Ask an expert
Facials

Massage might be a spa-goer’s favourite treatment, but facials are better for business. We find out how spa operators can persuade their clients to forgo their automatic choice

By Elly Earls | Published in Spa Business 2013 issue 3


Industry research confirms time and again that massage is the number one treatment received by spa-goers, but facials are far more profitable. Indeed, while massages may seem to be better for business because they cost less to perform than product-heavy facials, this is actually a false economy because the retail potential for body treatments is low.

“If you’re performing a US$150 massage, the chances are you’re [only] going to get US$150, but if you use that hour for a facial, you could potentially get US$300, US$400 or even US$500 on top of that with retail,” confirms global spa consultant Nigel Franklyn, who currently works exclusively with skincare company Sodashi as its ‘spa whisperer’. “Massage will always be the spa’s bread and butter, but facials are an incredibly important component when it comes to generating untapped retail revenue.”

Anecdotal evidence from spas around the world suggests that facials are becoming more popular too. At Trellis Spa at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, USA, spa director Renae Cassam is converting one of her massage rooms to an aesthetic room to meet growing demand for facials, while at Israel’s Carmel Forest Spa Resort, the proportion of guests opting for facials has zoomed up from 10 per cent 10 years ago to 30 per cent today.

However, while it may be easier than it used to be to convince spa-goers to forgo their automatic choice of a massage for a bottom line boosting facial, this is still by no means an easy task. So, how can spa operators do it?

For Franklyn, it’s all about lots of small changes. “My goal is not to take away all the massages and put in facials; but to create a healthier balance,” he explains, adding that the training of everyone in the spa – from the reservation department to the therapists – is the key to both booking more facials and generating the all-important retail sale.

We asked three other seasoned spa professionals – all of whom have benefited from encouraging their customers to try facials and facial courses – whether they agree.



Sylvie Cohen Gabay General Manager Cramim Resort & Spa

 

Sylvie Cohen Gabay
 

There’s no doubt that facials are becoming more popular. Ten years ago, when I was managing the Carmel Forest Spa Resort in Israel only 10 per cent of treatments were facials. Now, at the same hotel, this is close to 30 per cent. A woman who goes to a spa hotel will always have at least one facial during her stay. Both men and women are realising that taking care of their face is something that will make them look and feel better.

When we opened Cramim Resort & Spa in June, we did so with 10 facials by Israeli brand Christina Cosmeceuticals and Dermalogica. These makes up a quarter of our spa treatments. We offer so many facials because there’s more chance that a guest will find something to suit their needs.

I believe the unique vinotherapy treatments by Christina Cosmeceuticals – the first of their kind in Israel – will keep demand for facials strong as they connect very well with the story of the hotel, which is located in the wine region in Judea.

Overall, facials are already very popular. Female customers who only come for one treatment tend to prefer facials over body massages, while most guests who take packages will choose those with a combination of facial and body treatments rather than focused just on the body.

We also encourage clients to have more than one facial by offering competitively priced courses. These consist of four to seven treatments, with discounts of around 15-20 per cent off a la carte prices depending on how many facials are included.

But treatments won’t sell themselves. So before we opened, we trained all spa staff on all the treatments we offer, including demonstrations from both Christina Cosmeceuticals and Dermalogica. The hotel reservation department also received general training. Having this knowledge means they’re far more confident in selling facials and that they also offer customers a treatment that can really meet their needs.

To sell as many products as possible, we encourage therapists to talk to the client about what they’re using and to suggest which ones would work best at home. At the end, each customer is given a brochure with product suggestions marked on it and they get a 10 per cent reduction on all products in the hotel shop.

Cramim Resort & Spa only opened just over a month ago, but I can already see that it will go the same way as Carmel Forest Spa Resort (see SB09/1 p54). This is great because, of course, you can sell more products off facials than body treatments. Thirty per cent of our hotel shop’s retail sales are currently for facial products; this is much higher than for body products.


