Pause Studio Franchise Offers a New Twist on Full-Service Spas

Pause Wellness Franchise

Co-founders Jeff Ono and John Klein Used Their Complementary Skill Sets to Create the Ultimate Wellness Franchise

Jeff Ono and John Klein know what it’s like to be stressed-out executives. They both held high-pressure leadership roles throughout their careers, including at Equinox Fitness, where they met. Finding a solution to their stress turned out to be the inspiration for their partnership and their franchise endeavor, Pause. “We live in one of the hardest-working countries in the world where we are tuned in 24/7,” says Ono. “The need for wellness services is huge.”

Pause co-founders Jeff Ono (left) and John Klein.

But it’s not just the need for stress relief that brings people to Pause Studio. Athletes come for muscle recovery; sleep-deprived employees come for increased energy; moms come for much-needed pampering; couples come for indulgent date nights, friends come for ladies’ nights or days out. “Pause is literally for everyone,” says Ono. 

Holistic Wellness Franchise

The full-service wellness franchise has several unique services under one roof, including float therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin drips, cryotherapy, and cold plunge/contrast therapy. What makes this concept really unique is that it’s literally a one-stop shop for wellness. “No other franchise concept has all of these services in one place,” says Ono. And Ono and Klein should know. At Equinox, the two friends were pivotal to the early growth of the fitness franchise giant. Ono’s specialty is in marketing, while Klein is a strategic planner. Together, they have a complementary skill set that is ideal for building a franchise system. 

Float Therapy at Pulse Wellness Franchise
The many benefits of float therapy include detoxification, deep relaxation and enhanced

Niche Wellness Services

Ono never really thought about actively seeking wellness until he tried float therapy for the first time and fell in love with it. “It literally changed my life,” he says. “It gave me the reset I needed — which is where the name Pause comes in. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed it until I experienced it. After my first float, I knew I could become a better friend, a better father and a better partner. I wanted to share it with the world.”  After discussing the experience with Klein, Ono realized the potential. The men were inspired to take it to a whole new level. “We always wanted to build something together,” Klein says. “So we thought, ‘why not combine all of these niche wellness services? It turned out to be the perfect next move for us.’”  

In designing the studio, they created an oasis where people could escape. The idea was to offer much more than the quick-fix services found at single-service studios. “Pause is where people come and spend several hours or a whole day and really unwind,” says Klein. “We put a lot of thought into the studios’ look and feel and are excited to help people through our services.” 

The first Pause studio opened in Venice, Calif., in 2016, and a second corporate location opened in 2021. Despite the Covid pandemic, the business thrived. “Since we have a nurse on-site to administer vitamin infusions, we were able to stay open while other businesses had to shut their doors.” As it turned out, Covid actually helped the business because so many people wanted to boost their immune systems and relieve their anxiety. “Our services solved for many Covid-related problems,” Ono says.

After years of honing the model, Pause is now awarding franchise locations. Because Ono and Klein spent so much time in franchising, they knew the concept would be a winner. “Pause has all the elements of a great franchise opportunity: recurring revenue, feel-good business, multiple revenue streams, in-demand services, and a unique model,” Klein says. 

Affordable and Accessible Wellness

One of the most compelling elements of running a Pause franchise is that staffing is simple because most of the services are essentially self-service. “There’s no massage therapists, estheticians, or exercise instructors to hire. Our team is trained to listen to clients and explain the benefits, but the actual sessions are private — just the client in their own private oasis,” Ono says. To staff a typical 2,800-3,200 square foot location, one nurse and two front desk employees are needed. Franchise owners start out with seven to ten employees.

At Pause, clients use infrared saunas to relieve achy joints, tired muscles, and frayed connective tissues.

By combining all the services in one place, they become more affordable and accessible. “Some of our services cost less than $40,” says Ono. Clients can come into Pause and have a different experience each time. Services can be grouped together to target specific conditions. For example, if clients want to relieve anxiety, they can relax with float therapy and then sweat it out in the infrared sauna. Overworked athletes can find relief with cryotherapy and then get a vitamin infusion for added benefits. “We customize each visit to the client’s needs that day,” Klein says. “Plus, each of the services has multiple benefits.” The infrared sauna burns calories, reduces pain, boosts immunity, and relaxes, while float therapy enhances creativity, aids in sports recovery, and relieves anxiety and depression. Pause even offers a special Hero’s Journey package that includes a float therapy session, a light bed, one IV drip, and one 60-minute sauna with a cold plunge for just under $300.  

Pause Studio Franchise Ownership

Armed with a great offering, Ono and Klein partnered with REP-M Group to help grow their brand. They say Pause is not limited to urban markets and could do well anywhere there is a Whole Foods or OrangeTheory Fitness. “This concept has legs all across the county,” says Ono. They would like to partner with investors who are passionate about the services Pause offers — and, so far,  they are getting tons of interest from people everywhere. “It’s easy to be really passionate about our services,” says Ono.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on franchising news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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