30 GLOBAL FRANCHISE | 4.10 Ben Midgley, CEO of Crunch Franchise, details the meteoric rise of Crunch Fitness, and how the gym brand has formed such healthy relationships with its franchisees INTERVIEW “YOU'RE STRIVING FOR FAIRNESS. THAT'S THE GOAL HERE” KM: Could you give me a run-down of the Crunch Fitness brand, and your day- to-day role as CEO of Crunch Franchise? BM: We’re at about 350 clubs as an organization. Our target this year is to open about 100 new stores. The business has been growing 30 to 40 per cent year over year for about 10 years now. So it's really on a great trajectory. For my day, it's all about multi-unit management. I'll check out every club's statistics every day; every line item, in order to see what's going on at a club level. Obviously, as any CEO would, you've got to be fully coordinated with your team, whether it's the operations leader or finance or real estate or construction. KM: A lot of moving parts, it sounds like. BM: Sure, it’s balancing the needs of the business against the needs of the franchisee. You have to be mindful of both; it's a very symbiotic relationship, and you can't have one side playing favoritism over the other. Franchisees appreciate that. You're striving for fairness – that's the goal here. KM: You’ve also previously worked at Planet Fitness: is there an aspect of this industry that’s held your attention for so long? BM: I got into fitness because I'd been out of high school for a few years and I was making a couple of bad choices as a kid. Going out and having a little more fun on the weekends than I should, you know? Eventually, I just looked at myself in the mirror and I was like, "oh my God, you look terrible!" I knew I had to do something. So I started exercising and that led to INTERVIEW BY KIERAN MCLOONE