Think of your menu as the voice of your salon. What does it say about your services? Is it dry and curt? Is it communicative and cheerful? Is it flirty and intriguing? More important than looking dazzling, a stellar menu must sound good. And spa menus, with their heavy focus on selling an experience, have cornered the market in service spin. A well-written menu has the ability to sell services and elevate clients’ perceptions of your salon. Don’t think of a menu simply as a way to state the price of what you offer. Rather, think of it as a way to convey the value and benefit of your services. With the proper language, your menu can perfectly communicate the tone, style, and mystique of your salon — just like the big boys do. Here we dissect an everyday menu and show you how to take it to the next level by using the appropriate language, tone, and voice.
FIND YOUR VOICE
Writers have a trick that we use when we want to streamline a piece. It’s called writing for the ideal reader. An ideal reader is someone who is interested in what you have to say and wants to believe you. Think of your clients as your ideal readers. If they’re holding your menu they want to be unable to resist your services. Talk to your ideal reader in the language she wants to hear.
Here’s a trick: Imagine your perfect client. Is she upbeat, friendly, and chatty? A demure, understated woman? A hip and trendy fashionista? If it helps, give her a name, a career, a husband, an irrational mother — whatever it takes to make her real in your head. Speak in her voice when writing your menu.
BASIC DOESN’T MEAN BLAH
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your clients know what your basic services entail. Even if they could perform the service themselves, don’t pass up the opportunity to describe the steps, joys, and benefits of the everyday manicure or pedicure. Hype the massage, fawn over the hot oil soak, praise the skin-saving benefits of the lotion.
Clients come to you because you are a professional. Sometimes they’re looking for a little relaxation, sometimes they’re looking for a new experience, sometimes they’re looking for help. If one of your services might hold special interest for a particular age group, gender, or skin type, makes a good gift, or complements another service, make it known.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
Your goal is to have your menu make clients want what you’ve got. But you also want to convince them that only you’ve got it. A good way to do this is to stay away from generic service names. Why call a pedicure the “Extreme Pedicure” when you could call it the “I’ve Been Bad Pedicure,” or the “Mango (or other key ingredient) Infusion Pedicure,” or the “Replenish Pedicure.”
As spas innovate traditional services by incorporating unique, tantalizing, and exotic ingredients, clients are becoming more interested in what goes into their manicure or pedicure services. So tell them the products you’ll be using, and make them sound good. If you use fresh ingredients, mention them. If you make your own products, mention it. If you serve an accompanying beverage or snack, mention it.
We read this menu and thought, “We couldn’t have done it better.” The Honey Child Chicago Salon menu has moxie, a unique voice, quickly conveys the spirit of the salon, and makes us want to have one of everything on the menu. If you find a menu you like, figure out what makes it tick. Why is it connecting with you? Learn from its success and adopt its strong suits when writing your menu.
To give you an idea of what can be done to spice up your menu, we took some actual services from existing menus and reworked them.
Original: Spa Pedicure $30
Nail shaping, cuticle care, exfoliation, callus smoothing, moisture pack, heated booties or cooling masque, massage, lotion, traditional polish
New: Speechless Pedicure $30
Feet are treated to our most decadent pedicure. Soaked in warm milk and dribbled with rose water, feet are then given a complete rejuvenation. Tired feet are massaged with sea salt, dusted with aromatic spices and invigorated with a crisp, fresh cucumber mask. Feet emerge glowing, rested, restored.
Original: Basic Manicure $15
Nail shaping, cuticle care, lotion, traditional polish.
New: House Red $15
When you’d like something nice but not extravagant, you order the House Red. Sweet, but not sinful, the House Red starts with a nail trimming and shaping. Fingers are soaked and cuticles softened in an effervescent bath. Cuticles are tended to and an exfoliating scrub makes hands feel like butter. Finally, a warm lotion massage relieves stress and polish makes you feel pretty.
Original: Specialty Pedicure $22
Relaxing Pedicure with massage and polish
Men’s Pedicure includes extra exfoliation & foot massage
New: Breakfast in Bed Pedicure $22
mmm. Warm cinnamon oatmeal just like mom used to make—all over your feet. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. This all-natural pedicure uses only fresh, organic ingredients to cleanse and rejuvenate feet as nature intended. Crushed apples are mixed with oatmeal for a zingy scrub. A cinnamon, oatmeal, and heavy cream mask warms the feet, moisturizes the skin, and soothes the muscles. Feeling all warm and fuzzy, you’ll enjoy a 15-minute foot and leg massage that sends you off into dreamland before we revive you with a hot cup of cinnamon tea. It’s like getting a whole new start to your day, but better.
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