Just as each season of the year sparks a sense of personal excitement, giddiness and willingness to change things up, your menu needs that same spark of inspiration and infusion of new treatments.
When we realize that it is time to update our menu, the realization accompanies an immediate sense of dread and even elevated apprehension and anxiety. This is because we understand not only the importance of this task, but the great undertaking that it requires. As a best practice, we should be reviewing our menu annually, even if we do not make drastic changes; if we are being transparent, that is rarely the case for most spa industry leaders.
Menu Refresh 101
As initial steps to refreshing your menu, run your booking and retail numbers to identify top versus underperforming services. Our ongoing challenge is that although our menu offers a plethora of excellent services, certain ones flourish while others underperform (primarily because they are poorly promoted or overlooked). We should always have a mix of services that are tied to beauty, wellness and customer trends, but the team must buy into each service to convert to sales.
Think of every treatment on your menu as square footage within a retail store. If that space is not generating revenue, it will need updating, revamping or repurposing to make sure it does! The same applies to your spa menu of services.
Remember to schedule a team meeting or a seasonal menu “lunch and learn.” This will spark excitement and prepare and help familiarize the staff prior to the menu launch. Do not skip this step, as it is vital for the menu’s success.
Why Seasonal Treatments?
Here is where your brilliant leadership mind kicks in! Rather than adding the pressure of a complete menu revamp/refresh, you can add a seasonal menu strategy to your planning moving forward. That means that prior to a main menu revamp/refresh, you will “test” seasonal treatments, gauge team buy-in, gauge sales performance and then decide which treatments “qualify” for your main menu.
You add excitement and innovation to your offerings by incorporating a seasonal menu and the ingredients, aromas and senses that best tie into a particular time of year. For instance, who does not think of delicious chocolate leading up to Valentine’s Day? The smell of fresh strawberries or a taste of honey immediately conjures visions of spring, while a delicious orange or refreshing watermelon makes us think of summer and pumpkin, cinnamon and mint inspire dreams of fall and winter.
Seasonal treatments keep your team excited, learning and engaged, since they are now part of the assessment process. It elevates you as a leader who cares about their input, but additionally enhances their level of responsibility and skillset. You are linking them to the service sales numbers, the decision-making process and assessment level skills. They can also celebrate the triumph that comes with collaborating on decisions and then celebrating top performing treatments!
A seasonal menu does not have to only feature new services. You can select from existing services and update descriptions to align with the feelings, aromas and senses that each season evokes.
You should always include super performing de-aging treatments featuring ingredients that are excellent year-round, like retinol, hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastin and acids such as phytic, lactic, glycolic, salicylic, citric and malic. There are also plenty of seasonal ingredients that can be incorporated depending on the time of year.
Baby it is cold outside, even in sunny Florida where I live (although for us it is super short-lived). The drastic change in weather means that seasonal services should focus on comforting and soothing. They should also feel very welcoming as guests exit the dreary cold to enter your spa’s loving embrace. In winter, you should feature ingredients with mint, jasmine, lavender, arnica, chocolate (with a warm cup of cocoa) and vitamin-infused products for their restorative properties.
Nothing compares to the feeling we get when we see wildflowers blooming, colorful butterflies or chirping birds. There is an immediate sense of reawakening and newfound hope, because spring marks the transition from cold, dreary months to visions of sunshine and warmth. In spring, feature treatments with trending ingredients like honey, strawberry, cotton, rose, carrot, pear, kombucha, cucumber and, yes, chocolate!
This is my favorite time of year because I am Cuban and believe I was a mermaid in another life—a girl can dream, right? But there is truly no feeling that compares to the warmth of the sun’s rays kissing our skin, the call of the oceans, lakes, rivers and forests, and the deep breaths we take as we enjoy every minute outdoors.
This is the perfect season for treatments featuring ingredients like coconut, lemongrass, papaya, avocado, sea salt, lemon, mango, pineapple, orange, watermelon, aloe, charcoal, macadamia nut, and even more chocolate, since we can never get enough of it!
I have always been interested in the psychology of colors. I especially love how they can easily influence how we feel about ourselves and others, as well as how they can influence our perceptions and moods. Every color or variant has its own charm, but there is something especially beguiling about fall colors. They connect us to nature, inspire a sense of gratitude and grounding, and add depth and charm to the natural landscape.
For fall treatments, feature ingredients like green apple, peptides, licorice, green tea, caviar, cinnamon, green coffee, pumpkin, grapefruit, shea butter, argan and comfrey stem cells, and—you guessed it—chocolate.
Seasonal Menu 1,2,3
Developing seasonal menus should not be a cumbersome process. On the contrary, it should be a collaboration between you and your top vendors. It is in their best interest to have representation in your seasonal menu. This gives vendors (current and prospective ones) the opportunity to assess these services with your team and guests.
Let us compare this process to the start of a personal relationship. Seasonal menus give you the opportunity to “date” a vendor’s latest launches or a new vendor prior to “marrying” them.
Vendors and prospective vendors should provide you with their recommended seasonal treatments, along with cost per treatment, products needed and a proposed seasonal menu opening order based on either your budget or the number of treatment rooms you plan to stock with these services.
As a spa leader, you should never feel like you are alone. Your preferred vendors are there to supply you with their products and training. They should be available to assist you with menu assessment, assess missed sales opportunities, provide retail sales tips, and share treatment trends and consumer insights.
Be selective, and remember that as with any relationship, if it is not helping you grow or bringing forth enough benefits, it may be time for a vendor assessment. A seasonal reset can empower your business and your team, and set a strong foundation on your path to increased success.
Maritza Rodriguez is the global vice president of marketing and communications for Pevonia International and its related brands. She has worked with some of the most renowned professional skin care brands on image and marketing.