The economy continues to creep while hotel spas are doing well but challenged by the newly savvy, penny-pinching consumer.  While things seem on the upswing the spa-goer is forever changed by the recent prolonged unemployment, rising fuel costs and economic instability. The truth is, the spa-goer profile was changing anyway. As spas increased in number so did those frequenting spas, however, their wants and needs were changing. No longer will the $200 per hour spa service make it in most cities without the recipient feeling that they have really received something with a measurable impact on their health and well being. How does your spa add value, reduce costs and generate revenues?


The amount of wasted funding that goes into sundry items, linens and backbar is extraordinary.  Allocating a cost per treatment to the spa is vital in determining a spa’s bottom line.  Measuring the amount of treatment product per service is a great starting point towards cutting down treatment cost.  Disallowing for large containers of product per treatment room is both sanitary and wise in terms of wastage.  Finally, revising treatment step-by-step practices to reduce costs of linens will save dollars per treatment. Creating treatments that are free of waste, clean up time and extra product create for an efficient and easy treatment with more emphasis given to hands-on service time and less given to extra towels, wraps, swabs and product.

Go through your menu with the fine eye of an auditor. Map out per treatment each specific service step, items used and product cost. Think about reducing the number of towels, sheets used, cotton swabs gone through. Being sanitary is paramount but using items sparsely is obviously necessary. Furthermore, consider measuring amount of product used for those services that appear to be product “light” like massage, make up touch ups, lash tinting, peels. Are there steps being taken during the services that are unnecessary? Are their items used during the services that are redundant or simply wasteful? Consider expediting small quantities of treatment items per service, signing off on add-ons like ampoules during facials and added product for extras like multi-layer masquing. Finally, think about cutting cotton swabs in half, pre-cutting waxing muslin, pre-measuring body treatment product and cutting back on even the most Spartan of supplies such as paper towels, steamy towels and disposable brushes. Small acts of refinement with you outlaying of costs adds up quickly and significantly.

Give Away Value

Rather than offering discounts try offering value when creating your next promotional piece.  Value added can be inexpensive to the spa, coveted by the spa-goer and amount to more revenue per service without much effort. Try giving away a sampler kit of skin care with each facial. With a follow-up call most spa-goers are likely to return for full-sized product as well as appoint subsequent services.  Adding a paraffin dip to a facial, a lash tint, eyebrow shaping or make-up touch up to a service are all natural add-on’s to most services and are greatly appreciated by the typical client. Adding a service or product to a spa treatment or series service ensures that a client will walk away feeling like they got their money’s worth and then some. Think about creating oils for treatments like massage that are customized to the client’s personal scent preferences. The time spent with the client determining which essential oils work for them can be invaluable relating time that can lead to additional retail sales. For example, a client assisting in creating a grapefruit oil for their massage might enjoy a beautiful decanter to store the oil in for their master bathroom. Similarly their chosen scent can be added to bath salts, bath gel, body lotion, or to a decorative diffusor for their home. The same type of one on one time can likewise lead to additional service sales. Determining the client’s dosha type allows for prescriptive services like chakra balancing, skin rejuvenation and detoxification treatments that are created around the client’s tendencies and individual idiosyncrasies.

Filling in Off-Peak Hours

Offering last minute deals that hold their monetary value increase immediate sales while filling your books and increasing technician profitability. So, why not have a buy-one get one free facial during the dead 2-4 pm afternoon gap where your therapists usually sit idly.  Try offering speed waxing with any service on Sundays when your spa is typically running on empty. Think about adding a makeover to any Monday facial service when many spas aren’t open. Finally, consider adding a lunch snack or appetizer with treatment during the sometimes dull lunchtime or dinnertime slots at the spa.  Keeping revenues robust during otherwise dead spa hours keeps your technicians happy, retail humming and your spa in the black.

Furthermore, allowing your spa to cater to friends, couples, groups, events and corporate gatherings during off peak hours keeps your financials in the black while creating more revenue opportunities at the spa. Group events can be planned for evenings, weekends or even early weekday mornings depending on the event. Try to include a retail opportunity for these gatherings like quoting a spa sampler goodies bag with groups that are themed for the event. For instance, a bridal sampler kit of makeup, day lotion and a nail color neatly ties into the bridal party’s celebration while adding a bit of revenue to the total service sale.

Put more Gift into Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are always a popular way to give and receive spa comforts for business staff, acquaintances, service providers and family. Try adding an additional gift to the typical gift card sale to increase the total dollar amount, increase the perceived value and create a total experience for the spa-goer that includes a take home gift. For instance, selling a spa sampler kit with a half day package at the spa might include a cleanser, moisturizer, hydrating atomizer and a small candle. Offering a robe, slipper, headband or beach bag with your spa’s logo imprinted on the gift is another great way of extending the spa experience. Finally, creating a cd of your spa’s favorite music with your branding on the packaging is a thoughtful, value added way of allowing the guest to take the spa home with them.

Invite Communal Participation

Invite spa guests to relax while at the spa and extend the amenities to them for whatever use they would like. In other words, keep your steam room full! Make sure hotel guests are aware of the spa by inviting them to use your sauna, pool, hot tub and steam areas. Add a bit of extra to these experiences like eucalyptus sprigs to your sauna, personal scented towels for the steam room, cool cucumber slices for the eyes while lounging at the pool. Make each amenity at your facility a bit more luxurious and complimentary.  Offer your spa products for use in the locker rooms, guest rooms and in the toiletry areas throughout your property. Find a signature addition to the luxury such as fresh freesia petals, rose buds, wood chips or lotus leaves to tie in the spa’s treatments and theme. Make your value added complete and alive throughout the spa and your hotel.

The languishing economy doesn’t need to hinder your spa’s financials or ultimate growth. Creating an environment of value only means that clients feel that they got their money’s worth and then some. Customer service, extra-long facial massages, sampler kits and other VIP perks can go a long way in today’s economy towards attracting new customers, keeping old customers and increasing the scope of services the typical customer will request at your spa. Think like a spa-goer and add a little to your value added program.