Gym franchises raring to go as restrictions ease

By Sarah Stowe | 03 Jun 2020 View comments

The fitness industry has been frustrated by the continued restrictions keeping gym doors shut. So gym franchises are now welcoming news of scheduled opening dates around the country.

Ty Menzies, CEO of Lift Brands Australia, told Inside Franchise Business Executive, “Whilst it’s challenging, Snap Fitness is very excited to get their doors back open for the wider community, franchisees and teams. We all know exercise not only supports general wellbeing but our mental health.”

Gym restrictions ease

With the staggered openings beginning mid May in the Northern Territory, and most states opening gym doors over the next two weeks, there are necessary changes to make to ensure the health and safety of customers and franchisee teams.

Menzies said “Capacity levels range from 20 per club, 20 per room and 100 per club depending on what state you live in, and of course abiding by social distancing rules.”

There is no time restriction on openings, however there must be staff on site during all trading hours, making it financially unvialbe for Snap Fitness clubs to operate the normal 24/7 hours.

Menzies said some clubs, particularly those with a 20-person capacity, will offer a booking platform to manage the amount of people in club at any one time.

Measures to ensure appropriate hygiene and social distancing at Snap Fitness clubs include increased cleaning procedures, arranged and adjusted equipment to enforce safe distancing, additional self -cleaning stations  and the removal or closure of high-risk areas such as showers,  water coolers and fans. Lockers are spaced out or not in use.

Capacity limits on bookings

Boutique women’s gym franchisor Adalo Balto said the Zadi gym model has a premium offering which makes the reopening measures more convenient.  

“Our model is built around a smaller class attendance ratio with max 16 participants. We simply have changed the capacity to 10 to be in line with government recommendations,” she told Inside Franchise Business Executive.

“We have a Zadi app to handle all bookings and attendance records, we can easily sets capacity limits on bookings and monitor all attendance.

“We have made adjustments to our workouts and have pre-programmed them into our software to ensure our members now have their own individual station set up with the equipment they need for each workout. Our bespoke video display on our large screen will reflect all the changes seamlessly.”

Fitness Australia guidelines

Last week Fitness Australia released a safe reopening checklist.

CEO Barrie Elvish said “Gyms create a COVID safety environment when strict measures are enforced to protect the health and safety of members and employees from COVID-19.

“While we are advising all our members to check with their state government requirements, we have gone one step further and developed a Checklist that goes beyond the standard considerations,” he said.

The Framework for Operations in the Fitness Industry Under COVID-19 Restrictions is available to all businesses within the industry, while the Checklist is exclusively available to Fitness Australia members.