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Crunch Fitness Taps Pizza Hut Exec To Drive Franchise Growth
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Crunch Fitness Taps Pizza Hut Exec To Drive Franchise Growth

Crunch Fitness has named Chequan Lewis president as the fitness franchise eyes its “biggest year” yet

Crunch Fitness has appointed Chequan Lewis as president of its high-value, low-price (HVLP) fitness empire, while its CEO of franchising, Ben Midgley, will transition to Crunch’s board of directors.

The C-suite moves come as Crunch enjoys a high growth phase, closing in on three million members while being on pace to have over 500 club locations this year. The “No Judgements” gym brand recently secured the top fitness franchise spot on Entrepreneur’s 2024 Franchise 500 list and 29th spot overall.

Lewis, a Howard University and Harvard Law School graduate, joins Crunch Fitness after serving as the chief operating officer and first chief equity officer of Pizza Hut. In his new role, he will direct operations for owned and franchised businesses, and develop growth strategies while working with Crunch executives and franchise owners. The new Crunch president is also a former business litigator and Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Chequan Lewis (credit: Crunch Fitness)

“I’m fired up to join the Crunch team on our journey to deliver legendary experiences for our Members, Gym Teams, and Franchisees,” Lewis said. “As a lifelong fitness enthusiast with a passion for franchising, coming to Crunch feels like a homecoming. I’m excited to grow the Crunch legend alongside a talented team and a committed franchise network.”

Fast Franchise Growth

Jim Rowley, CEO of Crunch Worldwide, remarked that Chequan’s strategic mindset and proven track record will bring Crunch to new heights — on top of recently sharing with Athletech News that 2024 will be the biggest year yet for the fitness franchise, with plans to increase its growth rate by 20 to 25%.

”Chequan brings a wealth of experience and has delivered tremendous results in his previous roles,” Rowley said. “We look forward to working together to build on the strong foundation at Crunch and drive our company’s success into the future.”

Midgley will settle into his new role on Crunch’s board of directors in mid-March while remaining  “integral in franchisee relations,” according to the fitness franchise. Under Midgley’s leadership since 2009, Rowley noted that Crunch has grown to become a leading fitness franchise and one of the fastest-growing brands in the space.

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“With Ben joining the board, our franchise partners will continue to have a dedicated advocate and liaison to represent their needs across Crunch’s business strategies,” Rowley said. “This is the right move at the right time as we gear up for even greater growth in 2024 and beyond.”

Big Demand for Big Box Gyms

There is no doubt that boutique fitness has had a significant impact on fitness consumers in the post-pandemic era, allowing them to tap into specific training modalities of their choosing and participate in group fitness sessions, but big box gyms have been flexing their muscles, showing the timeless strength of the standard gym experience. 

Planet Fitness, which just launched its own media network, is nearing 20 million members and has introduced a new growth model for franchisees, believing it can hit 4,000 stores in time. Anytime Fitness is also experiencing demand and recently scored a win by partnering with Apple to boost member engagement. 

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