As the third Box to open in Manhattan, CrossFit Hell’s Kitchen has been part of the drop-in scene of New York since 2010.
Anthony Preischel, the owner of the Box, said they love drop-ins. “Since we are in New York City, we get to meet people from all over the world,” he explained. “I’m always amazed at the places people come from; places I’ve never even heard of or think would have CrossFit.”
JoAnna Dettmann of CrossFit St. Louis visited Hell’s Kitchen and shares about it, as well as other drop-in experiences, on Episode 80 of Box Talk.
The process to drop-in at CrossFit Hell’s Kitchen is what Preischel called simple and straightforward. Via the visitor page of the gym’s website, guests can fill out a form. Preischel will then receive a notification. He reviews the information and follows up with the guest on how to fill out the wavier and sign up. “It works well, and when people come in, they’re already signed up for class, so they can just go on in without being held up at the desk,” said Preischel.
It’s important to remember with drop-ins oftentimes they have never dropped in at a gym before. Being aware they may be apprehensive can help in giving them a warmer welcome.
In fact, the most important thing to Hell’s Kitchen is for drop-ins to feel welcomed. Preischel said he’s been told stories from his members who have traveled and dropped-in at other Boxes. They’ve said they were treated like a burden and weren’t given any guidance. For that fact alone, Preischel’s goal is to make drop-ins feel like part of the gym family.
“Drop ins are coming in, supporting your business and community,” said Preischel. “I welcome and treat every drop in like I would want to be treated if I went somewhere. I always want to make their experience one that gives value to them, so they walk out of here having been given great coaching and a bit of advice that will make them better rather than just giving them a good workout. People can get a good workout anywhere; that isn’t what CrossFit is about — or at least it wasn’t. It is about the coaching and the desire to make someone better.”
So, the one takeaway Preischel would give to any Affiliate would be to welcome drop-ins as your own members. The personal connection and the training advice you give will go much further than a shirt or souvenir ever will.