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Ambitious fitness entrepreneurs join the BFT family


The UK’s fitness franchise sector is heating up, with more and more entrepreneurs turning to this proven model to achieve an ambitious growth plan. BFT is no exception as it continues to expand its presence with new passionate, motivated and committed franchisees to its UK network, all providing the best fitness training to their members.

BFT’s new Hackney franchisee owners - Emile Kerim, Frankie Nieto and David Irvine - are the latest trio to join the franchise brand, and they bring a combined 50 years of fitness experience to their new venture. Hackney’s state-of-the-art studio will be launched this autumn and will be the first of three studios they plan to open within the next five years across London.

“Having previously all worked in the fitness franchise industry together, we thought there was a real gap in the market for group training that uses scientifically validated training methodologies for its fitness programmes. And then we heard about BFT who fill that gap with proven success in its science and technology-based functional and strength-based training. We also felt that BFT had created a brand that was welcoming, inclusive, motivating, and a safe space for everyone – members and business owners alike,” explained Emile.

“Passion attracted us to BFT. As a team we are really passionate about what we do, and we soon found that BFT shared the same passion for its fitness training as us. We first heard about BFT from a former member we had trained, and once we did our research, we knew immediately that we wanted to be part of this brand and exciting expansion in the UK. The timing was perfect as we were also looking to step away from working for someone else and saw franchising as the perfect opportunity to build our own business where we could apply our skills, knowledge and experience. We also didn’t want to start a business from scratch, having had no previous experience, so this gave us the chance to invest in a proven business with a reputable global brand and ready-made strong support network.”

Frankie added: “The community and the support from the BFT community has been amazing so far - everyone wants to work together and it creates a great energy and refreshing environment. We attended an incredible six-day bootcamp in Australia and Singapore - three days operational and three days strength and conditioning – and came back buzzing and raring to go. We’re now in the full preparation stage of our launch, so it’s all hands on deck. The support we have received from BFT so far has been great, and they are really helping us get ready for our launch in September. The head office team are easy to communicate with and always on hand to help and guide us whenever we need them, from site selection, lease negotiation, and construction, to recruiting studio staff and activating the sales process and marketing strategy, when we are ready.”

Dave also believes the franchise will work well for them all in terms of their roles, capacity and current work-life balance. “Frankie has a young son he can now see regularly, and I am still able to pursue my other career in performing arts. Running your own franchise is about being part of something bigger than something you have created yourselves. The wider community is equally important, and with BFT being so new to the UK, it has given us the rare opportunity to be the third studio to open in the UK with the freshness and sensation of a new business and product.”

The three co-owners are all certified personal trainers, which will enable them to run their new studio, along with the support of a team of accredited coaches. From the outset, they will have six team members, including Frankie and Emile who will be taking most of the classes. “Having worked and lived in the area for a long time, we will have the benefit of starting with an early community, and this will give us a good head start with our membership when we launch. Much of our network in and out of the gym community is strong around the area. Our goal is to open multiple studios across London, but it is vital that we get the first one right before we then secure further sites. With our work-life balance, we also plan to offer other health and fitness opportunities that we can tie into the space, such as recovery rooms, hot and cold therapy and a coffee and smoothie bar, as an added element to our members,” added Emile.

BFT does not just offer great support to franchisees. It also aims to provide a great member experience. The brand is deeply rooted in its communities and encourages franchisees to embrace their local community as well as the BFT franchisee community. 

“I would highly recommend BFT to anyone interested in investing in a franchise. We are so excited for the journey ahead and can’t wait to open our doors to the local Hackney community. Despite everything that has happened over the past few years, the health and fitness market is booming and people are still craving group training,” concluded Emile, Frankie and Dave.

With 55,000+ members and more than 240+ studios open worldwide, BFT is an internationally recognised fitness brand that offers a community-based 50-minute functional training and strength-based program across 13 workouts. BFT uses science and technology-based training techniques to drive individual member health goals in an inclusive, coach-led group environment.

Interested and want to know more about Body Fit Training (BFT)?

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