24/7 Fitness – Own a Fitness Franchise

06/09/2018 08:00 | Start a business

24 7 fitness franchises UK

If you’re looking to start a fitness franchise that attracts a diverse crowd and provides users with all the flexibility they need, a 24/7 gym may be the business for you. With demand for 24/7 fitness services at an all-time high, there's plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals to take advantage of. Here, we take a look at the 24/7 fitness industry, examine two of the top 24 hour franchises, and try to explain what has caused this particular sector to grow so rapidly.

24 Hour Fitness

The fitness industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the franchising sector. In the UK, it is estimated that one in seven people have a gym membership and that this figure is only due to increase. The entire sector is worth approximately £4.9 billion and consists of over 7,000 gyms. There is no noticeable slow down in growth, and most experts anticipate that the industry can expect to continue expanding and reaching a more significant number of consumers for the foreseeable future.

One of the critical areas in which the fitness industry has experienced an explosion of services is the 24/7 fitness sector. As consumers have demanded greater flexibility from service providers, fitness franchises have responded by opening a large number of 24/7 gyms. Defined by increased automation and a low-cost approach, these gyms are generally stripped back and slimmed down, allowing them to charge less, stay open longer, and still make a profit.

However, not every franchise does the 24/7 gym well. Some are far more successful than others. So, what makes a successful 24/7 gym? Our two examples should provide some insight into how those at the top of their game operate.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness is one of the most recognised 24/7 fitness brands in the UK. With 140 franchise units already in operation across the country, the franchisor hopes to grow to at least 400 gyms by 2020. This means that there's plenty of opportunity for anyone wishing to become an Anytime Fitness franchisee.

Founded in the US, the entire franchise network encompasses 4,000 gyms and 4 million members. The franchise also boasts an incredible growth rate, with a new member joining on average every 3 minutes. This rapid expansion is one of the most impressive aspects of the Anytime Fitness business model.

Franchisees benefit from a healthy work/life balance that's based around the idea that they can choose how much time they wish to spend on-site or running the day to day operations of the franchise. Training and support are provided on an on-going basis, and intuitive digital systems ensure franchisees can work remotely if they want.

The total investment required is approximately £350,000, with the franchise fee set at £36,000. A large percentage of this can be financed via major lenders, and the franchise is willing to assist in crafting a thorough business plan for the application process.

Snap Fitness

Established in 2003, Snap Fitness began franchising in 2004 and has since grown to encompass a global franchise network of 2,000 franchise units. It specialises in providing a high-quality workout environment for those that want to be able to fit their fitness routine in around a busy schedule.

The gym operates on a key card system, by which members can swipe in and out whenever they want, reducing staffing costs and ensuring the gym can be accessed at any time. The franchise has won several awards and regularly makes it into the Top Global Franchises list. Its founder, Peter Taunton was also awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010.

To become a Snap Fitness franchisee, you'll need an initial investment of between £115,000 and £350,000. The precise amount will depend upon location, the size of the gym, and fitting costs. Franchisees must also have a net worth of £192,000 and access to liquid capital amounting to £57,000. Unusually, Snap Fitness charge a flat royalty fee. This is set at £400 a month. Franchisees are also expected to contribute £106 a month to the franchise's marketing budget.

What’s the appeal of 24/7 fitness?

When it comes to determining the appeal of 24 7 fitness facilities, there are many things to consider. First and foremost, 24/7 facilities cater to those that lead a busy, modern lifestyle. This is an enormous market. The vast majority of people residing in larger cities lead lives that are dominated by work, with too few hours to fit in all the things they would like to do. They need fitness facilities that offer flexibility above all else.

It’s also important to recognise the way in which 24/7 fitness facilities have benefitted from the boom in low-cost fitness facilities. As a growing number of gyms have offered their members ‘no contract’ memberships at low monthly rates, they’ve been able to tap into an entirely new market. This type of fitness facility appeals to those who aren't sure that the gym is for them or that don't want to spend a considerable amount in case they use it less than expected.

Finally, 24/7 gyms are also increasingly popular due to the diverse array of activities and exercises offered. Programmes like the Les Mills BodyPump and BodyCombat, alongside more traditional spinning and boxercise classes, have made gyms a more sociable place to be. As younger users abandon conventional social venues and look for alternative ways to meet new people and find a welcoming, close-knit community, gyms are stepping in to fill the void.


24/7 gyms have experienced enormous growth for several reasons. However, the primary source of their success is their ability to provide users with a convenient and flexible service that allows them to fit exercise around their busy schedules. Two franchises have done this particularly well. Both Snap Fitness and Anytime Fitness understand that a 24-hour service depends on automation, streamlining services, and getting customers through the door. If you’re looking for a fitness franchise that gets the basics right, they’re the best businesses around.

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