How to Engineer a Hotel Spa Menu
By Cecilia Hercik Founder & President, C-Spa Consulting | July 02, 2017
Before you start designing your spa menu, you need to understand your brand. Break down your brand identity, personality, character, attitude, and emotional and logical rewards. Once you fully understand exactly what your brand is, then you can start engineering a menu that is cohesive with your brand message.
If you have an existing spa and you want to refresh the menu, start by running treatment reports and finding out what your top sellers are. Analyze this data to make sure you understand why those services are your top sellers: Are you discounting them? Are they easy to sell? How much does it cost you to do these services? Who is buying them? You can also ask your front desk/reservation spa team their opinion on why they think these are the bestselling services. I suggest you refresh yourself within a certain consistent time frame with your existing brand by doing the above exercises. If you are starting a new spa, the engineering of the menu needs to be based on the original design of the spa, along with the theme, brand story, facility offerings, decor, and your demographics.
Today's spa treatments have moved beyond pampering. Spas intend to give the spa goer real benefits, whether they be physical, mental, or even spiritual. Spas now aim to stay one step ahead of their customers, anticipate their needs, and to offer them just the right amount of nurturing through environments, experiences, and treatments. My goal as a Spa Leader has always been for all my spa guests to leave our spa more enlightened and more informed than when they arrived. If this was accomplished every day with every guest, it would be considered a job well done!
With this goal in mind, you have to place a strong focus on what we call "soft education" for your guests, and an aggressive on-going-never-ending training for your staff; create strong brand protocols, like meeting with your entire team daily for ten minutes to review specials, groups, types of clients, and key goals. While your menu will highlight the benefits of your offerings, you can print subtle collateral throughout the spa to story-tell your message. You should not rely solely on your team to do the storytelling; pictures can tell a thousand words. Selecting the correct verbiage to explain your services is very important. Not only do you have to make sure your brand message is cohesive, but you need to know who you are speaking to; who your audience is. Most women, for example, like words that paint a picture of the spa journey with enticing descriptions; most men, however, are more direct, and like to know what the treatment is and what it will be good for. You also need to make sure you keep up with the trends. For example, baby-boomers want to age gracefully and live longer, so anti-aging and health is a huge selling point; teens tend to want to glam-up quickly with salon treatments, and older clientele seek to ease their aches and pains, which point more to gently massage and body treatments.
In past experiences when I needed to find out extra information about my spa, it was critical for me to send out a survey at least one month. If you have a large membership component, a survey is the right way to go. However, there are occasions where you need to understand that you are the "spa expert," and sometimes your customers do not know what they want until they come to visit you. You should not try to be everything for everybody. Many had highlighted that if Walt Disney did a survey before building Disneyland, no one would have been able to imagine such magical world until he actually built it by himself.
Hiring a consultant to guide you through engineering your menu is not a bad or wrong idea. A good director should know that he or she cannot be suitable for everything, and if creating a menu is not your forte, you should pair up with a person that excels in this task. A well-constructed spa menu can bring you extra revenue and profits to your business; it can also bring you higher customer and employee satisfaction scores.