Franchise joining fee: R70 000 (health club) or R120 000 (retail)
Working capital required: R30 000 to R50 000
Total average set-up cost: R750 000 to R2,28 million
Average monthly turnover: R196 000 (health club) or R547 000 (retail)
Achievable gross margins: 66% to 69%

Contact Bernice Burger on +27 21 552 0222 or email franchising@kauai.co.za