The Money-Making Menu
How you design and what you offer on your menu not only speaks volumes about your spa but also affects your profit. So what can you do about it? You’d be suprised how simple the answer is. With simple changes to your layout, services and packages you can greatly improve your bottom-line.
First off, make it easy! People pick up menus and have no idea what they’re looking at. Many have to take it home and study it. Make sure yours is easy to read with these steps.
• Use dark text on a light background. Vice-versa is too hard to read.
• Use a readable font like Times New Roman or Arial, avoid frilly fonts and scripts.
• Don’t “center” everything, a left align is easier to read.
• Make the sections clear (massages, facials, etc).
• Place contact info in an easy to find spot so they can book with you.
• If you’re printing large runs of menus, do NOT include pricing, it makes it impossible to change without reprinting. Place pricing as an insert (like lunch specials).
• Make the services clear, what is an XYZ massage and what does it consist of?
Instead of offering a regular massage and another deluxe (longer) one with a slightly different name, list just the name of the massage. Then list to the side the options for it, i.e. 50 mins. 70 mins. & 90 mins. By doing so clients will have the chance to upgrade themselves.
You can also “load” your menu. This means to balance the services offered so that there are more high-end ones. So if they were to choose at random the odds are greater of choosing a high-end service. For example, we offer a deluxe glycolic facial. Instead of offering just one on our menu, we created one for each skin type, adding four to our menu.
McDonalds is the master of this. If you’re old enough you’ll remember it used to be you’d just order a hamburger and they’d ask “would you like fries with that?” Now you order the whole deal, a “number 1.” They’ve tripled their income with these package deals; the fries and drink are already included. But did they stop there and give up their add-on? No, they ask if you want that super- sized. Why? If they’ve already got the “whole sale” why go for more? Because people will take it. It’s all a numbers game; the more you offer it to the more will take it and if you don’t you’re leaving money on the table.
The obvious upsell is more time. The menu has now got that covered for you so when you recommend it they’ll already be familiar with it (and you should always recommend the longer service, it’s better for them and you!). The not so obvious is the add-on. Create add-ons that require more time and ones that can be done without extra time (so you can still offer something even if there’s another booking right after). Extra add-ons that require extra time could be a foot scrub, extra extractions, eye/lip masks, etc. Add-ons that don’t require extra time could be a firming gel application, hypnotherapy, etc.
A HUGELY common mistake out there is to offer a package discount. Let’s look at this closer, what do we know about packages? They take up the whole day, so are harder to schedule. They often are with non-spa goers (received from a gift certificate) so they don’t know spa etiquette and will often no show or not tip. They are the “yearly vacation” spa goers, not your monthly regulars and will want Saturday which means our lifeblood (regulars) will have a tougher time getting in with us.
To offset these negatives, we need to make sure we’re getting premium pricing.
First, do NOT offer a discount. Let me say it again. Do NOT offer a discount. When someone asks “what’s the special” just before Mothers day respond with “this is our ultra-deluxe spa package, she’ll love it!” People are wanting a spa experience, not a McSpa value experience.
Second, do not offer your regular services in there. Create special services that are NOT on the menu. These could even be “limited edition” services, like a chocolate wrap, that should be $20 more, or you could price it at a normal rate if you’re hung up on offering discounts.
Thirdly, add-on another $20! This is just for the no- show/pain of it all. They won’t know because the services are not on the menu. If you want to account for it, toss in lunch or some flowers for free.
Series, not packages
If you want to go one step further, sell a series of monthly treatments instead of packages. They promote return visits which will hopefully earn you a monthly regular as opposed to a yearly vacationer. It could be a “5 for 4 special” or better yet “a year of massages.” What sounds better, “A day of bliss?” or “A year of heaven?” Retail sales will increase with it too since you’re getting your message across to them again and again. There’s also a cash flow benefit since it’s not being redeemed all at once.
Make sure to look at our sample menus to see a bad/better example in our download area (they’re rough, but demonstrate the point).
Now your mission for this week? Redo your menu, take action and make it happen!