From conception to completion, each spa has a different way of designing service menus. SALON TODAY invited four salons to share their development process.

How often do you add new salon and spa services to your menu?

TONY: Not as frequently as you would think because we have to research everything we do to make sure all of our treatments will provide 110 percent great customer service. All of our services reflect our model and culture-we look for anything that will bring the highest level of satisfaction to our clients.

JODY: As a hair-only salon, Elle Marie Hair Studio is solely focused on hair design and technical services along with re-texturizing and extensions. So for the most part, menu additions are driven by trends in the hair industry. They tend to occur once or twice a year.

ROBIN: We carry all of the basic treatments and services but we revisit our menu online and in print about once a year. We like to make sure the services listed in print and online are cohesive. Branding is the really important thing to our salon, and we work on that aspect a lot. We make sure when people look at our menu the website has the same feel.

SUE: We created a new menu last April and we just updated our menu this past April.

Who designs the services?

TONY: The stylists are the ones who know what's cutting edge and what the new trends are in the beauty industry. They tell us their ideas and then the salon's leadership team gets together, does some research, speaks to vendors and then we go through long processes of trial and error on ourselves so we can bring a greater level of customer service to our clients.

JODY: We encourage our team to keep an eye on trends as they emerge and take the initiative to research them. Our management team values their recommendations and ultimately decides which services to seek further education in and ultimately add to our menu.

ROBIN: Meghanne Haran, she is our in-house director of salon operations who designs all of the services on our menu.

SUE: Our entire spa team contributes. We have spa department meetings where we talk about what we need to change in our services. Each of our technicians writes their own descriptions of the services they do, and I approve their final pieces.

How often do you reprint your menu?

TONY: Once a year-for editing purposes and price changes.

JODY: Given that product lines and service details may change, we find that an agile approach to printing (directing guests to our website for more specific details) allows us to extend the lifetime of our printed menus. This allows us to make use of our menu brochures for about a year and a half.

ROBIN: About three times per year. However, we have noticed that most of our clients use the online menu rather than the print. Since this is the case, we find that reprinting our menu is not necessary all of the time. We usually reprint whenever we run out.

SUE: Yearly.

How many do you print at a time?

TONY: Multiple thousands. We print in bulk.

JODY: 2,500

ROBIN: 500

SUE: Usually, we print 10,000 at a time. However, because of the economy, we only do about 1,000 per year or as needed.

Do you use a professional designer?

TONY: We designed the logo and created the visual aspects of the menu. Then we sent it to a layout company and they gave us the last copy of the proof to sign off on. We have a hand in the design because it is our brand and we try to do as much as we can in-house.

JODY: Yes, my other company, Glitz Marketing, which is the company through which I offer small business marketing consulting.

ROBIN: Haran is the illustrator. She designs everything for our menu because she has all of the skills. It's not necessary for us to use an outside professional design service. However, we do have a printing company that prints the menus.

SUE: No, I do all of the designing myself. However, I do have a special printing company that helps.

Est. cost per service menu?

TONY: Our menu is quite an investment. Our logo is a type of foil, so it's expensive to print. However, we think it is important to show our quality and detail in our marketing items, so it's worth the additional expense.

JODY: Each brochure menu costs approximately 18 cents. That's simply the cost of printing since I am able to design the menu brochure for free. 

ROBIN: I have a certain budget for marketing costs during the year, which is about 3 percent. Since our menus are high quality, glossy and have a very nice presentation, they cost more. The cost is $1.39 per menu. 

SUE: The insert of our menu costs 28 cents if I order 1,000 copies. The outside of our menu is $1.25 per page and our menu is made up of four pages total. We use really nice stock paper and everything's stapled together.

How salons create service menus

How salons create service menus

OWNER OF YOU SALON ( in Ellicott City, Maryland

OWNER OF SALON ART-TIFF, Ephrata, Pennsylvania

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