Yes, there are actually quite a few similarities between a restaurant’s and a spa menu: you’ll get information about the offers and prices, some times about the philosophy or the approach of the place. You may even get information about the folks in the kitchen, take away offers, catering services (of course I’m still talking about restaurants J) etc. Now, but what is your impression if a restaurant offers a wild mix of, lets say Japanese Sushi, Indian Cuisine, some variety of Italian Spaghetti, a wide choice of Hamburgers and Bavarian Style breakfast? I would at least raise my eyebrows and probably walk away looking out for the next place…
Well – but that’s exactly what too many spa menus contain all around the world: a wild mix of treatments listed, sometimes sorted, and completed by respective price tags. Of course you may argue that this is a way to follow most popular demands worldwide – but to be honest: such a spa menu is boring and will result in anything but differentiating your spa from the spa next door.
Less could be more
So my point here is that a spa menu is first of all a representation of your brand. It mirrors your idea of hospitality. You may answer that your way of hospitality is to offer whatever a guest could ask for. But I would rather argue to stay focused, define core areas of benefits you would like to offer to your guests and develop sets of treatments accordingly.
Many guests are too shy to ask what a treatment really consists of. Help these guests by explaining in a few words what a treatment is about, describe duration and effects. The more exotic the treatment is the more such an explanation will be appreciated. And those who know it will appreciate your professionalism in the field. In any case this will help to manage expectations of your guests towards a specific treatment. But be careful, it will also reveal your limits – e.g. the 60 minutes Lomi Lomi massage I see more and more out there shouldn’t exist by definition. Well, but also this will manage your guests’ expectations. ;-)
Not a replacement of consultation
Having a great spa menu can’t replace a consultation with your guest. The staff should always ensure a guest knows what he has chosen. Ideally the spa menu is the door opener – and the following consultation is not (only) a sales pitch but should be considered as the first step into a long lasting customer relationship.
A price list without prices?
Is it a must for a spa menu to have the prices listed? Not in my humble opinion. I have seen several spa menus, perfectly designed and very inviting. They were almost a perfect invitation. The price list was attached on a separate small folder or leaflet which had a double effect: no economic facts spoiled dreaming about treatments and it is also a perfect way to invite a person you love to enjoy some treatments without making them worry about the prices.
Brand & Approach – Invitation & Explanation – Professional Information. It’s these three elements that make a good spa menu. And last but not least consider not only design but also the feel of a printed menu that will definitely add to the quality perception of what you are offering in your spa.