SAN ANTONIO, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Massage Heights, a leader of professional, affordable and convenient therapeutic massage and facial services, announced today it awarded a franchise agreement to industry veteran Raj Patel to open 35 Retreats in the Chicago market over the next seven years — the brand's first locations in Illinois. The development deal is part of Massage Heights' plans for aggressive nationwide franchise expansion following an incredibly strong year of growth in 2015 where the company reported $86.4 million in revenue and an 82-percent growth rate over the last three years.
Patel, who will kick-start the brand's growth efforts in the Midwest with his business partner Jay Punukollu, brings nearly a decade of experience to Massage Heights and is a well-respected multi-unit operator within the franchise industry. He's owned a variety of franchises throughout his career including Dunkin Donuts, McAlister's Deli, Tide Dry Cleaning and The Tilted Kilt.
"We're riding the wave of momentum as we continue to grow the Massage Heights brand nationwide, and we're thrilled to share such exciting development news so early in the year," said Shane Evans, co-founder and president of Massage Heights. "Raj Patel and Jay Punukollu are perfect matches for our company, as they embody the family-oriented business values that our company holds near and dear. They're true pros with a proven track record, and we look forward to supporting them as they begin development in Chicago."
Patel and Punukollu have been awarded the rights to the entire Chicago market and are starting to develop immediately. They signed a lease for their first Retreat in Naperville and are scheduled to open the location this summer. The partners are also targeting Geneva, Orland Park and Schaumburg to open additional Retreats over the next couple of years.
"Jay and I have been in the franchise industry for several years now and have worked with handful of brands. When we learned about Massage Heights, we knew this would be a new opportunity for us and felt an instant connection to the pride they take in their family values-based business," said Patel. "We're incredibly eager to bring the concept to the Chicago market and look forward to elevating the lives of residents through mind, body and spirit."
As part of its nationwide expansion plans, Massage Heights is seeking qualified franchisees and area developers to join its growing brand. Prospective single- and multi-unit franchisees should have $175,000 in liquid assets and minimum $400,000 net worth per location, as well as experience in sales or retail management and managing hourly wage employees. Prospective area representatives should have $375,000 in liquid assets and minimum $600,000 net worth, as well as previous experience in franchising, sales, marketing and operating multiple sites, preferably in the retail, restaurant, hospitality or customer services industries.
In March 2016, Massage Heights announced it established a new brand management and development company, Elevated Brands. In addition to managing and developing Massage Heights, Elevated Brands formed a relationship with the first ultra-premium men's grooming and lifestyle club, The Gents Place, to grow the brand nationally through franchising.
* IBISWorld Industry Report: "Massage Franchises in the US," December 2014