I agree and we actually have the same policy in place where I work. We’ve also added that here must be 3+ people within 5-minutes of class starting to hold class. It truly doesn’t make the time for an instructor worth it, with only 1 or 2 people. Otherwise, it could be considered a “personal training session” or “small group session”- which isn’t what the class is! The policy is in place for a reason, stand by it!
Do you have the ability to have clients pre-reserve for classes? If your classes are regularly that small, you might set it up that way. One of the places where I work, if minimum attendance (2) hasn’t been reached by 9:00pm the evening before the class, the class gets cancelled and an email goes out to the participant and the instructor so they know not to come in.
Although it’s not financially feasible for you to pay someone to teach for an hour if there are only one or two participants, if you’ve made an instructor drive all the way to your facility, then you may be legally obligated to pay them for at least a portion of the time.
Members are allowed to sign up one week prior to class, we cancel two hours before if we have 2, there must be 3. A couple of the instructors were willing to teach for 1-2 because they feel if its on the schedule it should be taught, and that its disappointing to be looking forward to a class & its cancelled. I get that, but they don’t get the financial part of it! I am a small business not a LA Fitness Club.so I came up with paying half the hourly rate.
I think I should just stick to my policy period.
Is this an open class to all members as a drop in? Or is it a pre-register class that has a separate fee? If it is a class offered to everyone who has a membership, then the class should be held regardless of attendance. If it is a separate class paid for only by those taking the class, then you should have a preset date by which a minimum number of people must enroll and pay for the class for it to be held for the session. You can’t grow a member drop in class without some small classes. If people can’t count on the class being held, they won’t show up. I would let the class run for a month or two. If you can’t get more people signed up, take the class off the schedule. I would try to get member feedback on the best time to offer the class. Not knowing more about your facility and how many classes you can offer at any given time.
I’m just seeing your follow-up information.
A 2-hour cancel is a little short notice for both the instructor and the 2 people who signed up if you need 3. The instructor, with a little more notice, could sub somewhere else or make plans. The class attendee who gets cancelled on last minute I think would also be ticked off.
I already posted that the pilates studio where I works cancels between 9:00pm and 10:00pm the night before so that instructors know they have that class off and members can move into another class (we offer several throughout the day), so I won’t rehash that. I have a different idea.
A different place where I taught had a policy similar to your “paying half” idea. As a personal trainer, I’m expensive, and a really small class with me gives a client more attention. So when my class was 2 people or fewer, they only got a 30 minute session instead of a full hour. They could either book and redeem two classes to get a full hour class, or I could work the heck out of them for 30 minutes. That way, they paid full price for the class, got a high-valued class with great attention, but the company didn’t have to pay me for more than 1/2 hour. I wonder if that might work for you. The only difference in what you are doing, I think, is that the instructors would also work for 1/2 hour instead of the full hour, so they’re not getting penalized by your club’s small attendance.