Workout Anytime Brings Hometown Model to Small Markets | Franchise News


A 24/7 exercise concept, Workout Anytime has been entering into smaller markets with their new hometown model.

The key for any business is to go where the clients are, and Workout Anytime is looking to do just that with their hometown model. A 24/7 workout concept, Workout Anytime was founded in 1999 by Steve Strickland and John Quattrocchi. Since then, they’ve grown to just under 200 locations. 

“We found in these underserved markets where there is no competition, people will drive 30 to 45 minutes just to get to a gym,” said Terri Harof, director of franchise development. “So we decided to test out going to these markets.”

Harof and the Workout Anytime team know the numbers. According to data, roughly 22 percent of the population will join a gym at some point. While looking to expand into new markets, Harof utilized software that allowed her to see competition and demographics. She also heard from franchisees about opportunities to tap into smaller markets.


Workout Anytime’s hometown model started out as an experiment but showed almost immediate success. Since then, it’s been a staple for the company.

Taking a chance, they tried a few new locations in the hometown model. 

“The response has been incredible,” said Harof. “Members don’t think twice about the drive because there’s just nowhere else to go.”

With the success of the initial locations, the new model was officially rolled out in 2022. Despite the name, Workout Anytime isn’t looking at specific towns. Instead, they’re looking at the drive time. 

“We are all about convenience,” said Harof. “We typically like opening our gyms close to where people live because that’s convenient for them.”

For franchisees, the footprint of the business is smaller with a lower cost compared to the typical model. Initial investment for a Workout Anytime is therefore a wide range, from $967,350 to $2,071,550.

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Bill Cesak and his son Bret Cesak originally planned to flip and sell gyms as they franchised. They have so far kept their hometown model in Ellijay Georgia.

Franchisee Bill Cesak has opened one of these hometown models in Ellijay, Georgia. Cesak and son, Bret Cesak, often exercised together. When his son left for college, Cesak was looking to leave his previous career, and came up with the idea of owning a gym. Since exercise was an activity both loved, it seemed like a good fit.

“We started our path wanting to open a boutique gym,” said Cesak. “And it frightened us.”

The logistics of owning a gym were the main hurdle, which is what got the two on the franchise route. After looking at several concepts, they found Workout Anytime. “We met with Steve and John, they just seemed very genuine, and we drank a bit of the Kool-Aid,” said Cesak, referring to the founders.

The duo’s first gym opened in 2016, and quickly grew to three locations with one being the hometown model. The plan was always to “flip them” and sell them, but Cesak ended up keeping the Ellijay location. 

“The small-town model is the only way I’d go into the gym business now,” he said. “I’m not afraid to compete, but it’s the small town feel that I like so much.”

Granted the model isn’t without risk. One “scary” aspect for Cesak was the fact it was a gamble at the time. Though the population within 30 minutes is 30,000 people, there was no guarantee they would choose his gym. On the flip side, the lack of competition means there are limited options for clients which mitigated this potential issue. 

“If you genuinely care about people and want to be around them,” Cesak said, “I have the perfect job.”

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