Complaint Review: KONO USA
KONO USA Kono Pizza, Kono-To-Go, Kono. Ponzi Scheme Franchise Expired Food Price Gouging Lies False Promises North Manalapan Texas
*Author of original report: Additional Information
This Franchisor is a master Franchise of Kono Italy. They sell Franchises based out of New Jersey.
The product is pizza and desserts in a cone bread. The cones are sold out of Italy and shipped to the USA.
I attended a Discovery Day in March of 2016 . They told everyone how they will be the next Aunti Anne's and they are trying to hit the markets out west. They told us how great the product is and how much interest there is. Now the 2 master franchise owners are:
David Ragosa and Carlo Ruggiero. They had never opened up any restaurant in their lives before and they said they were FDD approved and had a successful location in Edison NJ. Well that corporate location closed. Then they had a Jersey City location in Newport Mall which closed. In the FDD, they listed figures which showed them selling up to 350 cones per day, which is nearly impossible and obviously they never accomplished or the stores wouldn't close. [continued below]....
They sold me a Franchise in Dallas, Texas in March 2016.
I spent $39,000 for the franchise fee and $10,000 for site admin . Nobody knows what the site admin fee was for, but they did not help me find a location . I had a location in mind (Town East Mall) and they did not help me with verifying GGP (the mall owner) sales figures of the sotres in the malls. (Malls are dying but this one told me they were thriving).
The $10,000 fee went to Cone-It which is a 2nd company owned by a franchisee of theirs named Eric Ciancaglini. Eric lied to me about how well he was doing during my due diligence . It came out that he has been losing money. Other franchisees before me failed and they never failed to mention their names or contact information.
Then it came down to timing. on their website they claim :
"Once a Franchise Agreement has been signed and necessary permits are secured, it usually takes 4-8 weeks to get open."
That is completely wrong. They did not even have a standard design. It took me 8 months to open, considering all preparations, invlved, mall construction timing, mall requirements, etc. They are completely lying. In Texas the laws are more lenient and it took 8 months to open.
On the website they claim Kono is going viral. The closing of stores is theo nly thing going viral.
They never helped with advertising and they provided little support. They claim they waive the 2% advertising but nobodoy knows about this product so you have to spend 3X more to advertise and educate the public.
Lastly, the biggest part of the scam is that they sold me EXPIRED FOOD PRODUCT , 8 months expired. When confronted they claimed it was because of the food distributor did not check their inventory but when I asked Eric in Philly he said they knew about it for a long time and that the baker said expire bread is okay to serve. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT !?! My customers complained about the staleness of the cones. They shipped cones to me in 2 days and they intentionally shipped cones in a FedEx box, not in a food box and they were still expired. The criminal who tried to trick me forgot to remove the labels off of the sleeves of the cones !!!
These guys are crook, stay away from this franchise. Liars, thieves, and crooks.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/14/2017 12:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/kono-usa/north-manalapan-texas-07726/kono-usa-kono-pizza-kono-to-go-kono-ponzi-scheme-franchise-expired-food-price-gouging-1379088. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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