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Does Kona Grill Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update August 2, 2019
jobs for felons, company profile, Kona Grill, restaurants

Kona Grill is a chain of restaurants with many locations. For those interested in the culinary field, it is a great employment opportunity . . . but does Kona Grill hire felons?

That’s the question we are here to answer. At Relaunch Pade, we go directly to employers to ask about their hiring policies. We also hire former felons, and expert researchers that are well-equipped to answer all the burning questions you have on your mind as you hunt for work. For example:

  • Does Kona Grill do background checks?
  • Does Kona Grill hire people with misdemeanors?
  • Will they test for drugs?

The job market can be tough for former felons but hopefully, this report will help you in your search. Read on!

Does Kona Grill hire felons?

jobs for felons, company profile, Kona Grill, restaurants

Official company policy for firing felons

As always, we went directly to the source to find out their hiring policies for former felons. Here is what Kona Grill had to say:

“A federal conviction would not eliminate a candidate from employment. We do not have any programs here that are specifically designed for programs like yours, but we do not discriminate against those with criminal backgrounds.”

As far as policies go, this is a very promising one. From what they’ve said, it looks like a felony conviction will not necessarily disqualify you from working at Kona Grill.

Has Kona Grill hired felons in the past?

We also went online to find out if the company has a history of employing people with felines on their record. Based on what we were able to find, it looks like the company has indeed hired former felons in the past.

While a company’s past does not necessarily guarantee anything about their future hiring decisions, it’s always nice when an organization has hired former felons in the past.

Does Kona Grill hire people with misdemeanors?

While the company did not tell us about their hiring policies for misdemeanors, it’s reasonable to guess that they are open to hiring them since they don’t let a felony stop them from hiring someone.

Is Kona Grill on the Ban the Box list?

The Ban the Box movement is an effort to remove questions about felony convictions from job applications. The purpose is to ensure that people are judged on the basis of their skills rather than on things they’ve done in the past.

The Fair Chance Business Pledge is similar. With this movement, businesses volunteer to be fair in their hiring policies. Businesses that have taken this pledge are much more likely to overlook your record if you’re a suitable candidate for the job they have to offer.

Unfortunately, Kona Grill is not involved in either of these programs. This actually is not as bad as it sounds. Many companies that are open to hiring people with felonies aren’t involved in either movement.

Does Kona Grill have special programs for hiring felons?

Does Kona Grill hire felons? Yep, though it doesn’t look like they have any special programs for doing so. This doesn’t mean that they won’t hire former felons. It just means they haven’t made any special point of doing so.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

High likelihood of being hired with a felony

To review, Kona Grill has specifically told us that they are open to hiring former felons. They even have a record of hiring people with a criminal history. Despite the fact that they aren’t involved in the Fair Chance Business Pledge or Ban the Box, we can still comfortably rate your odds of getting hired as high.

When a company is willing to say outright that they are open to hiring former felons, it’s usually a pretty good sign.

What are some entry-level jobs?

Kona Grill has hourly, corporate and management positions available. Most of the entry-level jobs will fall into the hourly category at the restaurant locations.

The positions are similar to those of any restaurant. There are kitchen jobs, both in food preparation and cleanup. There are also positions out front for waiters, hosts, etc.

As a restaurant, the hours are a little bit long, with the majority of shifts likely occurring in the evening and on weekends. Don’t forget you’d also be asked to work holidays.

How to get hired at Kona Grill with a felony

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about this company, let’s go over how you can get a job at Kona Grill with a felony.

As with any job, the first thing you will need to do is submit a solid resume. To do this, you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member. It’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look at your application before you send it out. If you have access to a career center, you may even be able to get a professional to look it over before you send it out.

As you write your resume out, think about all the ways you can highlight past experience. The nice thing about the restaurant setting is that is easy to highlight common skills.

For example, if you’ve ever had any customer service job at all, there is a good chance that Kona Grill will see this as relevant experience. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant setting, that will be all the better.

If you submit a good application, you will hopefully be called in for an interview. To make a good impression, show up looking as professional as possible — remember, they’re a fancier restaurant so you need to look the part! It would be a good idea to cover your tattoos and remove piercings known to raise eyebrows, as well.

Last but not least, just be yourself. Many of the jobs at Kona Grill involve customer service, so be sure to demonstrate that you are comfortable around people.

You may even find it worthwhile to have a practice interview with friends or family. Just remember though, if they’ve called you for an interview, it means they like what you have to offer. So, just act natural — you’ve got this!

Does Kona Grill do background checks?

It looks like they will do background checks before finalizing a hire. It’s just another part of how to get hired at Kona Grill!

That said, your location can have a big impact on what potential employers see in their background checks. 

For example, in some states, they only look seven years back. Here are those states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

There are also some states that won’t list things you weren’t convicted of. If you live in one of these places, Kona Grill will only see things that you’ve been convicted of.

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Unfortunately, however, there are also places that list your entire history. In these, Kona Grill will see your entire record, including not guilty convictions.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

We’ve also gone online to find out what it is like to work at Kona Grill. On, the company has received a rating of 3.2 out of 5. The company’s lowest average rating is 2.8 for compensation. The highest average rating is 3.0 for company culture.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

There are several felonies that may prevent you from getting hired at a restaurant like Kona Grill.

Since there’s a lot of cash changing hands at restaurants, they may not be interested in hiring people with theft convictions.

Additionally, many companies that have customer service positions also are not willing to hire violent or sexual offenders.

Does Kona Grill drug test?

While Kona Grill may not drug test every candidate, they do reserve the right to do so. In these situations, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

If you have worked at this company, we want to hear from you! Did our guide help you figure out how to get a job at Kona Grill with a felony? Tell us what you know so that we can improve our information, and help the community find work!

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Paul is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad who lives in the midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and is dedicated to providing accurate and insightful information to former offenders who are seeking employment.