Post Falls couple hope to put fresh spin on fast food with Konala
Konala to feature salads, protein bowls on menu; eatery may open this weekApril 27th, 2023
Jammie and Trace Miller plan to defy traditional quick-service food trends at Konala LLC, their new restaurant located at 107 E. Seventh, in Post Falls.
“There’s a gap in the market for offering convenient, healthier food and high-protein options,” Trace Miller says.
Konala will be located next to the Post Falls couples’ other businesses—Bunker Bar and Burger Bunker food truck. Miller says he expects Konala will open this week, if final inspections go as planned.
The menu, which Miller says is intended to be simple and small, consists primarily of protein bowls and salads.
Salad options include avocado Caesar, burrito style, Cobb, Greek, and mandarin. The bowls include five signature options—burrito style, Greek, poke style, spicy, and teriyaki—plus a build-your-own option. The bowls can be made with white rice, a five-grain blend, or fresh green base, and can be topped with a variety of protein, side, and sauce options. Protein options include teriyaki and orange chicken, grilled steak, teriyaki tofu, dynamite shrimp, and marinated poke.
Drink options will consist of lemonade, iced tea, and slushes, as well as a few flavors of Olipop, a prebiotic soda.
While the restaurant’s name may sound Hawaiian, much of the food won’t be, Miller says.
“My wife and I actually met while living in Hawaii, so there is a little Hawaiian influence to some of the items, but we’re not making traditional Hawaiian food by any means,” Miller says.
The name Konala is a combination of the Millers’ two rescue dogs’ names—Kona and Nala.
“We joke that it’s their business, their building,” he says. “We drive them by in the car to check on construction progress.”
Miller says that the restaurant will employ 12 people to start.
Konala eventually will offer drive-thru, online, and curbside ordering, as well as third-party delivery through DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, he says.
The drive-thru will be the fastest option and will feature face-to-face ordering, similar to establishments like Chick-fil-A restaurants and Dutch Bros. coffee shops, he says. Employees will use tablets to take orders and will have a structure separate from the main building to stay out of any bad weather.
“(Customers) get to know our employees. We get to know our customers by talking with them face-to-face,” Miller says.
He estimates that the drive-thru wait time will be about two to five minutes, depending on the order.
“I want it to be as fast as possible while maintaining our quality and consistency.”
The curbside ordering will consist of parking spots that have signs with QR codes so that customers can place their orders from their phones and have food brought out to their cars. A pickup window will accommodate online orders and delivery drivers, as well as keep the drive-thru moving quicker.
Konala will operate out of a 1,000-square-foot building, Miller says. The building doesn’t have indoor seating, but patio seating is available with four picnic tables and room to grow, Miller says. The patio also will use QR ordering, he says.
Miller says that dishes will be made to order, and food will be cooked in small batches throughout the day in order to maintain both freshness and speed. All meals will be served in microwaveable, reusable containers that Miller says will be great for meal prepping.
The bowls and salads will range in price from about $10 to $15, depending on protein choices and other variables, he says. Bulk discounts will be available for orders that include at least four bowls or salads.
Miller says the couple hope to franchise Konala as early as August, and they are already working with franchise consultants and lawyers on franchising documents. He says they plan to offer franchising within Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
“I want to try and get to as many communities as possible with this concept,” Miller says.
He says they’d like to bring Konala to Coeur d’Alene and Spokane in the future.
“It’d be awesome if we could do something in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane—maybe South Hill,” Miller says. “If a franchisee doesn’t jump on that, then likely sometime next year, we’ll do another corporate location at one or both of those spots,” says Miller.
HDG Architecture, of Spokane, provided design services at the Post Falls site, and Henderson, Nevada-based Xtreme Cubes Corp. constructed the building offsite. Xtreme Cubes manufactures steel modular structures for a variety of applications. The ability to construct the building offsite allowed construction to run through the winter and avoid seasonal disruptions that often occur with onsite construction.
Using Xtreme Cubes also will make it easier to contract with the same construction company for any future franchise locations, regardless of which city or state they are in, Miller says. He says the building was 85% to 90% complete when it arrived in Post Falls.
Inland Empire Spice LLC, of Spokane, relocated its brick-and-mortar location to the Paramount Building, at 2713 N. Monroe, earlier this month, according to the company’s Facebook page. The herb, spice, and tea store previously was located at 8601 N. Division, in Spokane.