Q&A with Andrew Alfano of Retro Fitness
Chief Executive Officer
Celebrating its 15-year anniversary, Retro Fitness, a leader in the High Value/Low Price sector of fitness is a franchise organization with 120 gyms open or in development in 12 different states. Andrew Alfano took the helm in 2019 and quickly restructured the organization and transformed the brand. With a new executive team from brands like Planet Fitness, Golds, Louis Vuitton and more, Retro Fitness has been repositioned for rapid growth. Today Retro Fitness offers investors and franchisees a full suite of world-class support services including real estate site selection and negotiation, full construction. management, training, in house marketing agency, accounting services and operations support all to deliver a simple turnkey and operational solution.
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What is Retro Fitness doing to build the value of the brand?
Retro Fitness is building a brand that resonates with members, not only the three or four hours a week we host them inside of clubs, but also the rest outside of the 4 walls of our club. While “Retro” in our brand name stands for a timeless approach to exercise, health, and fitness, we are leading the way in our industry through innovation and by crafting a brand that consumers want to belong to – well beyond the gym.
Reengineered Clubs “RF21” Retro Fitness of the 21st Century:
We have completely reengineered the interior of our clubs to be more member-centric and provide a one-of-a-kind fitness and social experience. The lobby of our clubs are focused on building the fitness community with a “second living room” approach that makes plugging and playing during visits to the club simple and encouraging. The open lobby area allows our personal trainers to help respond to member questions in a conversational way creates new relationships. In addition, the lobby includes Retro Fitness’s Pro Shop full of gear and merchandise, our Retro Blends Smoothie Bar, along with coolers and supplements. The atmosphere is dynamic and for a fantastic member experience.
Outside the 4 Walls of the Clubs:
Outside of the four walls of the club, Retro Fitness has created a unique technology footprint through its mobile application. A truly functional and engaging system that includes touchless check in, a rewards system, endless amounts of challenges amongst members, and showcases a variety of “Hulu-esq” seasons and episodes covering nutrition, healthy cooking, and mental health. Unique collaboration with globally recognized authorities in their space, like Sadhguru, the world’s most prominent Yogi, shares his perspective on anxiety and depression; Culinary Institute of America Professional Chef Elizabeth Makos brings healthy cooking classes in her on-app show “Retro Fitness Kitchen”; Marita Moses, a leading nutritionist who hosts a show about how diet can impact member lives, and more.
At home solutions and Cobra:
Retro Fitness Cobra, an at home cycling program, brings fitness to member homes with world-class virtual classes hosted by our actual training team. Now members can ride with a virtual instructor, and then come to a club and take a class with their favorite Cobra instructor. The Cobra program includes a full Ultimate Gym membership, virtual classes, and a commercial grade stationary bike, all starting from $72 per month.
How did Retro Fitness support their franchisees during the pandemic?
As a world-class Franchisor, we are accustomed to communicating first and often with our Franchisees. During the Pandemic, we remained effective by scheduling weekly communications with our Franchisees to discuss the pandemic. Not only did our seasoned executive team lead with best-in-class business practices, but they also reached out to all franchisees and led with empathy which turned into major decisions like waiving, not deferring, all fees for Franchisees during any closure periods. Franchisees were also asked to stop spending on marketing immediately, drilling down on the importance of preserving cash for a future reopening.
During that time, knowing that the Franchisees would come out weakened by harmful government closures, Retro Fitness created an in-house marketing agency to deliver targeted local marketing ads one to three miles around each club. Join Now Media shares vital business insights with Franchisees monthly and delivers social media, pay-per-click on Google/Bing, display advertising, Connected TV ads on Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV, Over-the-top ads on platforms like Hulu and Prime, just to name a few. As a result of Join Now Media’s low cost of leads and acquisition, today more than 50% of the system uses Join Now Media.
As a responsible Franchisor, Retro Fitness’s CEO, Andrew Alfano, spent countless hours connecting with high level public officials in our key markets lobbying for fitness industry rights and in particular pressing for relief for our Franchisees. Andrew was invited to speak before the State Senate Committee in New York and the State of Florida asked Andrew to appear in as a partner in a government sponsored commercial with over $3MM behind it across numerous states.
Can you share any growth initiatives Retro Fitness may have for the next 5 years?
A Company with a Purpose:
Retro Fitness has incredible growth planned for its system over the next 5 years, and beyond. One specific initiative turned our company from a gym to a global brand with a serious purpose and commitment. Retro Fitness today is a company with a purpose. From this Project LIFT was created with the purpose of lifting Black and Brown people’s spirits, and communities.
We will be incentivizing investors with waived franchise fees and 50% off royalties in year 1 for all locations. More importantly, Retro Fitness brand will be donating a portion of all collected royalties, for the life of the business. Over the life of the business this could means millions of dollars to local communities.
Retro Fitness will change the way companies do business:
We’ve recently hit the ground running with our first Project LIFT investment group who have committed to 3 Area Development Agreements in Texas and Southeast Florida totaling 65 locations, on their way to 100.
Andrew Alfano of Retro Fitness
Alfano enjoyed an impressive 16 year career with Starbucks Coffee Company. Joining in the late 90’s, he rose to Senior Vice President, U.S. Business where he was ultimately accountable for over $3.5B in revenue. Alfano helped architect the company’s strategic growth in some of the higher profile, complex urban markets, specifically the flagship market of New York. Alfano duplicated his success as President and COO of The Learning Experience, a highly rated Academy of Early Education. Under Alfano’s leadership, the company grew from 130 locations to over 450 open or in development, including Europe. As CEO of Retro Fitness, Alfano’s latest challenge provides him the opportunity to build another brand, but now in an industry he is passionate about. In short order, Alfano is already seen as a leader in the industry and he aims to position Retro Fitness as the leader in the high value, low price Fitness Industry
Contact Andrew : firstname.lastname@example.org