10 Years of Changing Lives
After overcoming his own weight-related issues in 2004 and realizing there is a demand and need for a program that works, Founder and CEO Edward Kaloust decided to set up his own weight loss brand. Medi-Weightloss®, based on diligent medical evidence tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient was born. Ten years later, the company is still going strong and still embodies its original slogan The One That Works!®. With over 80 locations across the United States, and as far away as Dubai, the company is continuing its growth while helping millions shed unwanted pounds.
Senior Vice President of Business Development Andrew Cox explains that since establishing in 2005, the company’s leadership has had a goal to grow. They made the decision to begin franchising and haven’t looked back.
“It’s the 10th anniversary of our founding,” said Cox. “We started out licensing our business model and then we transitioned to a franchise.Franchising has helped us grow rapidly while still maintaining our Brand’s integrity.”
“We have 81 locations in 24 states, and five more due to open in the next few months,“ said Cox. “Our pipeline of potential new franchises is the largest it’s been in the past five years. We hope to reach 100 units in 2016.”
As mentioned, the entire program is based on evidence-based medicine and clinical research in order to provide the most effective weight loss solution to patients. The One That Works!® is a statement which Medi-Weightloss® holds as a point of pride, along with an incredible number of patients who have seen results. It’s clear Medi-Weightloss® is an industry leader.
“We’re proud to report that our patients have lost nearly three million pounds,” says Kaloust.”Our program has helped change lives of over 200,000 people through weight loss.Benefits of weight loss range from increased confidence and more energy to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.”
100 Calories or Less
As the Medi-Weightloss® brand evolves with more locations, the company has also been looking to expand its product offerings. Already boasting an impressive selection of meals, snacks and supplements, Kaloust says developing more variety for their patients is a top priority.
“An important initiative for us is to introduce more products and more supplements,” Kaloust said. “Medi-Weightloss® is not a meal replacement program, but we’re moving towards a snack replacement program.”
“Our patients really want something that’s easy to eat while they’re on the go, when they’re hungry and want something quick, or to fight cravings,” he added.
A rising trend in health food and dietary supplements, protein bars have become a staple of the industry, and Medi-Weightloss® looks to stay ahead of their competition with their line of low calorie-high protein bars.
“One of our most popular products is our protein bars,” he said. “They are 100 calories with at least 10 grams of protein and they taste great! Our patients love their portability.”
The 100 calorie approach comes from the top. Kaloust has put in place an initiative to keep calories low, protein high, and keep Medi-Weightloss®’ protein bars and snacks above the competition.
“I have a special initiative to keep all of our snack products at 100 calories or less,” explained Kaloust. “That really keeps us competitive; most other protein bars have at least 180 to 250 calories to get the same amount of protein we offer for 100 calories.”
Following an aggressive schedule, Medi-Weightloss® is anticipating new products – including new flavors- every quarter. A sample of current flavors include: Peanut Butter Temptation, Chocolate Celebration, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Cinnamon Pecan protein bars, and Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Banana Cream, and Red Velvet shakes. There’s a flavor for every palate.
“We’re hoping to introduce two new products per quarter,” Kaloust said. “This could mean a new flavor- we have some of the highest quality protein shakes in the industry and we just launched our Red Velvet flavor. New products also include healthy, low calorie and protein packed versions of foods like chocolate, potato stew, oatmeal, Sloppy Joe, and soups.”
Setting Up Shop
Opening up a franchise is a task which requires dedication, passion, and a strong support system. To help franchisees set up shop, Medi-Weightloss® provides a guide who will aide in every step of the process. Vice President of Franchise Development Brett Stewart knows his role plays an essential part in the ongoing success of a new franchise.
“My goal is to steer the franchisee in the right direction and help them make smart decisions, ensuring a smooth start-up. This includes ensuring they have proper site selection and helping them set up the business and staff, build-out and training,” Stewart said. Stewart lends his expertise, often acts as a problem-solver, and informs the corporate team of status updates and intricacies of the new franchise.
Post-opening, each franchise is assigned a Performance Consultant to ensure all System Standards are upheld, issues are resolved, opportunities identified, and that the brand is expanding in a positive manner within the community.
“The Performance Consultant will work very closely with the franchisee to make sure the staff is staying true to our Brand promise: administering a medical weight loss program that produces industry-leading results coupled with an outstanding customer experience,” explains Stewart.
Opening a Medi-Weightloss® business will naturally generate a buzz in the community. Getting the word out frequently and drawing in new patients can be challenging to franchisees with limited marketing experience. To help their franchisees overcome this, Medi-Weightloss® has a marketing department which meets the marketing needs of each location, including fully customizable television ads and brochures.
“We have a marketing team that delivers best practices, manages promotions and discounts, and gives advice on local marketing plans. Our graphics department creates everything that they need in-house,” says First Vice President of Marketing Rhandi Emanouil. “From something as small as a business card or brochure, to a professionally produced, high-quality 30 second TV commercial, everything our franchisees need to promote their business is at their fingertips.”
With 2015 marking the 10th anniversary of the company’s founding, there’s no better time to celebrate the history and achievements of Medi-Weightloss®. According to Emanouil, there will be multiple company-wide events to do just that, while still keeping their focus firmly on the road ahead.
“We have a system-wide meeting planned for fall 2015,” she said. “The event will blend training with celebration; we’re going to have a big awards ceremony and lots of motivational segments to kick off the New Year.”
Looking ahead, there’s no doubt that 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting and busy year for Medi-Weightloss®. As a result of listening to what their patients want, the company is currently testing a brand new expansion to their program utilizing snack replacement products.
“We’re in the pilot phase of a new meal plan component of our program called Medi-Weightloss Signature Menus™. It adds an effortless element while keeping true to our core which is individualized medical weight loss,” Kaloust said. “Our patients want a structured solution that takes the guesswork out of meal planning. Medi-Weightloss Signature Menus™ uses more of our products to replace breakfast and snacks, and they cook their own lunch and dinner. In January 2016 it will be available in most, if not all, of our locations.”
Their main objective for 2016 is to expand the Medi-Weightloss® brand and continue changing lives across the United States and internationally. With several locations nearing their grand openings, and a number of franchises currently in development, the company is poised to reach their target for new locations this year.
“We’re excited about the level of interest our franchise concept is generating, we hope to open up about 10 locations per year,” Kaloust explained.
“We’re on track for that, the past six months have been dynamic in terms of franchise development and sales,” Kaloust continued. “We are in the business of changing lives of our patients. That’s really our main goal: to expand the number of people we serve.”