Categorized | Nutrition

Increase Health Club Profitability with Nutritional Programs

As the New Year begins, so does a new budget. For health club owners this means planning to overcome a new set of challenges. Whether it’s dealing with a difficult economy, training new staff or finding an edge over one’s competition, the name of the game is increasing profitability. One effective method used by many fitness clubs is the implementation of a nutritional program for members that use a juice bar as an anchor.

Creating a nutritional program within a health club can be challenging, but with careful planning it can be achieved. By definition, club members care about health, however they may not know how to take the next step forward, how to change their habits, or what foods to eat. Forward looking club managers should seize this opportunity to educate members and using a juice bar as a centerpiece to bring it all together makes a lot of sense.

Health club operators may find these recommendations helpful when considering the implementation of a member nutritional program:

Know Thyself – Not every fitness facility has a fully developed structure in order to adequately implement a member nutrition program. Every facility is different and manager must critically assess their abilities before moving forward.

Do Your Research – There are many companies available to assist health club operators in determining the best ways to create a nutrition program into their facility. Research should be performed to identify candidates that can assist in implementing a juice bar based nutritional program, like an experienced juice bar business consultant. Furthermore, consider visiting industry trade shows, such as the IHRSA looking for these firms.

Evaluate Members’ Needs: Provide program offerings that are consistent with what your members want. Weight loss, sports nutrition, family/child-driven programs, geriatric features, “hot” nutrition topics and disease-specific nutrition management are all popular areas of interest.

Diversify Your Offerings – Offer plans that can adapt to member needs, learning styles comfort levels and price points. While weight loss is the most common goal within the industry, members may have other goals including general wellness assessments, sports nutrition and disease management.

Energize Your Staff – Emphasize communication and training consistently. While nutritional training can be challenging for members, it can be equally difficult for staff to understand and sell. Provide regular training, explanation and sales training to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the nutritional program and how the juice bar should be involved.

Effectively Market the Program – Health clubs should get creative with marketing to get the biggest return on the investment. Science and information based flyers should be avoided; programs can be marketed by focusing on messages like “Lose the Belly Fat” versus “A Critical Evaluation of the Food Guide Pyramid.” Furthermore onsite events, like cooking demonstrations and recipe contests can be used to generate excitement and interest.

Invest in Experts – While there are many ways to limit the expense of starting a juice bar based nutrition program for a health club, skimping on expertise should not be one of them. Hiring an experienced juice bar consultant can help health clubs maximize their performance and avoid potential pitfalls.

Creating a nutritional program using a juice bar improves profitability in several ways. These include:

Improved Enrollment: Prospects see the presence of an onsite nutrition program as an amenity not offered by the competition when making a buying decision

Improved Retention: Members value the nutrition program as added support in their pursuit of their training goals. In addition, members see the juice bar as a place to socialize and enjoy a healthy snack.

Increased Sales: The direct sales of healthy fruit smoothies, snacks and related products by the juice bar is a profitable addition to a health club’s bottom line

In conclusion, health club operators interested in improving profitability should consider the development of a juice bar based nutritional program. By using these guidelines, operators can take active steps to overcome their budgetary challenges and have a profitable new year.

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