Founded in 2004 by physical therapist John Marco, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (multiple locations) was intended to fill the void that existed from a lack of national massage brands despite bodywork’s growing popularity. Seizing the moment, the company franchised the concept in 2006. With locations in 28 states, it employs approximately 15 to 20 staff members in each spa. After a record-breaking year in 2015, the company celebrated the opening of its new corporate headquarters in Trevose, PA, in February 2016. “Our spas have seen comparable sales growth of more than 20 percent each year for the past five years,” says CEO Todd Leff. “In 2016, our comparable sales were up 20 percent over 2015. We have grown from 26 spas in 2009 to more than 300 spas today.”
Here, Leff shares how the franchise is thriving.
The reception area at Hand & Stone Massage Spa in Vancouver, WA
To what do you attribute Hand & Stone's success?
We focus on our three core pillars—maintaining professionalism and exceptional customer experience, making the service affordable, and having convenient hours and locations so customers get the service when and where they want.
Why do you think it has succeeded where others have failed?
We have stayed focused on massage, facials, and hair removal. By stressing excellence and affordability in that narrow range of service, we have been able to perfect the experience and delivery.
What have been the biggest challenges in expanding and growing the business?
The biggest challenge is adding enough trained staff to meet the demand. As you grow, it is important to make sure all team members are on board and the service is consistent.
Hand & Stone Massage Spa in Chamblee, GA
How do you attract new and repeat clients and encourage them to visit?
With a strong member base, more than 50 percent of the business for mature locations comes from members. We keep them engaged with new services and upgrades. To attract new customers, we offer an introductory rate so they can come in and try the service at a reduced price.
How do you use digital marketing and social media to boost business?
Digital and social marketing have become much more important the past several years. Our entire grand opening strategy is now based around a Facebook promotion. We have also expanded our ad budget on social media and use video on that platform, as well.
How do you keep the treatment menu fresh and relevant?
We listen to the professionals in the field who are always interested in adding services to the menu. Before launching nationwide, we always test the services with consumers to gauge demand and with staff to make sure we can deliver the service consistently across 300 locations.
The spa in Greensboro, NC, welcomes guests with the brand's signature logo.
How do you keep your staff motivated to sell?
We continually train staff on educating consumers about products and services. Our staff wants to be informed and advance their skills. We have also launched new tools, such as video training and our game-training app, which makes learning about sales fun.
What plans do you have for the future?
We expect to open another 60 locations next year and continue to expand to new markets. We will be launching a new online booking tool for all of our spas and rolling out new massage and facial services. Finally, we are rolling out a redesign of our spa lobby, including new colors, flooring, display pieces, and kiosks for quicker member checkout.