Prior to Cramim, Cohen Gabay managed two other spa resorts in Israel: Hotel Beresheet and Carmel Forest Spa Resort.
Details: www.isrotelexclusivecollection.com or www.christina-cosmeceuticals.com



Nigel Franklyn The spa whisperer Sodashi


 

Nigel Franklyn
 

My role at Sodashi is to help its partner spas to reach their optimal potential, including profitability. Retail sales is key to this and as facials are product heavy, they obviously have more retail potential than most body treatments. So, if one of your goals is to increase your retail, you should aim to book more facials.

To do this, spas should keep their treatment menu simple as too much choice creates confusion. I’d suggest having no more than three product houses and around four facials – a deep cleanse, an anti-ageing choice, a man’s facial and a premium offering. And list facials at the front of treatment menu to highlight them.

However, remember that unless you’ve focused on developing your staff and their connection with the therapy and the product, no matter what treatment you’re offering, you won’t be maximising anything at all.

I regularly consult on behalf of Sodashi at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris and one of my key focuses is to train receptionists that their role shouldn’t be to simply facilitate bookings and take payments. I get them, and therapists, to ditch robotic scripts and talk about facials in the same way as massages – as an ‘experience’ and how they make people feel rather than how they make a person look. This leads to a more emotional and energised level of communication which can override problematic language barriers.

As Sodashi facial protocols have elements of massage in – from lymphatic moves to Indian pressure points techniques – it makes it even easier for staff to describe them as experiences. This technique not only helps to encourage bookings, but can aid retail sales – if you can get someone to an emotional point where they cannot equate those feelings with their products they already have at home, they will buy new ones.

George V has been a fabulous success story. The pace of the spa, the energy and, ultimately, the revenue, have all increased dramatically. Not only are we booking more facials, we’re booking the really expensive ones. What I find fascinating is that while there’s a big difference between US$1,000 and US$10,000 per month in retail, the effort it’s taken to close that gap, is practically none. The trick has been making lots of very little changes and putting them in a row; you end up creating a bigger, better, more profitable environment but nobody quite knows what they’re doing differently.


Ditch robotic scripts and talk about facials in the same way as massages – how they make a person feel rather than how they make them look. This leads to a more emotional and energised level of communication

 



Franklyn suggests spas have no more than three product houses to avoid overloading the menu
Nigel Franklyn has consulted for the global luxury spa industry for 13 years. For the past six years he’s worked exclusively with Sodashi and its clients such as the Four Seasons, Amanresorts and The Siam in Bangkok.
Details: www.sodashi.com
or www.fourseasons.com/paris



Delphine Quargnul Spa Director Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

 

Delphine Quargnul
 

We’re very lucky as we have a clientele who absolutely love facials. Even when they book a body massage, they’ll often ask for a face massage to be included. The reason for this is that not only is a facial relaxing, but you can also see the results right away – and because customers can immediately smell, touch and see how different their face is after a treatment it’s much easier to sell products which could range from lotions to serums and creams for the night and day.

We’ve been focused on facials since we opened five years ago. We have two facial brands – Bellefontaine and Carita – that are both extremely well-liked. The Carita Cinetic Lift Expert machine, which uses microcurrents, luminotherapy and ultrasonic micromassage for the skin and scalp [see SB12/4 p93], is particularly popular because it offers three different treatments in one machine. We often recommend our guests have more than one treatment with the machine for better results.

This year, we also brought in a trainer from Carita, and this has been the key to generating more retail sales. Our therapists are now very comfortable recommending products to guests because they know specifically about each item and can talk about them with much more confidence.

I’d say that 85 per cent of our retail sales come from facial products. And, although it’s difficult to pinpoint how much our revenue has increased since we implemented the new training strategy, there’s no doubt it has improved.


Delphine Quargnul has been working in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, including 11 years at Four Seasons.
Details: www.grand-hotel-cap-ferrat.com or www.carita.com



Renae Cassam Spa Director
Trellis Spa at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa

 

Renae Cassam
 

We have 21 treatment rooms, seven of which are for facials. Although we perform more massages, the aesthetics portion of our business is much more profitable as it ties into the retail product sales.

