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I recently spoke with Drew Spurgers, owner of three tanning salons in Little Rock and Conway, AR, about how his salons were re-opening after being closed for the health crisis. Spurgers has a unique perspective, as he also owns Kanga Studio, a marketing company that designs videos and websites for many types of businesses. With his advertising background, I thought his ideas would be helpful to other operators re-opening their facilities.
“My first recommendation is that operators do everything they can to create a fresh and clean environment. It’s really important that salon guests feel safe and secure to re-enter your salon,” Spurgers shared. “In the cleanliness arena, there is nothing you can do that is above and beyond. We repainted and bought some inexpensive new furniture pieces to make everything look fresh and clean. We reorganized the front counter and added sanitizer and a cough shield. We are only taking appointments and allowing ten guests inside at a time. They’ll text us from the parking lot, so we can keep everyone socially distanced. We are doing a million other things, but the theme is, ‘This is the safest, cleanest salon in the world.’” Drew also explained that you have to inform your tanners about the changes, as well as what your expectations are. “Our second theme is to let them know everything we are doing to protect them,” he continued. “Communication is extremely important. You want to repeat your message in texts, emails, social media, signs on your salon’s door and inside your tanning rooms – the more you communicate, the more they will know you care.”
I asked Spurgers to expand on what might be involved in over-hyping cleanliness. “We are taking every precaution. We want our guests to be comfortable and protect them in every way, and we definitely want our staff and their families to be safe.” At his salon’s front door, Spurgers is adding hand sanitizer and keeps Clorox wipes for staff to wipe the door on both sides when guests enter and leave. “We’ll repeat that throughout the salon – at the counter and in the tanning rooms. We are providing tanning bed sanitizer in each room, in case the tanner wants to re-clean the bed for their peace of mind.”
Spurgers had some new ideas on eye protection, also. “For years, we have provided free eye protection. Now, we have changed that. When a tanner buys a membership, they get a free pair of goggles, which they must show to staff when they check in for a session. If our guest doesn’t have their goggles, they must buy disposables for 55 cents. We are also considering offering ten pairs of disposables if they would prefer disposable eyewear over the pair of goggles we currently offer.”
The operator continues, “We also provide a lot of sunless tanning sessions. We give every sunless tanner free Sticky Feet (foot protection), nose filters, lip balm, a disposable thong, clear spray-tan disposable eye protection, barrier cream and a hairnet. Our plan is to make sure we have done everything to protect ourselves legally, and to protect our guests.” Also hanging in Drew’s salons are signs that explain FDA’s recommendation that sunless tanners use eyewear, nose filters, lip balm and a thong to cover all mucous membranes from the sunless spray solution. As we all know now, the eyes are an open path into your body, just like your mouth and nose. Clean eyewear is so important to protecting your guests.
Author’s note: I especially was impressed with a Facebook post by Sunsational Tans in Georgia. It’s a long and very comprehensive note to their tanners as they recently re-opened after shutdown. Email Brenda@WinkEase.com and I’ll send you the post to use as an idea for your own message to tanners.
President of Eye Pro, Brenda has spent more than two decades in the industry building Eye Pro, Inc., maker of the world-leading Wink-Ease disposable eyewear. Her background includes everything from a marketing & management degree from Indiana University, to a commercial pilot’s license, scuba diving and studying healing and massage. In addition to ensuring every indoor tanner wears eye protection, her passions include protecting endangered animals.
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