How Effective is your MENU?

Read this blog and replace common spa menu mistakes with 10 strategies sure to help you improve your menu and sell your services..

In working with spas over the past 11 years, I have visited many spas and collected 100’s of menus.  As you can imagine, the variety of menus out there is vast in shapes, colors, styles, and images.

One major difference I have found is what some spa owners and spa directors consider to be a menu.  When visiting some spas, I would ask for a spa menu and sometimes I would only receive a price list/pamphlet.  So what is the difference between a menu and a pamphlet? And which one helps sell more services?

Menu: A menu is a multi page booklet offering your guests or clients treatment descriptions and information about the spa and their experiences.  A good menu EXCITES & COMPELLS the guests to reserve a package or a treatment.

A Pamphlet or Price list: Simply states the names of the treatments with the price listed next to them. In many cases, spa directors mistake a price list for a menu. There’s a BIG difference between the two.

Which one is more effective?

Obviously, menus sell more services because their descriptions entice your guests to the benefits of your treatments.  Having said that, keep in mind that copywriting is an art. Your treatment descriptions need to stimulate all the senses and be focused on the RESULTS the guest will gain from your treatments. Having a pamphlet with only the name of treatment does NOT SELL your services.

Menu mistakes to be replaced with strategies to SELL your services:

1. Our: I find the word “OUR” in many menus.  It’s not about “OUR,” it’s all about the guest.  The verbiage should focus on “YOUR” treatment, not “our” treatment.

Go through your menu and your website and count how many “our” you have.  Replace them with “YOUR” or rephrase the sentence to focus on them.

2. First page: So many times, I see the spa’s policy on the first inside page of the menu.  BIG mistake!  The first page should have your welcome and a short paragraph about your story. The “how to spa” page should be the very last page within the menu.

*Cancellation Policy:  Replace it with “Rescheduling your experience”.  Who wants to hear about your policies when they are thinking about a spa experience?

3. Small Font: Your clientele needs to be able to read the menu, remember baby boomers!

4. Images: You know the saying “one picture is worth a thousand words.”  So often, I don’t see any images in the menu and when I do see some, it’s normally of an empty room as if we are selling real estate. Remember, we are selling emotional connections.  Make sure the pictures in your menu have people in them.

5. Pricing: If you are going to invest in a menu, make sure you don’t include prices in it.  The price list should be a card insert. This way if you change your prices, you won’t have to replace the entire menu.

6. Too many treatment options: So many spas feel that they need numerous treatments and options.  Keeping your menu simple is a key factor to selling your services.  When you overload guests with too many options, they will not take action.

7. Book your service: I see this phrase too often, replace it with “reserve your spa experience.”

8. Measuring the menu’s performance: Run the following reports to discover how effective your treatment selections are:

  • Best sellers

  • Least demanding

  • Most popular price point

  • Least popular price point

  • Packages vs. a la carte

Adjust accordingly.

9. Changing and updating your menu: Your menu needs to change at least once per year, especially in today’s economy.  If you are still talking about pampering, you are killing your business.  Shift your menu to de-stress, balance, health and wellness programs. During the Leap Ahead spa leader seminar the attendees get to see samples of effective menus and leave with step by step instructions on how to structure a menu that sells your services.  Your menu is a very important marketing tool, don’t take it lightly!

10. Focus group. When you are thinking about making menu changes, gather a group of your loyal clients (focus group) who represent the majority of your market and share with them what you are planning to change.  Have them experience the treatment, discuss price point, and make your decision accordingly.

Leave your comments and opinion about menus… or feel free to ask a question.