More and more American’s are making health and fitness a priority. The trend is evident everywhere from the new products being placed on grocery store shelves to the links we click most online.
Maybe that’s why it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Entrepreneur’s 2014 Franchise 500 list ranks Anytime Fitness as the number one franchise in America.
Beating out big names like Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-Eleven, Anytime Fitness moved up five places from their number six ranking last year, when it also ranked at number 10 on Entrepreneur’s list of top franchises in the entire world.
The company began franchising in 2002 and now has more than 1,800 units in the U.S. alone, plus several hundred more worldwide. Another 1,500 units are expected to open over the next five years.
Much of the appeal towards Anytime Fitness comes from the fact that all of its locations are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Unlimited access plus generally low-cost membership fees make it an ideal option for time-strapped exercisers who don’t need extra fitness frills like group classes or smoothie bars.
At the end of last year, the fitness franchise came in at number 20 in our reader ranked list of the 31 best gyms in America. Of course, Entrepreneur’s report shows that the gym is making more than just its members happy.
CEO Chuck Runyon is adamant about supporting his franchisees both in and outside of the workplace; Anytime Fitness Franchisees have access to classes about everything from gardening to couponing and relationship building to financial planning.
“Our top priorities are family, health, wealth and safety. Our franchisees improve their health, they feel better, they become better spouses, and they go to work every day and improve themselves. It's very cool," Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon told Entrepreneur.
Other health and fitness brands that made the top 100 cut on Entrepreneur's list include GNC (number 28), Jazzercise (number 42), and Snap Fitness (number 44).