The Juice Bar business is one of the fastest growing and profitable components of today's busy health club industry. Consequently, many owners and managers interested in starting a juice bar have a number of basic questions to begin their research. Is a Juice Bar Right for My Club? Every fitness club, gym and yoga studio are different, however there is a juice bar application that can be customized to every situation. For larger applications, some clubs find that a café concept is the best fit for them, while others feel that a kiosk fits their needs. Regardless, there is a customized application for every business. In short, any health club or fitness facility with members is a great candidate for a juice bar. Why Do I Need a Juice Bar? Juice bars provide an additional amenity to members and generate additional profit for the operator. More than ever, prospective members choose clubs based on the available amenities; surveys show that the availability of healthy fitness smoothies and post-workout snacks is highly valued. Time-pressed members appreciate having a healthy alternative. In addition, a healthy smoothie juice bar is an excellent source of recurring revenue. After membership dues are paid, offering "recovery shakes," or just a delicious, healthy smoothie is an excellent way to generate continuing revenue while satisfying members wants and needs. Juice bars are good for two reasons: 1. Beverage and snack sales can strengthen the bottom line. There are only a few ways to bring new revenue into your health club and selling delicious, healthy drinks does not require hard-selling to your members. 2. Juice bars help members reach fitness goals. Total fitness requires good nutrition, so members with fitness goals need healthy smoothies, juice drinks, snacks and supplements to achieve those goals. Also, they taste great, create a relaxed environment and cultivate relationships the improve member retention. Will I Have Enough Customers? Simply put: It Depends. The number of members that regularly make purchases at a juice bar varies with every club. The ratio of smoothie consumers to club members is referred to as the "Penetration Level" and factors that affect this include initial investment and ongoing labor expense. Nationally, a Penetration Level of 5% seems to be normal, however there is often no real program or focus in driving juice bar sales. Performance like this is unacceptable; there are strategies to achieve Penetration Levels of up to 25%, which is critical with a limited customer base. Do I Have the Space to Build a Juice Bar? Yes. There are many ways to introduce a juice bar from the simplest carts and kiosks to a total café build-out. Generally, all economic and space restrictions can be accommodated, including electrical and plumbing constraints. From a merchandising perspective, focus should be placed on the area between the locker rooms and the exit door. Busy members may not take the time to go out of their way to buy a healthy fitness smoothie - that is, unless it hits them in the face on the way out the door. What Kind of Capital Investment Do I Need? The capital investment required to start a juice bar business varies as much as the types of concepts themselves. From a simple countertop blender, ice machine and dry-erase menu board to a $35,000 franchise, it's best to consult with a company experienced in all facets of juice bar business and health club environments. Many prospective owners often find that the costliest option is not the best option. In addition, an experienced business consultant may uncover other factors that dramatically increase the profitability that will help the decision making process. In closing, there is a juice bar concept appropriate for every type and size of health club. Selecting a good consultant is crucial in finding the most profitable option for each facility. That company should have extensive experience in both juice bar and the fitness industry, as well as an excellent record of performance. Finally, every company of any quality should offer support before, during and after a decision is made.