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As some salons are coming back to life (witness New York, opening under Phase 3) after the COVID-19 shutdown, we thought it appropriate to continue the dialog on the heightened importance of salon hygiene and sanitation. It is a new day/new way, for sure.
Part and parcel to our Sun is Life® Training and Certification program is a section covering salon hygiene. It includes details of the requisite salon cleaning list: acrylic shields, system timer/fan knobs and controls, floors, pillows and door knobs. However, with coronavirus coming into the picture this year, we all will need to step it up several notches. Look for these new salon hygiene strategies to soon be integrated into Sun is Life curriculum.
I reached out to one of my salon pro friends, Teresa Terry of Electric Sun in Gardner, KS to discuss some of the key adjustments they have made. At her two facilities, it really starts the moment you walk through the door. Throughout the salons are several infusers that emit a pleasant scent. “Joe, people were quarantined for so long, they really want to unwind and relax at our salons,” she explained. “We want them to immediately feel, as well as see our changes.” Signage reminds guests to practice social distancing. Although masks are not currently state-mandated for tanners to enter the salon, the Electric Sun staff wear them when interacting with guests. Inside each room, everything that can be touched is wiped down and sanitized after each session – “but that has always been the way at Electric Sun,” she added.
I asked Teresa if they had made any changes to their eyewear policy to increase cleanliness. “We made it mandatory for all tanners to purchase their own FDA-compliant eye protection,” she answered. “If someone forgets to bring it, we will supply them with a pair of disposables.” Teresa had planned to continue this for another few weeks to get everyone on board with the new policy.
Interestingly, an unexpected change also occurred that doesn’t have much to do with hygiene, but a lot to do with the overall salon atmosphere. During the early weeks of the shutdown, Teresa and her husband, Howard, took the opportunity to do some intense, wall-to-wall cleaning to prep the salons for re-opening. In the midst of the cleaning project, Teresa found some artwork that she had put away a long time ago. There were several pieces, all featuring quotes about positivity. “I could not believe how fortuitous it was, considering all the things people have been going through,” Teresa said. She immediately hung them on the walls – and the result: customers love them!
Lastly, Teresa and I talked about how crucial customer service is moving forward. “Customer service has always been important – but now, it’s non-negotiable,” she said. “If one of our staff cannot solve the issue, they can contact Howard or me for immediate resolution. We know our guests can choose to tan at any salon, and we don’t ever want to give them a reason to leave us.”
Well said, Teresa. IST wishes the Terrys and their staff continued success at Electric Sun Tanning!
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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