Plus, it’s easier to maintain regular customers via facials. Most clients see immediate results and want to return. If aestheticians can get customers to see them every three weeks, they retain relationships which leads to in a locked-in revenue stream.

In the last few years, we’ve really started focusing on facials. We’re now in our third year partnering with Natura Bissé, a brand we chose because of its excellent reputation for skincare and facials, and since bringing them in, we’ve had a 30 per cent increase in facials booked. We’ve also had at least a 30 per cent growth in retail sales as we’ve been tying in our treatments more with retail by making product recommendations on the back of our skin and treatment analysis.

Because demand for facials has considerably increased, we’ll be converting one of our massage rooms into an aesthetics room.

One of the most important attributions to this success has been our great training programme. We have multiple in-house sessions per year as well as great training partnerships with our vendors. Natura Bissé offers a week-long training programme in Dallas and their trainers are frequently on-site training our staff on retail products and facials.

We also promote our facials throughout the spa, as many times as we can. When a customer is making a reservation, we’ll ask them if they’d like to book a facial after their massage. Additionally, our massage therapists – who know the products well – will often recommend having a Natura Bissé facial as well as a body treatment.

Of course, we don’t ever want to overwhelm our clients, so we do all of this in a very subtle, professional way and make sure we’re always tailoring our treatments to our clients’ needs.


We’ve had at least 30 per cent growth in retail sales as we’ve been tying in face treatments with product recommendations... Because of the demand for facials, we’ll be converting one of our massage rooms into an aesthetics room

 



Since bringing in Natura Bissé three years ago, the spa’s had a 30 per cent increase in facial bookings
Cassam joined The Houstonian from the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in Florida. Prior to that, she was a spa director at two high-end hotels in Atlanta.
Details: www.houstonian.com
or www.naturabisse.com

 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
07 Jul 2022 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine

Features List



SELECTED ISSUE
Spa Business
2013 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Facials

Ask an expert

Facials


Massage might be a spa-goer’s favourite treatment, but facials are better for business. We find out how spa operators can persuade their clients to forgo their automatic choice

Elly Earls
Israel’s Cramim Spa offers courses of facials by Christina Cosmeceuticals to tempt guests

Industry research confirms time and again that massage is the number one treatment received by spa-goers, but facials are far more profitable. Indeed, while massages may seem to be better for business because they cost less to perform than product-heavy facials, this is actually a false economy because the retail potential for body treatments is low.

“If you’re performing a US$150 massage, the chances are you’re [only] going to get US$150, but if you use that hour for a facial, you could potentially get US$300, US$400 or even US$500 on top of that with retail,” confirms global spa consultant Nigel Franklyn, who currently works exclusively with skincare company Sodashi as its ‘spa whisperer’. “Massage will always be the spa’s bread and butter, but facials are an incredibly important component when it comes to generating untapped retail revenue.”

Anecdotal evidence from spas around the world suggests that facials are becoming more popular too. At Trellis Spa at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, USA, spa director Renae Cassam is converting one of her massage rooms to an aesthetic room to meet growing demand for facials, while at Israel’s Carmel Forest Spa Resort, the proportion of guests opting for facials has zoomed up from 10 per cent 10 years ago to 30 per cent today.

However, while it may be easier than it used to be to convince spa-goers to forgo their automatic choice of a massage for a bottom line boosting facial, this is still by no means an easy task. So, how can spa operators do it?

For Franklyn, it’s all about lots of small changes. “My goal is not to take away all the massages and put in facials; but to create a healthier balance,” he explains, adding that the training of everyone in the spa – from the reservation department to the therapists – is the key to both booking more facials and generating the all-important retail sale.

We asked three other seasoned spa professionals – all of whom have benefited from encouraging their customers to try facials and facial courses – whether they agree.



