One of the first things new clients learn upon arriving at DePasquale The Spa in Morris Plains, N.J., is that you get what you pay for when it comes to your service provider’s skills and experience. Of course, those are not the exact words used by salon staff to explain their system of tiered pricing.

“The pricing structure at DePasquale The Spa is based on a European level system,” says marketing director Stacey Catalogna. “Employees move up in the system based on client retention, productivity, sales, and our 10-point standards.” In the nail department, for example, there are four levels: nail artist, senior nail artist, nail designer, and senior nail designer. The price variation between a nail artist and a senior nail designer might be $10 or more depending on the service. Of course that means more money in the pockets of more experienced techs.

“Those at higher levels are more often educators and lecturers who have established a high client demand,” says Catalogna. “This encourages stability and allows our employees to grow and prosper based on years of loyalty and dedication to their profession and clients.” The pricing system has its roots in the old apprenticeship system, she explains, when those entering the beauty profession had to find someone more experienced to sponsor them and take them under their wing. “When the system originally began it didn’t revolve around price, but education and experience. DePasquale The Spa just incorporated both, linking increases in income and education so that it creates loyalty and benefits everyone involved,” she says.

Clients have the option of moving up the levels with their technician or not. “Once a staff member is promoted, we post small signs at the station indicating a date (usually one month to six weeks in the future) when they will move up in price,” says Catalogna. “We tell clients they can move up with their stylist; however, if they would like to stay at the same level, their stylist or customer service will recommend a technician on the same level.”

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