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Making Nutrition Personal


I attend many owner conferences, tradeshows and think-tank groups, so I am very involved at many levels in the industry. A common theme I hear is how to find new ways of driving new revenue into the clubs. What works and what doesn’t.

Personal training is undoubtedly the most often talked about and primary focus. I understand it, the tools are already there and finding personal trainers who are truly knowledgeable and passionate is becoming a much easier task than ever before. There are programs and systems perfected and easily implemented. What most club owners don’t understand is, to make these programs most effective, that you need to tie nutrition together with personal training to truly optimize results and increase revenue.

Club owners like the Cosgrove’s Result’s Fitness in Newhall, Calif., Kane’s Evolution Fitness in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Zubasic’s Defined Fitness in Wexford, Pa. get it! These fitness studios focus exclusively on personal training and do it well, perhaps better than anybody, but they are successful because they understand the bigger picture — to truly reach performance goals, nutrition needs to be a part of the equation.

Juice bars have become part of their culture, and at the helm of a shifting tide in health clubs all over the country. Club owners now realize that the negative stigma that once was pervasive throughout the fitness industry regarding juice bars is now vanishing. Juice bars can be profitable and what’s more, they can actually help a member achieve their goals! This is simply because there are better ways to bring nutrition to your members than ever before.

In every health club there is a captive audience that wants to improve and is willing to spend money to achieve goals. Most clubs, however, even if personal training is a large component of their revenue, still don’t have the majority of their members spending money on personal training, or nutrition for that matter. This means that there is a tremendous opportunity at every health club to provide nutrition to all of the captive people who want to improve.

Club owners like Schiltz’s Fit Stop in Strykersville, N.Y., and Damotio’s Gold’s Gym in Islip, N.Y., are like most club owners by offering personal training as an adjunct to their club, but they also offer a juice bar and a certified Natural Health Consultant. If the right products are offered at the juice bar, a powerful synergy will exist and greater profits will be realized.

Where to start?

Easy! Contact anyone of the myriad of juice bar companies out there today and have them assess your needs to professionally launch you. As in the personal training biz, you are better served if you have the professionals lead you with templates and systems. Attempting to do it yourself will most invariably turn into lost time and money. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

First, understand that the health clubs are now much more under the scrutiny of health dept than ever before, so don’t try and cut corners. Design your space right, the first time, and not only will your juice bar be launched successfully, serving your first shake to the health dept code officer, but your processes will all be streamlined ultimately saving time and money.

Next, only bring in natural food products into your space. Yes, people do care what’s on the label and what goes in their bodies. The reason that juice bars had a bad name years ago was because of the junk that was served at them. Don’t make that mistake again. Be selective. In the end, it will only elevate all the other synergistic components that really do help your entire business model.

Dan Young is President of Performance Food Centers, Corp. He is accomplished in Juice bar concept and design as well as being certified in Personal Training and Sports Nutrition. He can be contacted at 1.888.PFC.9151, or visit www.performancefoodcenters.com.

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