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Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.74 – Planet Fitness – US

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Products & Services: Fitness club

Number of Locations: 548

Total Investment: $672.59K – 1.65M

Founded: 1992

Began Franchising: 2003

About Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness got its start in 1992 when Michael Grondahl acquired a struggling gym. He reduced membership prices to compete against better-known brands and focused on serving occasional or first-time gym users. Every Planet Fitness location holds a pizza night for members once a month, as well as a bagel morning, and Tootsie Rolls are available at all times. Each gym also has a “Lunk Alarm" to discourage behaviors such as grunting and dropping weights.

Franchise Units

2012 514 0 0 34
2011 416 0 0 18
2010 336 0 0 17
2009 267 0 0 11
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $672,600 – $1,658,000
Franchise Fee: $10,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable

Net Worth: $1,300,000
Liquid Cash Available: $400,000


40% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (70% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 2 weeks. At franchisee’s location: as needed.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, Regional advertising,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #74 (2013), #76 (2012), #81 (2011), #157 (2010), #116 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #25 (2013), #21 (2012), #34 (2011), #41 (2010), #47 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #68 (2012), #68 (2011),
Planet Fitness Ypsilanti Twp.JPG

A Planet Fitness location in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan in April 2010.
Trading name Planet Fitness
Type Private
Industry Exercising, Health Clubs
Founded 1992
Number of locations 642

Planet Fitness is an American franchise of fitness centers based in Newington, New Hampshire.[1] Each gym features exercise equipment and personal trainers to assist its members. It markets itself as a “Judgement Free Zone", though somewhat controversially it has rules in place to discourage bodybuilders, power-lifters and “grunters".[2] Planet Fitness opened its 500th location on December 27, 2012.[3]

As of January 2012 it is the national gym sponsor of NBC‘s reality show The Biggest Loser. The contestants on the show will work out on Planet Fitness equipment while at The Biggest Loser Ranch in Calabasas, California, and then at Planet Fitness gyms near their homes, working with Planet Fitness personal trainers.


A Planet Fitness location inRevere, Massachusetts in November 2012.

The fitness club was founded in 1992, when Michael Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym and dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands. The low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members rather than more experienced members.

There are eleven corporately owned gyms, with the rest being independently owned and operated.[5] The franchise is concentrated mostly in the Northeast, but it is a nationwide franchise.[6] The Franchise has been added to the Inc. 500 list.[7]


The chain was the subject of controversy in 2006 because of a New York Times article[8] describing the public cancellation of a patron’s membership (for “grunting") at their Wappingers Falls, New York location. The event resulted in the club calling the police on the member, and later a lawsuit for defamation on the part of the ex-member, which was ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.[citation needed]



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