Ask an Expert: Matt Schultz
You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Matt Schultz, COO of Retro Fitness, about streamlining operations through fast growth.
CS: You’ve been heading up operations for Retro Fitness since it was founded. What have been some of the biggest changes in your role over the years?
MS: The biggest changes are normally in the form of program changes across our franchise system, as we are always innovating and working a few years ahead. Our latest development is Retro Results, powered by the New Exercise Order, which launches network-wide in 2017. It’s a multi-level personal training program that provides a solution to members of all fitness levels and desired price points by offering three training tiers and incorporating technology that gamifies the workout experience. We think this program will be a game changer for the brand because it offers members a far more effective and affordable fitness regimen than boutique fitness studios. I also made it my responsibility to double the size of our operations team in 2016 to help facilitate growth throughout our system. When I started at Retro Fitness, it was just me on operations. It’s been exciting to watch our operations team grow with the brand.
CS: What have been the biggest operational challenges in your role, and how have you overcome those challenges?
MS: We all have challenges each day that we must overcome. For me, the biggest challenge came this year when we hired 10 additional operational staff members in the span of a few weeks. The challenge of hiring, training and introducing them to our culture was daunting. To overcome this, our senior staff members stepped up to the challenge and mentored each new employee to prepare them for their future with Retro Fitness. Not only did we quickly onboard these new employees, but working together to overcome the challenge was inspiring and a great experience for our senior staff.
CS: How do you ensure consistent, seamless operations across the company’s 150-plus units?
MS: Our gyms span across 16 states, which could pose some difficult obstacles, but we have strict measures in place to ensure consistent, seamless operations throughout the Retro Fitness franchise system. This includes regularly being able to audit, visit and meet with all of our franchisees and their staffs multiple times per year.
CS: What are you looking forward to in your role at Retro Fitness over the next five years?
MS: I’m very much looking forward to exceeding our goals for growth over the next five years. We anticipate expanding beyond 700 locations open or in development by 2020. Currently, Retro Fitness has more than 150 locations in operation and we are on track to have 250 gyms open in the next two years. We’ll be more than four times larger in the next five years. It’s exciting to look ahead to the growth of our awesome staff as we hit this goal and expand Retro Fitness across the country and beyond.