Sylvie Cohen Gabay General Manager Cramim Resort & Spa

 

Sylvie Cohen Gabay
 

There’s no doubt that facials are becoming more popular. Ten years ago, when I was managing the Carmel Forest Spa Resort in Israel only 10 per cent of treatments were facials. Now, at the same hotel, this is close to 30 per cent. A woman who goes to a spa hotel will always have at least one facial during her stay. Both men and women are realising that taking care of their face is something that will make them look and feel better.

When we opened Cramim Resort & Spa in June, we did so with 10 facials by Israeli brand Christina Cosmeceuticals and Dermalogica. These makes up a quarter of our spa treatments. We offer so many facials because there’s more chance that a guest will find something to suit their needs.

I believe the unique vinotherapy treatments by Christina Cosmeceuticals – the first of their kind in Israel – will keep demand for facials strong as they connect very well with the story of the hotel, which is located in the wine region in Judea.

Overall, facials are already very popular. Female customers who only come for one treatment tend to prefer facials over body massages, while most guests who take packages will choose those with a combination of facial and body treatments rather than focused just on the body.

We also encourage clients to have more than one facial by offering competitively priced courses. These consist of four to seven treatments, with discounts of around 15-20 per cent off a la carte prices depending on how many facials are included.

But treatments won’t sell themselves. So before we opened, we trained all spa staff on all the treatments we offer, including demonstrations from both Christina Cosmeceuticals and Dermalogica. The hotel reservation department also received general training. Having this knowledge means they’re far more confident in selling facials and that they also offer customers a treatment that can really meet their needs.

To sell as many products as possible, we encourage therapists to talk to the client about what they’re using and to suggest which ones would work best at home. At the end, each customer is given a brochure with product suggestions marked on it and they get a 10 per cent reduction on all products in the hotel shop.

Cramim Resort & Spa only opened just over a month ago, but I can already see that it will go the same way as Carmel Forest Spa Resort (see SB09/1 p54). This is great because, of course, you can sell more products off facials than body treatments. Thirty per cent of our hotel shop’s retail sales are currently for facial products; this is much higher than for body products.


Prior to Cramim, Cohen Gabay managed two other spa resorts in Israel: Hotel Beresheet and Carmel Forest Spa Resort.
Details: www.isrotelexclusivecollection.com or www.christina-cosmeceuticals.com



Nigel Franklyn The spa whisperer Sodashi


 

Nigel Franklyn
 

My role at Sodashi is to help its partner spas to reach their optimal potential, including profitability. Retail sales is key to this and as facials are product heavy, they obviously have more retail potential than most body treatments. So, if one of your goals is to increase your retail, you should aim to book more facials.

To do this, spas should keep their treatment menu simple as too much choice creates confusion. I’d suggest having no more than three product houses and around four facials – a deep cleanse, an anti-ageing choice, a man’s facial and a premium offering. And list facials at the front of treatment menu to highlight them.

However, remember that unless you’ve focused on developing your staff and their connection with the therapy and the product, no matter what treatment you’re offering, you won’t be maximising anything at all.

I regularly consult on behalf of Sodashi at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris and one of my key focuses is to train receptionists that their role shouldn’t be to simply facilitate bookings and take payments. I get them, and therapists, to ditch robotic scripts and talk about facials in the same way as massages – as an ‘experience’ and how they make people feel rather than how they make a person look. This leads to a more emotional and energised level of communication which can override problematic language barriers.

As Sodashi facial protocols have elements of massage in – from lymphatic moves to Indian pressure points techniques – it makes it even easier for staff to describe them as experiences. This technique not only helps to encourage bookings, but can aid retail sales – if you can get someone to an emotional point where they cannot equate those feelings with their products they already have at home, they will buy new ones.

George V has been a fabulous success story. The pace of the spa, the energy and, ultimately, the revenue, have all increased dramatically. Not only are we booking more facials, we’re booking the really expensive ones. What I find fascinating is that while there’s a big difference between US$1,000 and US$10,000 per month in retail, the effort it’s taken to close that gap, is practically none. The trick has been making lots of very little changes and putting them in a row; you end up creating a bigger, better, more profitable environment but nobody quite knows what they’re doing differently.


