A Brief History of Weight Watchers of Philadelphia, Inc.
"Our State-of-the-Art Food Program and Legendary Group Support in Motivational Meetings make up the cornerstone of Weight Watchers of Philadelphia," according to Marilyn Birnhak, President.Started in Queens, New York, by its dynamic founder Jean Nidetch, Weight Watchers began to spread out among various areas in New York. The company became well known throughout the city and Nidetch decided to start franchising. Marilyn and Bob Birnhak were among the first owners, buying Weight Watchers of Philadelphia, Inc.—serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New Jersey.
Marilyn and Bob Birnhak have been successful in the growth of Weight Watchers of Philadelphia since their first meeting in September of 1964. From starting with two meetings and eight members in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, today this thriving weight-loss firm has members attending over 550 meetings in over 100 individual locations throughout 11 counties—8 in PA and 3 in NJ.
“The focus is always on our members," says Marilyn,
After hearing about Weight Watchers, Marilyn and Bob Birnhak attended
a weight-loss lecture in New York, conducted by Jean Nidetch, the founder
of Weight Watchers International. Both Marilyn and Bob achieved weight
loss success and became Lifetime Members. Because of the company's
rapid growth, Nidetch asked Marilyn to become a Lecturer and she
member that matters."
It all started with a meeting.
Marilyn gave her first lecture on February 20, 1964, her wedding anniversary. During that time, she found out Weight Watchers International was going to begin franchising. She went home and asked Bob, who was an attorney, “What’s a franchise?” After he carefully explained it, she said, “Good, I want one.” The rest, as they say, is history! Marilyn selected the Philadelphia market because she always considered it home. Today she continues to be a very active president of one of the largest Weight Watchers franchises in the country.
This year the Birnhaks are marking their 52nd year as the owners of Weight Watchers of Philadelphia Inc., making them the longest running and continuously owned and operated franchise of Weight Watchers International.