Orangetheory’s ‘Exceptional’ Take on Building a Global Franchise

Here’s why Orangetheory Fitness enjoys widespread appeal from members and franchisees alike

Orangetheory Fitness has experienced robust growth right along with the fitness industry at large. Today, the company has more than 1,500 locations in 24 countries all while staying true to the science-based approach that put it on the map.

Rich Armstrong, chief development officer of Orangetheory Fitness, credits the company’s success to three things. 

“Larger concepts such as Orangetheory transcend local boundaries due to their widespread appeal, expert corporate guidance and passionate franchise operators who share the same vision on a global scale,” he said.

With franchising at the core of its business model, Orangetheory is mindful of its franchise partners’ desire for a strong concept, continuous support and a commitment to staying on the forefront of fitness trends.

Here, Armstrong shares with Athletech News why Orangetheory’s franchisees are so dedicated to the brand, how the company strives to enhance its member experience and what it means to have a “one brand” mindset.

The following conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Athletech News: What makes Orangetheory Fitness a concept ideal for franchising?

Rich Armstrong: Orangetheory Fitness distinguishes itself in franchising with its unique blend of science-backed workouts, innovative technology and expert coaching. Our franchise offers an accessible entry point, a streamlined operational model and the potential for attractive returns. Our scale provides exceptional support, leverage and brand development opportunities, setting us apart in the fitness industry.

ATN: What makes someone an ideal Orangetheory Fitness franchisee?

RA: We seek franchisees who are passionate about the Orangetheory brand and committed to helping people achieve their fitness goals. Financial stability and real estate expertise are important, but a strong cultural alignment with our brand values is essential.

Rich Armstrong (credit: Orangetheory Fitness)

ATN: What differentiates top-performing franchisees from those on the bottom?

RA: The key differentiator is passion. Franchisees who genuinely engage with their community and embody our brand’s ethos often experience greater success. This authentic, hands-on approach fosters a stronger community and drives the brand forward.

ATN: Why should someone pursue an Orangetheory franchise instead of another fitness concept? 

RA: Someone should pursue Orangetheory for three main reasons: the concept, the support and the model. Our workouts are the pinnacle of a holistic fitness experience, blending endurance, strength and power training, all under the guidance of certified coaches. The support from our headquarters at The Grove covers every aspect of operations, from site selection to marketing and innovation, ensuring our franchisees are always at the forefront of the fitness industry.

ATN: How do you meet the challenge of evolving a concept as times and member needs change?

RA: Our commitment to helping members live a more vibrant life drives us to evolve continuously. We’re more than just responsive to fitness trends; we’re pioneers, setting the bar for boutique fitness excellence. Our approach is visionary, anticipating and shaping the future of fitness before it becomes a member need. With a team of expert fitness and science professionals, we stay ahead of the curve, crafting innovative and effective fitness experiences that define industry standards and exceed member expectations.

Orangetheory remains true to its core concept by focusing on delivering a balanced and scientifically-backed workout experience. Even as trends shift in the fitness world, from weight loss to mental well-being, our approach continues to provide a holistic workout that caters to all aspects of health. This consistency in our mission allows us to adapt while staying true to our foundational principles.

credit: Orangetheory Fitness

ATN: What can franchisees expect when working with Orangetheory? 

RA: The relationship between our franchisees and corporate is built on mutual trust, clear communication and shared input. We maintain close connections, fostering an environment of authentic listening and collaboration. This ‘one brand’ mindset allows us to stay attuned to the needs and feedback of our members, ensuring we evolve in alignment with their aspirations.

ATN: What do others who are considering building their businesses via a franchise model need to know before they start?

RA: It’s important to recognize that while contractual requirements are essential, the best franchisors view the arrangement as a long-term relationship rather than just a legal agreement. At Orangetheory, we believe that strong support and collaboration lead to satisfied and passionate franchisees, which is key to a successful business endeavor.

ATN: What’s the value of a brand name in the fitness space?

RA: Having a strong brand name carries immense value. It not only aids in marketing and attracting new members but also assures quality and consistency. Orangetheory Fitness is synonymous with a positive fitness experience, a powerful tool for building trust and loyalty among our members.

ATN: How has the fitness industry and fitness franchising changed since 2010?

RA: Since 2010, the fitness industry and franchising landscape have evolved dramatically. There’s been a significant shift towards more personalized, science-based fitness experiences. Orangetheory has been at the forefront of this transformation, offering effective and adaptable workouts to individual needs and fitness abilities. The rise of digital platforms and the increasing importance of community and wellness in fitness have also been key trends shaping the industry.

ATN: What’s your outlook on the fitness market over the next five years?

RA: The next five years in the fitness market are prepared for innovative growth. We anticipate a continued focus on personalized, technology-driven experiences while integrating wellness into everyday life. Orangetheory aims to be at the forefront of this evolution, continually adapting to meet the needs of our members.

The post Orangetheory’s ‘Exceptional’ Take on Building a Global Franchise appeared first on Athletech News.


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