WITH ALL THE OTHER pressing concerns of running a salon, housekeeping procedures can go to the bottom of the list. Not so for Denise Provenzano, owner of live high-end full-service salons in suburban Chicago. When you enter one of her Zano Salon & Day Spa locations, even the unforgiving morning sunlight reveals shelves that sparkle with nary a dust mote in sight. Denise has engaged her team in an initiative that truly takes clean to a new level.

ST: What Inspired this Clean Up Campaign?

DP: With five locations, we are always working to keep our image fresh and consistent among all the salons. We re-design every five or six years with elements that can be worked into each location. The big challenge is keeping the salons looking fresh and new between major overhauls. We all enjoy watching Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. It’s scary what she sometimes unearths around the salon and it made me think, could we be doing a better job? I had employed a cleaning service, but when the 2008 economic downturn hit, that became an expense we could no longer justify.

Tabatha stresses technical expertise, professionalism and cleanliness. I told our team I felt we had high scores in the first two areas, but we could improve on cleanliness and we needed to look at the salon through the guest’s eyes. I offered a challenge to each of our salon managers. For the next five months, our entire leadership team would visit one salon a month and do a thorough inspection. Clipboards in hand, the team would check out every department and rate the cleanliness and decor against our system standards and rate each salon from one to five.

Since this initiative, I have seen things I never expected to see. I walked into one of our locations and a stylist was on her hands and knees cleaning around the base of her chair. At another location, a staffer was busily cleaning and the manager told me he had failed to perform his own assigned cleaning responsibilities and now was doing double duty for two weeks to make up. I thought that might be a bit harsh, but it shows that this effort was taken seriously by our managers.

ST: What Were the Criteria Being Judged?

DP: The salons had four weeks to prepare for inspection. The areas to be evaluated were: Front Desk Organization, Bathroom Cleanliness, Salon and Spa Decor, Nail Services Area Sanitation, Esthetic and Massage Room Sanitation. General Salon Sanitation (clean sanitation solutions, combs and brushes clean and free of hail, station mirrors and chairs free of any smudges or hair) and Product and Retail Displays Each of these areas were evaluated and rated on a scale of one to five resulting in a total cleanliness and sanitation rating.

Our first Tabatha’s Salon Takeover inspired competition winner was Jennifer Hohmann, manager of our Batavia, Illinois salon. She received the first Star Trophy award at our company meeting and shared how she got her entire team onboard for the challenge.

ST: How did the Winning Salon Achieve This Goal?

Salon Manager Jennifer Hohmann tells how she and her team took charge in the competition.

JH: Our salon was scheduled to be the first one evaluated so my assistant manager Katherine and I explained that we had to set the bar extremely high. Having a well organized and clean environment has always been a passion of mine, so the team was used to my constant reminders. They are all competitive by nature, especially when paired against other Zano locations.

The first step was for everyone to look at his or her own station with a critical eye. The staff all found organizational and cleanliness issues to address. We brainstormed all the areas that needed attention and decided what things (like paint touch-ups or drywall repair) would need some outside intervention. We listed everything we needed to handle ourselves and everyone in the salon was given a manageable task so no one was overwhelmed. As things in the salon started to look fresher, the staff worked harder.

After the weeks of preparation, something happened that was more important than the obvious spit and polish. The salon and spa teams all began to see their work space in an entirely new light and develop a greater appreciation and awareness of what the guest sees when entering our salon.

We all were forced to look at our daily habits and develop better habits that are crucial, not just to winning a competition, but for the future and image of the Zano brand.


5 Chicagoland locations




PRODUCTS: Kerastase, Redken, Pureology, Aquage, Moroccanoil

POPULAR SERVICES: Hair Color, Smoothing Treatments, Spa Services.

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