Briefly glance at any college or olympic crew team and you’ll come to an easy and universal conclusion: rowers are in amazing shape. Big, buff, and toned, these athletes embody many of the fitness goals that average janes and joes have aspired to for years. Enter Row House, the fitness franchise that prides itself on getting in shape and forging a strong community bond in the process.
What is Row House and How Did It Start?
Established in 2014, Row House has encouraged and motivated members to push their limits and have fun with its innovative fitness model. At the very core of Row House is the idea of the crew. In a boat crew, teammates have to work together in harmony to achieve their collective goal of winning the race. By pushing each other through motivation and kinship, the crew fosters a sense of family. Row House seeks to change bodies and establish this collective sense of community in all of its many locations.
Eric Von Frohlich founded the innovative fitness brand in 2014 with his wife and business partner Debra. As veteran entrepreneurs, the Von Frohlichs have decades of experience in the establishment and operation of fitness studios including RoadFit, EVF Performance, and Practice Class. Like any great entrepreneur, the Von Frohlichs understood the need for more community based fitness franchises.
Due to the advent of social media, millennials continue to crave a sense of community in greater numbers than prior generations. As such, Eric and Debra established Row House, the first boutique rowing studio in New York City. Debra has provided her own expertise to the brand.
As a graduate of Goldman Sachs’ 10KSB program, a program that helps small business owners and entrepreneurs propel their business forward, Debra has consulted for numerous fitness brands and has a strong background in sales and marketing.
Why Is Rowing Such a Great Workout?
There are generally considered to be two different ways to exercise the body: cardio and hypertrophy. While running and biking is a great way to exercise the heart and keep blood pressure stable, too much cardio can add wear and tear to the body. Hypertrophy training, lifting weights in an attempt to build muscle, is the ideal method (especially for men) to build muscle but lacks the benefits of cardio. Why not combine both?
Rowing combines a heart-pounding workout with an excellent way to build muscle throughout the body. While it’s a common misconception that rowing only works the arms, according to the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA), rowing works 86 percent of the muscles in the body and is largely leg and core dominated.
Furthermore, unlike certain calisthenic workouts that rely on exercises that put a lot of stress on joints and tendons, rowing is relatively low impact. Rowing is even sometimes used as a way to exercise for those with early stage arthritis.
Finally, rowing is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular and pulmonary function. During a rowing session, your heart constantly needs to pump vital nutrients throughout your circulatory system and the lungs must expand their capacity to ensure your blood receives enough oxygen. As you can see, rowing makes the body stronger in more ways than one!
An Expansion Effort In Full Swing:
Since its humble start in 2014, Row House has exploded in popularity and locations across the country. At present, there are over 300 Row House locations in operation across 24 states. Backed by fitness franchise expert Xponential Fitness, Row House decided to go the franchise route in 2018 with the goal of opening 100 locations each year by 2022, a goal that the brand has hit every year so far.
Why are Entrepreneurs Pulling for the Row House Franchise?
1. Established Market Leader
The Row House franchise is an established market leader in a growing yet underserved market. This gives the franchise great brand recognition and a solid reputation among fitness enthusiasts all across the United States.
2. Extensive Support
In addition to robust training offered by Row House, the company also offers its franchisees extensive and ongoing corporate support that include lease negotiation and build-out, marketing and advertising, sales support, recruitment help, and much more. This assistance helps give franchisees the tools they need to succeed in the long-term.
3. Successful Business Model
The proven Row House franchise business model allows for great scalability, giving entrepreneurs the independence to determine their own success. Franchisees can also tap into the company’s relationships with various vendors to have the supplies they need at their fingertips.
4. Potential for Revenue Growth
With its recurring revenue model, accessible entry costs, and potential for high revenue, Row House franchisees have the potential for great revenue growth down the line.
5. Great Opportunity for Fitness-Minded Entrepreneurs
For entrepreneurs interested in the health, fitness, and sports industries, the Row House franchise offers a great opportunity in a growing sector. The healthy lifestyle trend that many Americans have increasingly embraced in recent years also bodes well for the growth potential of the franchise.
Initial Franchise Fee: $60,000
Per the Row House 2020 FDD, the initial franchise fee to become a franchisee with Row House is $60,000. The fee, due upon signing and non-refundable, applies to studios that are both startups and conversions.
Monthly Royalty Fee: 7%
According to Row House’s 2020 FDD, the franchisee is required to pay a monthly royalty fee of 7% of their gross sales payable on a weekly basis.
Estimated Initial Investment Cost: $276,600 – $499,500
|Name of Fee||Low||High|
|Initial Franchise Fee||$60,000||$60,000|
|Real Estate and Building (3 months rent)||$18,000||$42,000|
|Signs, Seating, Equipment, and Decor||$12,000||$12,000|
|Licenses and Permits||$0||$5,000|
|Professional Fees – Legal||$4,500||$4,500|
|Lease Related Payments||$2,300||$3,400|
|Travel and Living Expenses While Training||$500||$3,000|
|Net Leasehold Improvements||$35,000||$158,000|
|Furnitures, Fixtures, and Related Supplies||$21,000||$28,000|
|Additional Funds (3 months)||$10,000||$40,000|
Average Revenue Per Location: $703,922
Per the 2020 FDD for Row House, the franchise’s average revenue for a single studio location is $703,922. It’s important to note that this is only an average figure and not an income guarantee in any way.
Navigate Your Way to Becoming Your Own Boss with Row House
As the popularity of rowing continues to grow, Row House appears well-positioned to capitalize on this trend. As more and more people try to get in shape and live healthy lifestyles, Row House will likely benefit for years to come.
For health and fitness-minded entrepreneurs, Row House potentially offers a great opportunity given its growth in markets all across the United States, position as a market leader, and accessible entry costs. With all of its advantages, it’s easy to see why more and more entrepreneurs are pulling for this franchise more than ever!
For more information about Row House, check out their client page here!