Couple declares gym franchise a perfect fit

Anthony Greenwood was already familiar with franchising when he bought his first fast food franchise. He had grown up watching his father operate a restaurant in the same chain he invested in, one the father had purchased when the boy was 8 years old.

Anthony and his wife, Gina, owned several restaurants in the chain when they began considering expanding their portfolio. They wanted to stay with franchising while considering options outside the restaurant industry.

Soon they found what they said turned out to be a perfect choice. “We are both into fitness. In fact, we met at a gym 23 years ago, so we were inspired by our own story,” Anthony said. “We already knew what we like in a gym. We like places that are clean and friendly, where the owners are available if there’s something you need to discuss with them. We also picked up on small things such as the fact that there’s no point in having televisions if the screens are so small that you can’t see them while you’re working out.”

Using what they had learned about hospitality, business management, and customer service while operating their other franchises, the Greenwoods applied their own style to gym ownership. “We didn’t want one of the big box type gyms with huge rooms of equipment where you rarely see the same person twice. We wanted an ‘everybody knows your name’ kind of facility,” Anthony said. “Workout Anytime has a different vibe from the big box gyms. It is just what we were looking for.”

In September 2020, the Greenwoods purchased their first Workout Anytime location. “It was right in the middle of the pandemic, so we weren’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, the Workout Anytime model worked well during the health emergency when people wanted to avoid crowded gyms. Many people found they like what Workout Anytime offers and have stayed even after it was safer to go to big gyms,” Gina said.

The Workout Anytime model allows members to come at any time of the day or night and workout, using their own key to the facility. “It’s perfect for people who need to fit their exercise program into a busy schedule that may include not only work but also childcare and other considerations,” Anthony said. “We like that Workout Anytime is committed to helping people reach their fitness goals no matter where they are in their journey.”

The Workout Anytime on Lavista Road in Decatur is the newest acquisition for the Greenwoods, bringing their total to seven. “We really didn’t expect to have seven locations in three years,” Anthony said, adding that their locations include Douglasville, where Workout Anytime started in the 1970s.

The Greenwoods are such successful owners that corporate often contacts them when an Atlanta area facility becomes available. The couple say that when they acquire a facility that’s already operating—as they did with the Decatur location—they learn what people like about it and what they would like to see changed before they start upgrading. “Sometimes we go there and workout, chatting with other customers without letting them know we are the new owners, so we get honest feedback,” Anthony continued.

He said the Decatur Workout Anytime was an established business in an established community. “We didn’t want to change the way they were doing things unless we could make it better. Often the facilities we acquire are older, so we immediately look at such things as upgrading the bathrooms, but we don’t make major changes until we get to know the people and what they like.”

Although Workout Anytime is a chain, each location has its own character, according to Anthony. “Each one feels like a neighborhood gym, a place the community can be proud of. The demographics may be different. For example, it may be near a senior community or a high school or a community of young working adults,” he said.

“Choosing Workout Anytime turned out to be a good business decision,” Anthony said. “We wouldn’t trade it for another fitness franchise.”

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