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Orangetheory Fitness: Inside the Aggressive Expansion

Orangetheory fitness

Orangetheory Fitness, one of the fastest growing franchises in the history of the industry, reached a major milestone in 2018: opening its 1,000th location. Closing last year with a strong December that saw the brand open 44 new locations (including six international clubs), Orangetheory has an aggressive goal for 2019 and beyond.

“We’re going to continue our torrid growth rate of 250 to 300 new studios per year for the foreseeable future,” said Mike Mettler, the senior vice president of franchise development for Orangetheory Fitness. “We have tremendous demand from our members to have more locations they can visit more frequently, in more convenient locations.”

To meet this growing demand, the brand’s growth strategy is simple, according to Adam Krell, a club owner and area developer for the brand: put an Orangetheory location everywhere.

“The goal is to try and bring an Orangetheory to every local community, because our workout is for everybody,” said Krell. “The only way we can bring it to everybody is if it’s convenient, so our plan is to try and bring an Orangetheory studio to your backyard, as quickly as we possibly can.”

Krell’s backyard encompasses New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and with up to 12 possible locations in the works, that region is his major area of focus for 2019. “The greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut region is the fitness capital in the world, in my opinion,” he said. “It probably has the most dense number of fitness facilities in the world.”

Even as saturated a fitness market as New York won’t dampen Orangetheory’s success, however. According to Krell, the brand’s rapid growth is proof its formula can work anywhere. “Our customers are the proof of that,” he said. “People come back to us because of results, and it’s safe to say if you’re coming to us two to three times a week, it’s very hard for you to not get results.”

But there’s more to Orangetheory than just the workouts. A major driver of the brand’s success is its people, at all levels of the business, from coaches to corporate executives. Everyone in the organization strives to create an exceptional experience for each member.

“It’s like being in an oasis,” said Krell. “Our coaches, front desk workers, managers and leaders are definitely what bring people back. When there is a smiling face welcoming you, uplifting you and giving you motivating words in your workout, you feel better in such a positive environment.”

This focus on member engagement is the centerpiece of Orangetheory’s mission, and why the brand has resonated so well with consumers. “Our business is about engaging with our members and making a difference in their lives by having them come to our studios and workout,” said Mettler.

And whether Orangetheory adds 300 clubs or not in 2019, the brand’s mission will stay the same: engage members on a personal level to help them achieve their goals.

According to Mettler, serving members is the driving force of Orangetheory. “Our purpose is to give our members more life — a longer, more vibrant life,” he said. “Growing to 1,000 studios is an important milestone, because we can impact more people and help them achieve their personal goals.”

With its combination of results-driven workouts, exceptional member experiences and dedicated leaders, the sky’s the limit for Orangetheory Fitness. The formula that pushed the brand to its first 1,000 locations will drive it to 2,000 and beyond.

“We believe we have the best product in the world — our workout changes people’s bodies, minds and lives,” said Krell. “And the only reason we’re able to open up this many locations is that people are getting results.”

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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  1. Jodi January 31, 2019

    I love OrangeTheory as much as everyone else, sometimes going 6 times a week. It has changed my life! The workouts are great, the people are great. With our country’s rising obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates, need more OTs everywhere. I hope they become as ubiquitous as Starbucks and Target. BUT to say it’s for everyone is not true: it is prohibitively expensive for many people!

  2. Stephen February 1, 2019

    I have been working out at OTF for over a year and this is with spinal fusion less than two years ago. It is by far the best 1 hour workout I have ever done. Pay the money and join you will not be disappointed

  3. Anne February 1, 2019

    Orange Theory is the BEST workout ever and it really works! I have been going since last April and lost 30lbs and went from a size 14 to an 8. I go 4 times a week and LOVE it!!


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