City Cave’s winning combination: health and the feelgood factor

Sarah Stowe

Have you heard of City Cave? This franchise newbie is tapping into the feelgood experience while adding the opportunity for some therapeutic treatment as well.

And despite the Covid-19-induced restrictions, the centres have been up and running over winter.

David Wilkinson, franchise support at City Cave, says “We got our centres open nice and quickly after lockdown. We were one of the first non-essential services to open.”

A pre-sale campaign helped promote the business – just in the two days prior to reopening City Cave’s franchisees booked $400,000 in sales.

A large part of the business is the floatation pool, which didn’t fit into any existing health guidelines. 

“We had to self-assess,” says David “and spoke with health departments. In a float pool there are 400kg of magnesium salts, so it’s hard for bacteria to grow. We use a chlorine-like chemical, so all that is ok.”

City Cave's winning combination | Inside Franchise Business
City Cave’s individual sauna | Inside Franchise Business

And while for most of us right now the sauna and steam room experience is a distant memory, because City Cave provides a solitary sauna experience, franchisees have been able to operate this popular heat treatment in line with Covid-19 hygiene guidelines.

“We talked a lot on social media about what we were doing because of course we were cleaning before it was cool. We’re doing all the hard work and so we have to tell our customers.”

Wilkinson says the brand’s health focus is a big selling point.

”We’re getting a lot of people seeing a real opportunity in the health and wellness space. Not all of us are always health conscious but when a global pandemic strikes, this is where it’s put up and shut up. Health could make difference.

“I know personally since joining City Cave I’ve dropped 15 kilos, having a sauna three times a week, now I’m in the best shape I’ve been for 20 years.”

Why I love City Cave

New franchise owner Damian Coppolecchia is a seasoned franchisee, currently running several gyms as well as looking to expand his City Cave business.

“I did like the concept, it was something that caught my eye, something on the rise. It’s an easy sell.”

Damian was already familiar with a membership structure through his gyms, so City Cave’s model of both casual visits and a client membership made sense.

“Practitioners can rent rooms but our main business is float, sauna and massage,” says Damian.

He is impressed with the simplicity of the City Cave system, which is still in the early stages as a franchise. 

“It’s exciting to be in a brand in the first stages, they’ve got pretty big plans.”

Find out more about City Cave here or download your FREE copy of the Inside Franchise Business digital magazine to read the full article, and find more franchise studies.