If your pedicures are blissful for the client, but a bit of a logistical headache for you, you need to retool. Here are some common problems and creative solutions to your pedi-room quandaries.
The pedicure business continues to grow and salons are scrambling to add services to their menus to accommodate the growing demand. However, sometimes the need to offer the customers what they want doesn’t allow for much time to plan, and owners are left with a makeshift pedicure area that is awkward and clumsy. If you find yourself in this position, there’s hope. By making a few modifications in the layout and placement of product, you’ll be sanitizing, scrubbing, and soaking with the ease and flow of your well-designed big sister salons.
CHALLENGE: You cannot seem to position all the product you need within easy reach.
SOLUTION: There are stools for nail techs with drawers and shelves on the side (so that literally the tech is sitting on the product). These allow you mobility since they are on wheels (see image on left), and also convenience because all of the product is within easy reach. These carts range from $100 to over $500, so do some research to find the one that best suits your needs. There are many ways to organize the product you will use during the pedicure services if you don’t want the wheeled stools. You will find organizational ideas at your local beauty distributor, online at beauty suppliers, or even on websites that offer space-saving products like IKEA.
CHALLENGE : Clients keep you on the phone too long asking you to explain the differences in all your pedicures.
Design every pedicure you offer to be an hour in length. This way, when a client calls for an appointment, the person taking the call can cross off an hour without having to take ten minutes or more on the phone explaining the differences in services. When the client is there for the appointment, the tech hands the client a pedicure menu, or explains the pedicures options, while the feet soak. The client is more likely to say yes to the add-ons while she is sitting in the atmosphere of the pedicure room than she would be on the phone.
CHALLENGE : You feel rushed to clean the foot bath between appointments and clients often see you perform this task.
SOLUTION: When the pedicure appointment is scheduled in the book, also schedule the extra time it takes to empty and disinfect/clean the foot bath. The appointment will last an hour for the client, but the tech’s book will show she is busy for the extra time it will take to prepare the area for the next appointment. Another option is to incorporate portions of the cleaning into the service itself. This can enhance rather than detract from the service if you take the time to explain all the steps you are taking to protect the client in the process.
CHALLENGE : The clients see the dirty towels you have used during their pedicure.
SOLUTION: Move a cabinet within easy reach of where you will be while you perform the pedicure. Cut a hole into the top of the cabinet and place a hamper inside to catch the dirty towels. Toss used towels into the hole where they can stay until it is time to collect them to be washed.
CHALLENGE : You are in the middle of a pedicure and realize you don’t have all the tools you need to finish the job.
SOLUTION: In salons where techs don’t have personal supplies, one person may use the last of an item and forget to replace it. This leaves the tech who performs the next service in an awkward position when she needs to excuse herself to fetch a necessary article. To avoid this situation, place a checklist in the pedicure area and have each tech make sure all products are filled before she leaves the room. The tech entering the area for a new service could quickly double-check the list.
CHALLENGE : You have noticed the pedicure product is being used faster than you estimated.
SOLUTION: Fill small plastic containers with the correct, pre-measured portion of product for each step of the pedicure and store them in a cabinet near the pedicure room. Make sure you label each correctly so techs can fill a tray or basket with all the necessary products for that particular pedicure. Techs will have a small amount of supplies to carry, and you know how much product is being used for each service.
CHALLENGE : There is no convenient way to dip clients’ feet in a paraffin bath.
SOLUTION: Wheeled tables. Your whirlpool bath will be either solidly in place, or moveable. If it’s moveable, place it on a wheeled platform (sometimes called a dolly), and move it out of the way; move the paraffin bath into place on its own dolly. If your whirlpool is not moveable, place the paraffin unit on a wheeled table at a height that allows it to wheel over the tub. This way the client doesn’t have to leave her chair to dip her feet, and the tech doesn’t have to strain her back to position the unit in front of the client. Or spoon warm wax into plastic bags and slip the bags over the client’s feet.
CHALLENGE : One client in the room wants to chitchat, the other wants tranquility.
SOLUTION: The nail industry has benefited from the increase in pedicure parties, which makes the multi-chair pedi room a necessity in many salons. But what to do when there isn’t a party going on — just a few women during the same appointment slot in the same room — and one wants to regale you with stories of her weekend plans while the other wants a quiet hour away from the kids? Create the pedi rooms in such a way that a divider can be set up between stations. This could mean removable room screens, permanent curtains that can be retracted to allow for openness or closed to allow for privacy, or even bamboo-style screens that can be pulled up and down to create a sense of privacy.
CHALLENGE : Clients have to get out of their chair to pick a polish color.
SOLUTION: There are a couple ways to handle this. One is to have a polish display in the pedi room, along with the display in the main area of the salon and clients can pick their bottle of polish from the shelf before they are seated. The other is to paint all the polish options on polish wheels and let clients contemplate their color during the pedicure.
CHALLENGE : After a day of pedicures, your back and legs ache.
SOLUTION: Lori Tomancik, a pedicurist at Salon One Eleven in Johnson City, N.Y., solved that problem by equipping her pedicure station with a chair that clients were able to move forward and back. In addition, she built a footrest with multiple positions so she has control over the angle of the client’s foot. This gives her the ability to find the position that is most comfortable on her back. Make sure the client’s seat is elevated above your own, so that when her feet relax comfortably, they are at a comfortable level to you. If you regularly perform pedicures by sitting on your knees or by bending over to reach the clients’ feet, you will put terrible stress on your back, which will have you spending any pedicure profits you amass at the chiropractor’s office.
CHALLENGE : The soft lighting in the room strains your eyes as you work on the client’s feet.
SOLUTION: You can create a soft atmosphere for the client with lighting, but make sure you have adequate lighting on your working area so you don’t get a headache from the strain. You can get inexpensive, stylish lamps that will complement the overall look of the room and still offer an extra spotlight for your working area.