Five Menu Mistakes to Avoid

A menu is a multi-page booklet that offers guests treatment descriptions, spa information, and describes the experience they’ll have during treatments. A good menu is exciting, and it compels the guest to reserve a treatment or package.

A pamphlet, or price list, simply states the names of the treatments and their prices. Often, I have asked for a spa menu and received a price list. In many instances, spa directors and teams will mistake a price list for a menu. But there’s a big difference between the two!

Which one is more effective?

People pay for goods or services for the following reasons:

  • It will solve a problem
  • It will benefit them in some way
  • It has been recommended by someone they like and trust
  • They believe it has value to them
  • It produces the results they want, or delivers what has been promised

Obviously, menus sell more services than price lists. The descriptions entice guests to schedule services based on the benefits they will receive from the treatment. Your treatment or program descriptions need to be focused on the results that the reader will gain. It needs to stimulate their senses! Price lists do nothing to persuade the reader to purchase treatments. You will not sell treatments with pamphlets.

The following are five mistakes to avoid when creating your menu, and what to do instead:

1. Using the word “our”:
I find the word “our” in too many spa menus. But it’s not about you, it’s about the guest! The verbiage should focus on them. Go through your menu, website and other material and count how many times the word “our” shows up. Replace it with the word “your,” or rephrase the sentence to shift the focus on the guest and their experience.

2. First Page:
So many times, I see the spa’s policy on the first page inside the menu. This is a huge mistake! The first page should be dedicated to the welcome message, and a short paragraph about the spa’s story. The policy information should be on the very last page within the menu. Also, try replacing the overused and unfriendly-sounding “cancellation policy.” Instead, use the more gentle phrase, “Rescheduling your experience.” Who wants to hear about policies when they’re thinking about a relaxing spa experience?

3. Small Font:
Your clients need to be able to read your menu. Choose a font that’s large enough and easy to read, and avoid the cute or artsy fonts.

4. Not Using Images:
You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Too often, I see menus that don’t have any pictures in them! And when I do see menus with pictures, it’s usually of an empty room, as if we’re selling real estate! Remember, we are selling emotional connections. Make sure the pictures that you include in your menu have people in them.

5. Pricing:
If you’re going to invest in a menu, make sure you don’t include prices in it. Make the price list a card insert, that way if you change prices, you don’t have to replace the entire menu.

Stay tuned for part two, where you will discover five more menu mistakes to avoid.

Does your menu need a makeover? We will develop, write, and design your menu for you, with Done For Me Spa Marketing!


Which menu mistakes are you making? Tell us about it in the comments!


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