Ditch robotic scripts and talk about facials in the same way as massages – how they make a person feel rather than how they make them look. This leads to a more emotional and energised level of communication

 



Franklyn suggests spas have no more than three product houses to avoid overloading the menu
Nigel Franklyn has consulted for the global luxury spa industry for 13 years. For the past six years he’s worked exclusively with Sodashi and its clients such as the Four Seasons, Amanresorts and The Siam in Bangkok.
Details: www.sodashi.com
or www.fourseasons.com/paris



Delphine Quargnul Spa Director Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

 

Delphine Quargnul
 

We’re very lucky as we have a clientele who absolutely love facials. Even when they book a body massage, they’ll often ask for a face massage to be included. The reason for this is that not only is a facial relaxing, but you can also see the results right away – and because customers can immediately smell, touch and see how different their face is after a treatment it’s much easier to sell products which could range from lotions to serums and creams for the night and day.

We’ve been focused on facials since we opened five years ago. We have two facial brands – Bellefontaine and Carita – that are both extremely well-liked. The Carita Cinetic Lift Expert machine, which uses microcurrents, luminotherapy and ultrasonic micromassage for the skin and scalp [see SB12/4 p93], is particularly popular because it offers three different treatments in one machine. We often recommend our guests have more than one treatment with the machine for better results.

This year, we also brought in a trainer from Carita, and this has been the key to generating more retail sales. Our therapists are now very comfortable recommending products to guests because they know specifically about each item and can talk about them with much more confidence.

I’d say that 85 per cent of our retail sales come from facial products. And, although it’s difficult to pinpoint how much our revenue has increased since we implemented the new training strategy, there’s no doubt it has improved.


Delphine Quargnul has been working in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, including 11 years at Four Seasons.
Details: www.grand-hotel-cap-ferrat.com or www.carita.com



Renae Cassam Spa Director
Trellis Spa at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa

 

Renae Cassam
 

We have 21 treatment rooms, seven of which are for facials. Although we perform more massages, the aesthetics portion of our business is much more profitable as it ties into the retail product sales.

Plus, it’s easier to maintain regular customers via facials. Most clients see immediate results and want to return. If aestheticians can get customers to see them every three weeks, they retain relationships which leads to in a locked-in revenue stream.

In the last few years, we’ve really started focusing on facials. We’re now in our third year partnering with Natura Bissé, a brand we chose because of its excellent reputation for skincare and facials, and since bringing them in, we’ve had a 30 per cent increase in facials booked. We’ve also had at least a 30 per cent growth in retail sales as we’ve been tying in our treatments more with retail by making product recommendations on the back of our skin and treatment analysis.

Because demand for facials has considerably increased, we’ll be converting one of our massage rooms into an aesthetics room.

One of the most important attributions to this success has been our great training programme. We have multiple in-house sessions per year as well as great training partnerships with our vendors. Natura Bissé offers a week-long training programme in Dallas and their trainers are frequently on-site training our staff on retail products and facials.

We also promote our facials throughout the spa, as many times as we can. When a customer is making a reservation, we’ll ask them if they’d like to book a facial after their massage. Additionally, our massage therapists – who know the products well – will often recommend having a Natura Bissé facial as well as a body treatment.

Of course, we don’t ever want to overwhelm our clients, so we do all of this in a very subtle, professional way and make sure we’re always tailoring our treatments to our clients’ needs.


We’ve had at least 30 per cent growth in retail sales as we’ve been tying in face treatments with product recommendations... Because of the demand for facials, we’ll be converting one of our massage rooms into an aesthetics room

 



Since bringing in Natura Bissé three years ago, the spa’s had a 30 per cent increase in facial bookings
Cassam joined The Houstonian from the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in Florida. Prior to that, she was a spa director at two high-end hotels in Atlanta.
Details: www.houstonian.com
or www.naturabisse.com


Originally published in Spa Business 2013 issue 3

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd