ANYTIME FITNESS Franchise Complaints
Anytime Fitness Franchise Complaints: Add yours as a comment below! Love the Anytime Fitness franchise? Tell us why!
Are you familiar with the Anytime Fitness franchise opportunity? Please share a comment below.
Also read: SNAP FITNESS Franchise Complaints
If you are searching for the right franchise opportunity, we hope you brought a shovel.
Even the absolute worst franchise disasters seem to receive high rankings in Entrepreneur and accolades in the mainstream business media.
Do some digging to find out the truth – then post it on UnhappyFranchisee.com for others to see.
Is Anytime Fitness A Great Franchise Bet?
In 2011, CNN.com named Anytime Fitness one of its “10 Great Franchise Bets.”
CNN made this pronouncement based almost solely on Anytime Fitness’ relatively low SBA loan default rate of 2.7%.
CNN wrote: “Anytime Fitness, a chain of gyms, offers customers workouts at their convenience. The clubs are open 24 hours a day. Members can exercise even when a club is not staffed, thanks to proprietary access software, security and surveillance technology.
“Co-founders Dave Mortensen, Chuck Runyon and Jeff Klinger — who has since left the company — opened the first club in 2002 in Cambridge, Minn. Less than 10 years later, there are nearly 1,600 clubs nationwide with more than 1.1 million members.
“More than half of the club owners have more than one location. Running an Anytime Fitness gym involves relatively low overhead, because large numbers of employees are not required. “
“…Of 147 SBA-backed loans between 2005 and 2010, there were just four defaults.
Reports of Anytime Fitness Closings & Franchise Failures
Despite the CNN’s implication that only four Anytime Fitness franchises have failed, a quick Google search reveals a different story.
Anonymous writes Maplewood, MN Anytime Fitness closed yesterday ( 5/25/11 ) and I showed up to exercise since management did not have the courtesy to notify any of the members.
Yelp reports Anytime Fitness – CLOSED 2501 7th St W St Paul, MN 55116
ABC57 reports SOUTH BEND, Ind.– Anytime Fitness is closing its doors at Eddy Street Commons.
Rasmus Auctioneers wrote: Anytime Fitness at Broadlands Center. Rasmus will make a complete liquidation of cardio, excess circuit, plated, strength and excercise equipment, office & business assets by internet only auction
Union County Weekly wrote: Stallings Anytime Fitness on Idlewild Road closed its doors on the last day of the year
Anytime Fitness franchise owners Chad and Jenni Riegel wrote: Dear Anytime Fitness Member, We regret to inform that we are forced to close anytime fitness – New Haven on August 31, 2011.
bcintron wrote: I was a member of the E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV gym for three months, the gym was only open for about 5 months.
We could go on…
Anytime Fitness Franchise Complaints
All is not what it seems. A great concept except ATF wants all the control by making it mandatory to us ABC Financial. ATF owns ABC and this to me is a conflict of interest to the gym owner. As long as they have their hands on your money the only people that make money is them… this is not a easy business and far more difficult than what they try to make it out to be.Plus on average I would say that between the two of them you will be paying about 10-12% of your gross income to them which doesn’t leave much for you.
Bend Over Chuck writes:
BE PREPARED FOR THE MASS CLOSINGS OF BOTH FRANCHISES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. Besides a weak business model and crappy customer service most 24/7 clubs throughout the country are performing business contrary to the current state, county and city laws and regulations. BUYER BEWARE!
The owner of the anytime fitness in Ortley Beach New Jersey had the franchise for about 5 years. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a debilitating incurable disease. The franchise could not turn a profit so he had to close down when the franchise license and the lease on the property expired.
How did ANYTIME respond? By harassing the owner, sending threating letters from their scumbag ambulance chasing attorneys and threatening to sue the owner. They sent a private investigator to New Jersey to look for ways to screw the owner further. For what? Instead of letting him close the franchise and move forward with his life, made complicated by multiple sclerosis, these scumbags from anytime and their lowlife lawyers had to harass him and make his life difficult….
Anyone who wants to do business with these lowlife scumbags deserves all the bad experiences they will bring . They are the lowest of the low and don’t deserve to be a part of the American franchise field. They and their lawyers are the lowest form of life on the planet. They are all greedy un-caring scum.
NO HEART, ANYTIME wrote:
This company’s leader is Chuck Runyon CEO. The company is all about one thing and one thing only, MAKING $$$. The owners and management have signed contracts with their franchisees and they are going to enforce the letter of the law! Franchisees are getting screwed and passing this behavior onto their members. It is a vicious cycle. Corporate is making BANK while franchisees are wiping out. It is tragic for all of the franchisees who bought into this business model based on the information AF corporate sales provided. Does anyone really know how many AF’s are even making money?
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86 thoughts on “ANYTIME FITNESS Franchise Complaints”
I hoped to join the ATF in Framingham, MA but found the terms so hard that I walked away. It was a lose-lose situation. The minimum membership period is 18 months, which I think is too long. A year is as long as I want to commit to. But I was willing to be flexible on this. The deal killer was when I asked what would happen if the Framingham site closed. I was told that I would still have to honor my commitment for the remainder of the contract because there are other ATFs within a 25 mile radius. The next closest ATF is 7 miles away in the next town. I explained that I only want to join the Framingham gym close to my house, and would not consider driving 7 miles to the next town. Therefore, I wouldn’t sign a contract leaving me exposed if for some reason the Framingham site closed. They lost a new membership, and I lost being able to work out where I want to. Lose-lose.
As a start franchise owners I would to hear from you in what you think Anytime Fitness lacks to help you succeed and what you think they could have done to assist you in your franchise?
All comments are welcome!
In Marietta Georgia off Canton Road. Thief trainer. Gossip. Ruining the gym. I can’t stand it. Had to switch
Excuse me. To be more precise the old blonde lady trainer is thief and gossip. She took my mom’s money. We aren’t even members. No proper receipt it awkward. We aren’t even members. I told my mom no more. The tanning bed cut me. It’s broken really broken glass cut me
. Liability. What happens if we get hurt? We aren’t members? That’s considered stealing right?
I own an Anytime Fitness and I can tell you it is not all they say it is. Aside from monthly franchise fees there are other fees that really eat into your bottom line. These fees amount to over $2000 a month. Support from corporate is just ok. We have put a lot into the franchise and are just holding our heads above water. Somebody mentioned that corporate is making all the money and that is the absolute truth. They are raking it in while mist of us are just getting by.
Similar to others. I am a real estate developer that is into fitness and am considering a franchise(s) in MA and NH. The areas I have property in are affluent and underserved. My main question is whether I can make money from it. In our area you need to have classes as well so I would not consider Planet Fitness. I am reluctant to buy a single franchise rather than an entire area. I had two RE/MAX franchises years ago and they took all of the money. Any help would be appreciated.
What is the main reason for franchising? Systems. If you can build or buy a system that is nearly as good or better than a franchise is not the best option.
I work with franchise businesses, and the biggest complaint I hear “Franchisor makes all the money.”
There are many types of reasons to buy into a franchise: Fast, fixed, known operational, information, but the biggest is the reduced fear of doing it alone.
I have read the complaints and agree that in each situation the franchisee is entitled to feel good or bad. The question I leave you with is who had the power when you entered into the business? Who had power to change and serve the customers during the business? Why would a business franchise give away all the ideas and power, and not expect a solid return of cash or control?
We started in athletic clubs and left to go to other locations. Still feel the clubs are the best place to work out, and host family focused solutions. They will not all be profitable, they will never really be easy, but are they worth it?
The 24/hr fitness in framingham , has poor customer service . The staff is rude and the manager Andrew is to busy , on his cell or computer to achknowledge a customer most of the time. They lie to make you sign a contract , pressure , and push . This continues to be the worst gym experience ever, I am walking into my nightmare daily. The gym smells , is dirty , and equipment is old. I asked to speak to owner the manger Andrew stated , ” when i see him , i can ask him, President Obama , can be reached faster ” ! This is the super fitness next to stop and shop 19 temple st. , buyer beware !
Anytime Fitness is the biggest con in the Franchise world. The best advice that I can give is to avoid them like the plague. Badges of honour mean nothing when there is no honour to protect. The company received the number 1 ranking on Entrepreneur based ONLY on financial strength. Well they charge £25k for a franchise so it is no wonder – they make millions off just the franchise fee. Loads of unhappy franchisee’s drop out because their pathetic property teams are hopelessly ineffective at sourcing viable sites for franchisees. Yet the sales team are let loose on promising the world to poor franchisees who will never know the difference. Some franchisees are without a property for many years and just give up trying but don’t get ANY assistance from Anytime. All they want is YOUR MONEY and they flash around a couple of successful gyms to seduce you into joining. Fact is that many gyms are going under because they haven’t provided to support nor the assistance to franchisees to get them going. Then they absorb your fees so it is no wonder they have a high ranking. Try doing a proper ranking of franchisee support / follow up, number of franchisees that have lost interest or have been simply ignored out of the franchise network after some time.
Chuck the CEO is actually just a greedy guy – he has a poor management record and a poor implementation record. The clubs themselves are not at all self managed but take copious amounts of time to run and maintain. There is constant support required and none of their promises can be met.
This is truly an ugly place – speak to other franchisees there are much better options there
IS this franchise worth looking into ?? I am getting very mixed reviews which means is not good news.
Seems many Snap places are shutting down as more lower end franchises are poping up and big gyms like Planet will probably put smaller gyms out of business.
This looks pretty risky but wanted more information from other owners.
I am a current and soon to be former UPS store owner and I can tell you to avoid UPS and the model is a disaster. Seems the franchise business is only lucrative if you can afford the higher end ones that costs millions.
Done more reviews of Anytime and not too happy.
Seems you need a huge volume of customers to make money and you will be paying over 22,000 a month for rent and equipment leases among several other things.
Seems like a huge gamble!!!!! Plus over 300 grand for a new one and having close to a 1000 members is difficult in this type of business.
I would probably avoid this one.
We are otr truck drivers and purchased an anytime fitness membership. We travel all over the country amd have been to dozend of clubs. Most clubs have been very clean and friendly helpful staff..except the anytime at Glidewell Drive in Burlington North Carolina. Rude and unfriendly. We were in the middle of a video and it just quit. Tried to get it to come back on and screen went blank then a computer desk top came on..no help also after giving up a trainer and a customer he was helping went in and took over the room and the kiosk..seemed fishy as well as the laughing and smiles going on. Will never be back!
Don’t just blame the company, look at what you can do different to improve business. Of cause, it is easy to blame a company and not look at your own problems.
The trick to make a franchise business profitable is very easy. First, you need money in you bank that you don’t need in the next couple of years. If you open up a franchise knowing you don’t have the financial means to back it up then don’t do it.
Besides being able to pay the franchise fee you should be able to buy the equipment needed as well as the location of the gym. If you are able to do that you can easily turn a profit.
The biggest expenses you have in this type of business are labour, Rent, Franchise fees and upkeep. You can’t really control upkeep and the franchise fee but you can control the other variables.
If you own the location, you reduce cost drastically. I see a lot of time rent prices between of $5000 – $8000 a month, if you own the location its gone be a lot less. But as I mentioned earlier, this means you need the finances to back it up.
In addition, keep labor cost low by working on your own for the first year to establish a costumer base. You as an owner / operator should be there every day and you will probably work about 60 – 70 hours a week but it will decrease in time. Labor is one of the main expenses in a business that cuts into your profit margin. Only get additional personal trainers if they are profitable for your business or get independent trainers that pay you a monthly fee to bring their cliants to your gym for workout sessions.
For everybody that complains here all the time you have to understand that a franshise does not mean running a risk free, easy, investor type business, where you can lean back and count cash. All you do is pay for national brand recognition and national advertising thats what the franchise fees are for.
If you look at franshises like Mcd or Bk you see that the investment requirements are a lot here because of the reasons mentioned above.
As an example, Lets assume you have 500 members in your gym that pay on average $25 that means you have revenue of $12500 a month if you now pay $5000 in rent you are left with $7500. If you now have to pay franchise fees, which is usually a percentage of the monthly revenue, lets assume 10%, then we are left with $6250. Now we deduct equipment leases which is probably about 1500 to 2000 a month then we are left with $4250 and we deduct utilities which will probably be about $1000, so we are left with $3250 other expenses / repairs etc. will probably be another $750 so lets say $2500.
This does not include labour and taxes at this point plus potential other costs I forgot about but this should give you a good idea of why it is hard to make profit in this business if you don’t invest enough at the beginning.
If you now get one worker that gets $10 an hour you spent another $1700 a month, which leaves you with $800 a month before tax. So its more like $500 if you lucky. If Rent is higher and the other variables than you can turn this little profit into a massive loss.
In conclusion, only enter in a contract like this if you know you have the money to keep cost low and don’t get additional workers unless they are profitable for your business.
I have worked for a national fitness company since 1998. I opened my own location in 2008. I am now the General Manager of an Anytime Fitness. This location is profitable, but its been open 8 years. We are in a financially stable area with the closest large box gym about 10-15 min drive away. If not for our location this facility would probably not be here today. ABC doesn’t seem to keep up with trending membership requirements. Although they are very helpful if you call them. I would not open an Anytime Franchise myself, but I have also been in this industry for years. If you have a great location where there isn’t any competition… and you don’t have industry experience… Then you might consider it… Just remember there are currently lots of franchises for sale.
Patrick, your analysis is very informative. By your own admission, the franchisee is working 60-70 hours per week to make $2,500 a month. That is without overtime and employee benefits. Also, if additional workers are needed, then the profit drops considerably. Do not forget about the self-employment taxes or medical insurance.
If you own the location, then you are better off renting it (no headaches of running the gym).
I was a member of Anytime Fitness in Panama City, FL for approximately 9 months before I encountered an absolutely horrible experience and got no backing from the corporate headquarters. My father passed away June 12, 2015 and I had to go down to South Florida and was down there for about a month and a half. I had traveled to many Anytime locations before and never had a problem with my electronic gray key nor any unpleasant encounters or incidents with the facility or staff. I stopped in North Port, fL on June 17, 2015 just to take a shower before meeting family at a hotel. The bathroom was small and only one of them for the women and included a shower, sink, and toilet. Upon starting the shower the water wouldn’t stay one temperature and the room began to get very warm. The staff had turned the a/c off when I was in the shower. I confronted management and complained about the experience and within a few days my key had been deactivated when trying to access another location in Port Charlotte, FL. The local Sherriff department thugs they are were not wearing body cameras or surveillance. The owner, manager, and certain staff members gave false information to the cops, slandered my name, and made false accusations against me. I was spit on by the acting supervisor whom had tatoos and I was grabbed roughly, placed in handcuffs, and taken to a mental institution. The crooked cops also twisted my words against me and made a false report. Anytime Fitness breached the 18 month contract the day the key was turned off and I was wrongly prevented access. I am going to have my revenge against all people involved in this ordeal. I am PISSED and want nothing more than to see them all get what they deserve!!!!! Janet Lee with corporate is the biggest B and is the ring leader in making decisions for Anytime Fitness and she made that clear to me on the phone when I tried to explain that I was in the right . She actually had the nerve to tell the manager Kaylee from my home club to only allow my membership to be reinstated if I “promise never to travel to another club”. How ridiculous. The whole purose of joining the club was because it’s open 24 hours and the member has access to all locations within the U.S. and when I travel I want to workout and have a pleasant shower experience so I don’t have to pay for hotel bills. Compensation from them needs to be in order quickly!
I Kenneth carroll joyed anytime in Dublin ga when it started here but iam very unhappy with two employee you have at this location and I may move to another gym your employy greg and alex have been making fun of me at this gym I just letting you know how I feel I have been here for almost two yeas now Kenneth carroll
i am a member at a Anytime Fitness in Lebanon Oregon and the owners of that gym are out of control with being very out of control and not professional at all. its never had drug deals going on and low lives there. its so clear the owner has no clue about running a fitness center or how to act. there is a lot of bad things going on there. and it seems like they would update there equipment at least some. its never been replaced at all. im very disapointed with the new owners and how she runs this place that use to be peaceful and fun to workout at, without all the drama there and drug dealing that is going there. this is suppose to be a healthy place to be not a prison setting. i will be going to another place. this place sucks. i would never recommend this place. its hell.
the franchise needs to go to lebanon oregon and look at the old never in 10 yrs been replaced.
I’ve read almost all of these comments here. I have owned a few small business’ in the past, and have been reviewed the ATF FDD in detail.
ATF runs a professional tight ship. They, as well as any large corp, protect themselves first, this is business, people just need to get past their feelings and understand, although the product is admirable, the industry positive, and the industry people, (eg. franchisees, corporate, emp., contractors…of ALL fitness corps) well meaning, it is a business with the same corporate priorities as every other medium to large business, that is to increase the bottom line by increasing revenue and/or decreasing expenses. Everything else, corporate philosophy, corporate idealized mission, corporate/franchisee relations happens under the broader umbrella of priority.
Most people here have commented on experiences mostly negative at their prospective ATF club just to vent, others are genuinely interested in the business model, and for those people, it would behoove to read only those statements of other owners’ experience and with cautious, acknowledged perspective; along with emp comments on here.
As an interested prospective ATF franchisee probably the best step to running a successful franchise is KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!!!! Rent too high? It’ll kill you, corporate fault, nope, yours, they did their job, you didn’t do yours. Too much competition in the area, having a tough time with customer retention? Why didn’t you research your competition…..don’t you like money? Don’t you think these things are important? The location demographic not what was expected….then why the heck would you drop hundreds of thousands of dollars, just because you like the idea of being a small business owner in the fitness industry?!? It’s business, if you’re pointing the finger at corporate, listen, they have a job to sell you a location, if it doesn’t work, they’re sorry, but their job is to SELL YOU with limited risk, THAT IS ANY FRANCHISE MODEL, trust me, they know it sucks, but they are corporate, and if you have the money or are qualified for the loan….and are an adult…listen, if you have money and can’t work numbers, STAY AN EMPLOYEE, I just saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’re welcome.
THIS IS BUSINESS PEOPLE, if I go out of business, I know full well that it’s not because I ‘trusted corporate’, it’s that I was stupid enough not to look at the black and white numbers. Now if someone blatantly lies about ‘the books’ that’s a different story, and some capital set aside to take care of a situation like this would also be something a prudent individual would allot for.
PLEASE SAVE YOUR MONEY if you are not good with numbers, really, this industry is competitive, and if you’re not into fitness yourself, you don’t really know the culture or the product (health services), and if you’re not good with numbers (all the numbers, even things you don’t expect unless you’ve operated other small business’), than you’re going in at least partially blind.
The best advice? If you still really REALLY want to open up an ATF, why not get fitness/PT certified, and look to become an employee of an ATF location, even offer to work for less compensation than expected to get the position and learn the business.
Cheers and good luck!
I must say that I am the owner at the Lebanon, Oregon Anytime Fitness. Another concerned member advised me that a personal trainer I had to have leave the property (for a variety of morale, ethical, and after several member’s complaints) had posed as a member “Sheila Carter”…(there is no member with that name here) and badmouthed the management, equipment and atmosphere of the club. This was all done while still training at the club according to the dates posted. Anyone who came into this club will see an entirely different story. I wholeheartedly wish the former trainer the very best in all of her endeavors. She did a wonderful job helping her members/clients as a trainer and is gifted at what she does. I also hope that wherever she takes her business as a trainer, that she is successful and reaches her own personal goals. While she may have not been a great fit here, I pray she finds the right outlet somewhere. Regardless, I am grateful I made the business decision I did and shortly afterward read the above false representation of my business as it was only one more confirmation it was the right choice.
I’d like to commend you for a very professional and effective response. It appears that this same person is posting on at least one other site. I think taking the high road as you have reflects well on you and your club, and wish we’d get others responding in an adult and constructive manner.
Like most gyms they jump you into a contract , “Buyer beware “
I would have liked to join the ATF in Framingham, MA yet found the terms so hard that I left. It was a dilemma. The base participation time frame is year and a half, which I believe is too long. A year is the length of I need to focus on. Be that as it may, I was willing to be adaptable on this. The arrangement executioner was the point at which I inquired as to whether the Framingham site shut. I was informed that I would at present need to respect my dedication for the rest of the agreement in light of the fact that there are different ATFs inside a 25 mile span. The following nearest ATF is 7 miles away in the following town. I clarified that I just need to join the Framingham rec center near my home, and would not consider driving 7 miles to the following town. Consequently, I wouldn’t sign an agreement abandoning me uncovered if for reasons unknown the Framingham site shut. They lost another participation, and I lost having the capacity to work out where I need to. Predicament.
Very disappointed in this franchise. My husband and I have been the owners just a couple of years. After years of putting up with their shenanigans I am so relieved to be getting rid of it. The corporate gave us some bad advise on rent cost and equipment lease. The FAST people ( who are supposed to advise you on a choice of property did a terrible job mishandling our contract). We have spent almost 250K on this venture. The business was not making enough for the first 9 months to cover the cost of operation. We are now making about 25K gross. The cost of running the business is probably around 18K. ABC costs 2K a month. Anytime Fitness corporate just wants your money. There is very little support from them during building out of the club through grand opening, etc. They take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge how to do business. We were never shown proper P&L of any existing clubs. When you are opening a new club you are on your own. When my husband went to meet up with AF employees in Minnesota he was told by one of the AF employees who is also an existing franchisee that he has never stepped into his club and his business is very successful. AF business model is very weak- they are simply learning on our mistakes. It almost ruined our marriage. There is no consistency throughout the franchise. Some of the clubs are very poorly run and the corporate does not do anything about it. It reflects badly on the entire brand. They lied to us about the start-up cost as well. It is true what they say about the kickbacks. Some vendors that you are forced either split the money with AF or sometimes they are simply owned by AF like the company that does security for all the clubs.
I own/operate a very successful non-franchise gym for over 7 years now. I make well over 6 figures per year and I have no corporate to answer to ever. I run my own ship, my way. I had no gym ownership experience prior to purchasing my current location and now have 2 gyms operating successfully. If you are in need of information on how to get it done without a franchise shoot me a message and I might be able to save you tons of wasted time and money.
Do NOT invest even a $1.00 with this company. They get you to buy product from a “preferred vendors” costing you twice as much money because they get a kick back from it. They make you use Their billing companies etc. I could go on and on… On top of the thousands of dollars in kick backs they also charge you minimum 2500.00 a month in bogus fees. They do not help you with anything, they do however bully you. You pay for your own advertising etc.
After only having our gym for 5 years they made us do an unnecessary “reinvention” Why you ask? Because after WE invested our own money and took out loans to build a gym (they promised to help with) they decided to add new walls, purple scratchy turf, different colored tile, rugs you name it. The remodel costs on average 60,000.00 per gym. Its one thing to keep your gym up to date, re paint, keep it looking nice. Its another thing to tear up perfectly good carpet, tile etc. If you dont do it they fine you minimum of 500.00 a month, bully you and tell you they will take over your business.
In case most of you dont know.. Most owners of Anytime Fitness’s are small time, local owned, family run.
Coming up with an unnecessary 60,000.00 to do this ridiculous “reinvention” for no reason is disgusting.
The sad thing is.. They dont care one bit how many lives and futures they are ruining. They just take in all the money and go home to their million dollar homes.
If you are considering buying into this franchise. Please read ALL complaints and do your research… I beg you.
Drowning and losing it all.
These comments have saved me: time, money, credit and from making a bad career move which was going to be a lifetime investment for me, My passion is fitness and desiring to own my own gym, but was first considering a franchise such as anytime fitness, I’ve been searching for information about anytime fitness and was hard to fine the bad reviews i even took time out of my Sunday to try and talk to a Manager or owner, but not staffed on Sundays. I have great confidence now to open my own gym and treat people with honesty and respect. As a blue collar (Truck driver ) we work hard for our money and would appreciate it being well spent on great service.
The Anytime fitness on Kennedy, (Tampa, FL) is horrible. They have 6 tvs, one has been broken for one month, two tvs show constant info commercials, one is streaming local ads, and the other two show ESPN and they have the radio talk show hosts. They have three treadmills with tvs, but those tvs have been broken for two months. WHY BOTHER running in the gym when the gym is more boring than running outside? I am only going to this gym, until I find another one in the area.
My husband and I just accepted a contract with AF and then their attorney informed us that we were misinformed about some things verbally and in emails when we questioned specific things in the FDD. Our attorney is working to get our money back. I have a bad feeling about this company but each time I ask questions they end up making me feel like this is just a big scam. Is this a blessing in disguise? From what I’m reading here, many have had issues with the same things we were asking for clarification about. Asked if we could talk to other owners and were given two specific owners numbers and asked not to reach out to any others??? first red flag….Now finding out what we were told was just to appease us and make us keep moving forward with the franchise purchase. Now their attorneys want to pull out… I would love to hear others opinions on this. The monthly fees seem ridiculous and if by some chance we aren’t successful and have to close our doors, we are still responsible to pay these fees for 6 years?!?!?
I’m interested in buying an existing franchise in eastern Washington state. I’ve run several small businesses in the past and currently own a digital company since 2010. From looking at the 3 yrs worth of financials provided to me, the “true royalty” cost is hovering around 6.4% – not $549 a month that the broker told me. I’ve read conflicting comments that the internal CRS system mandated is also owned by ATF. Can someone confirm that? I’d love to chat w/ any current ATF owners who are happy and successful with their business. Thanks!
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Why do I not want to buy a Fitness Franchise?
1. The equipment required to run a successful Gym is cost prohibitive. You will lose money!
2. The way to get people in, so that you can pull a profit is to have space (24 hour clubs lack this space) and have a gimic that other clubs don’t have – the classes that people want, at the hours they want those classes. 24 hour gym clubs lack the space for this.)
3. People want to drop their kiddies off and then work out. 24 hour gym clubs lack the space.
4. YMCA clubs are successful because they have 1. Space 2. Kiddie Care 3. Classes that people want.
5. I know of several Anytime Fitness clubs struggling to make it. The one in Big Lake, I was surprised was still in business. It stunk the last time I was there, which was a few years back, the equipement was old, and it was in a location whereby the majority did not exercise, thus the membership in the club was too low for the owner to even break out even!
DO THE MATH!!!
I also looked at how much money you have to pay the Franchiser every single year to keep the rights to be a Franchisee. At the time I looked, it was $18,000 – $21,000 per year. Does not sound like a lot of money, but believe me, when you only have 100 customers paying $30 per month, you aren’t going to make a profit. Get 100 customers and that is $3000 per month. $3000 x 10 = $30,000 per year. The other $6000 you can assume is spent on operation expenses. See? Already you are in the hole!
Equipment can cost $2000 per device. It can take around $100,000 – $200,000 just to outfit a club properly – not necessarily including the floor mats or the pictures and mirrors on the walls to make the place look appealing.
After an investment of $300,000, all in, including everything you would need, you would then need 834 people paying $30 per month, in order to get $300,000 back in a year. This isn’t including the current utitlity bills, employees you might have or other day to day expenses. However, most people think in terms of 5 – 7 years to start making money. Problem is that by then, all the equipment needs to be replaced. You don’t really get ahead! Besides, there are way too many gyms per square mile, thus the competition is so fierce, you’ll be lucky to come out with the shirt on your back.
What do people want then?
People LOVE high end, classy, “IN” looking clubs. If the club doesn’t look like “celebrities work out here”, then you are going to struggle to get people in.
People LOVE family friendly, families hang out here looking clubs. If the club doesn’t look like “families hang out here” then you are going to struggle to get people in.
This is why MOST fitness clubs are not worth opening as a franchise! Just because its a franchise, does not bring in the business. Besides, with Anytime Fitness, if the customers that come in are all tourist, whose main club is elsewhere, you aren’t going to make the money. They just use your resources, but you don’t get the money from them, their main club gets their pay.
So then, how DO you make money in a fitness arena?
1. You open your own club.
2. You have child care, make it a family place, and keep it clean and fun!
3. Become successful enough whereby, you have to open up another spot. This spot you franchise. Why?
The reason why McDonald’s, Burger King, Anytime Fitness, You name the brand – makes money is because they aren’t the Franchisee. They are the Franchiser! McDonald’s Corp would never be worth billions if they had to own all of their own stores! Over 70% of their earnings comes from fools with dreams, owing McD’s as a Franchisee.
Source: Worked at McD’s for corporate and Franchisee from hell, and one who was awesome. I also read, study and learn.
I visited and talked and asked questions. One McD’s switched hands 6 times (last I checked which was a few years back) and no one was making money there again, after the original Franchisee sold (due to health reasons of wife). The Franchisee new owner was so over the top greedy, evil and sadistic that that location took years to make profitable again. I’m not sure, but Corporate might have bought that location back. I can’t remember. The Mr. Evil kicked out the regulars who then went to Burger King.
I own 5 gyms, highly successful all if them, not anytime franchises. I can tell you some of what you say is true, a lot is patently false.
Anytime Fitness in Spain is managed directly by the Headquarters not by a master franchisee. Before Covid19 Pandemic more almost 50% of the franchisees leave the business because of the apparent very bad management of the local business with huge fees against q very poor service and support to the franchisees. After covid 19 that number of franchisee who leave the business with AF increases. Now it seems that the most important thing for AF in Spain is fight against their old “customers” (franchisees) on the courts…. This is the real policy of that company….
Holland is the next one the list…