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How Workout Anytime is Preparing to Reopen Gyms After Temporary Closures

The 24-hour fitness franchise will include both employee and member initiatives in its efforts to maintain safe and sanitized spaces.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many franchise brands to either adjust or cease operations altogether over the past two months due to local and state regulations. Workout Anytime, a fitness and wellness franchise with more than 160 units across the U.S., temporarily closed its gyms while continuing to service members by offering virtual workouts. The brand has also used this time to make sure it comes out strong on the other side of COVID-19

To that end, Workout Anytime has created a playbook to help franchisees reopen their gyms safely and respectful of social distancing guidelines. The most significant part of the reopening plan is how the brand will clean and disinfect the gyms—and keep them that way—to make sure they’re always ready for safe customer use. 

“At Workout Anytime, we take the health of our associates, members and the community as paramount to our business,” COO Mark de Gorter said. “We are following the lead of our elected officials by providing a safe and clean environment and honoring both social distancing requirements and limits to those who can enter the facility. Our cleaning and disinfecting activities not only meet the CDC requirements, but go above and beyond to meet our very strict standards for our surfaces, our equipment and general club facilities.”

The first step is to make sure clubs are continuously cleaned, sanitized and disinfected from top to bottom while they’re open, including hard surfaces, floors and equipment as well as high-touch items such as doorknobs and light switches. Everything from the tablets customers use to sign in to sinks and faucets will be cleaned and sanitized, with the recommended protocol being that they are cleaned and sanitized every hour. 

Workout Anytime is also ensuring staff members are properly briefed and trained on how to clean and disinfect spaces. Employees will be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their individual safety while on the job. This includes face masks and cloth face coverings, disposable gloves, no-touch hand sanitizer stations and, for more heavy-duty cleaning, scrubs and gowns. Gyms are encouraged to have employees wear gloves and masks while opening doors for customers and to clean door handles and glass after each wave of entry. Employees will receive cleaning checklists to help ensure thoroughness, and Workout Anytime is encouraging franchisees to use two brand-recommended specialized commercial cleaning services that are certified in both sanitizing and disinfecting prior to reopening their gyms. 

Additionally, Workout Anytime members will need to show flexibility and adaptability. For one, they should reach out to their local club and see if there is anything they need to be aware of before they enter. Some gyms, based on local ordinances, might require workout appointments and even limit the amount of time members can spend in the facility. All Workout Anytime members will be provided with disinfectant spray bottles to clean their workout stations before and after their workouts. Before entering the facility, members will have their temperatures taken and answer questions such as whether they recently had a fever and whether they’ve been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19. Since Workout Anytime franchises are locally owned and operated, both franchisees and members will need to follow any additional local and state guidelines. 

Finally, the brand will ensure signs are posted throughout all Workout Anytime facilities to remind both employees and customers of how they can help keep spaces clean and disinfected. To respect social distancing guidelines, Workout Anytime will also encourage what the brand refers to as “Social Fitnessing” by posting “Skip Me” signs on certain pieces of equipment so that customers can stay as far apart from each other as possible. Such precautions will ensure that members can focus on their health and wellness goals during this stressful time. 

“Being active is critical during times like these—the World Health Organization recommends staying active during COVID-19 as there are both physical and mental health benefits,” de Gorter said. “Now more than ever, it's important to lead a healthy lifestyle, and we're committed to providing our members with a safe and clean space to be active. After all, it’s common knowledge that the best way to avoid sickness is a strong immune system, and the best way to build your immune system is through regular exercise.”

By taking all the right precautions and encouraging both employees and customers to respect rules on cleanliness and social distancing, Workout Anytime proves itself as a safety-focused franchise that can adapt to serious situations such as COVID-19. This is an unprecedented situation, but Workout Anytime is still growing, and putting these safety systems in place will benefit the brand as it continues to open new units across the country. 

One Workout Anytime franchisee currently reopening his gym is Duane Brown, who owns and operates the brand’s Seymour, Tennessee location. He’s continuing to work with his staff members to ensure the brand’s enhanced protocols are in action every day, which includes offering clients with more hand sanitizer. 

Brown said, “We’ve implemented more strategic efforts, such as keeping track of locker room checks, making sure equipment and fixtures are sanitized every hour and equipping members with supplies they can use before and after their workouts.” 

The startup costs for a Workout Anytime franchise range from $555,500 to $996,400. The franchise fee is $35,000 for one unit and $60,000 for three units. To learn more about franchising with Workout Anytime, visit https://workoutanytimefranchise.com/.

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