Expanding on the next two of eight myths we recently discussed:
Myth Five: We Don’t Need to Worry About the Spa Menu Now
5. Spa Concept, Guest Experience & menu
The guest experience or the spa program should be one of the first things you do – not the last! Determining the experience is essential for space planning (pre-construction) and guest flow. It also helps determine the type of equipment and space you will need. The menu is critical to your spa’s identity and will help define the spa’s personality and image.
One of the most important parts of your spa’s identity is the men (one of our menus is shown above).
Don’t think of the menu as work. Allow it to be fun, because it should be. Be creative, yet make sure it offers the basics.
Your menu is your identity. It represents your personality and image. It’s what your guests are going to remember most (and hopefully not least) about you after they have that spa experience.
Take, for example, the most famous menu items in the world that brand a company: McDonald’s Big Mac, Burger King’s Whopper, Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks, IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes, Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion and Krispy Kreme’s glazed donuts.
Without these big-menu items, these restaurants would have to come up with another famous menu item to help people better identify with their company. Could they do that? Sure. Would consumers be happy? Probably, because there’s always an alternative, whether if it’s on the menu or across the street.
With spas, though, you really don’t want to take the chance that an incomplete menu is driving away your guests. Every spa guest really counts, so it’s imperative you cater to as many spa services as possible with a variety of menu items.
Some of your menu items, obviously, will be more popular than others. The key, though, is to have an overall menu that defines your spa’s personality and image. Go for variety and think about what the guest wants to experience.
Finally, you need to regularly assess your menu. What do your guests like, and what treatments do they seldom use? What’s the word on the street about your spa? If you’re comfortable in doing so, ask those who are “in the know.” Also, don’t forget to consider any comments on your guest cards. Remember that many guests prefer to voice their opinions privately.
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Myth Six: I Only Need an Architect
6. Planning the Spa Facility Space – Equipment, Furniture, Design
I have visited many beautiful spas designed by some of the most renowned architects. But when it comes to functionality, several simply don’t work. This is where a spa consultant’s input is very useful. They are able to work with your architect to ensure that the spa is functional, beautiful and profitable. It’s not only about beauty, it’s also about functionality. The back of the house is as important as the front; but in many spas, the back of the house does not even exist!
Everyone has a chance to make a good first impression. First impressions are nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they set the tone for the entire relationship going forward.
As guests enter the spa, they should feel welcomed. But just as important as the verbal greetings are the visual first impressions.
Think of the most amazing building designs from around the world: The White House, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, to name a few. All three of these iconic structures generate an awesome first impression.
With spas, on a lesser scale, of course, first impressions are crucial. Spa guests should be made comfortable as soon as they walk in the door. While some guests are at the spa to relax, others are there for more personal issues. So it’s important that the atmosphere around them is relaxed.
Equipment, furniture and design all need to be taken into consideration. It’s important to use the resources and input of a spa consultant for this. Everything in the spa needs to be functional. It needs to make sense.