Personal interaction with customers is critical to the beauty and wellness industry — it is nearly impossible to provide cosmetology services such as haircuts and manicures, not to mention wellness services like massages or chiro. The beauty and wellness industries have without a doubt been hit as hard as any other business during the pandemic, if not more so. There are, however, definitely ways in which these services can still be provided while also keeping guests safe. Below, we will discuss some tips in creating a welcoming and safe salon environment where you feel confident in your safety and so do your customers.
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Eliminate Unnecessary Contact
One of the easiest ways you can minimize risk for your clients and your team is eliminating the waiting room and instead implementing virtual check-ins, or have customers wait in their cars or outside until you have a space available for them to sit. You may also choose to take advantage of personal devices and software that allows clients to check out from anywhere, allowing them to skip the front desk and enjoy a contactless checkout.
If your salon requires a waiting area or cannot function without one, then tape off certain areas for individual guests, or install dividers so customers can relax safely in their own space. Remove any unnecessary items that are typically shared, like magazines, style books, and service menus. Instead, place QR codes on a visible surface so customers can scan them with their phones and view them via their personal device.
Limit the number of people within your salon at one time, including clients and employees. Allow for social distancing as much as possible. This may mean adding extra space between service stations and chairs when possible. Do not allow walk-ins and encourage clients to instead book appoints ahead either online or by phone. Request that clients wear masks throughout the appointment, and keep a stash of masks for clients who forget.
Keep it Clean
Chances are that before coronavirus, you were already maintaining a high level of cleanliness. It is expected that cleanliness reaches new levels to ensure that both employees and customers are safe. Allow yourself at least 15 minutes between guests to allow for cleaning and disinfecting service stations and tools. Clients should get a fresh cape and a neck strip, and employees should wear a new pair of gloves between appointments. In addition to an employee cleaning schedule, you also may want to hire a professional deep cleaning service once a week.
Communicate New Guidelines to Your Clients
Make a plan of how you will be communicating new guidelines to your clients. Maybe it’s when you welcome them into your salon for their appointment, or before-hand when you confirm the appointment via text, email, social media, or phone calls. This information should encourage clients to return for services and also help them understand what to expect with all the new changes. Consider also adding this information to your website so it’s easy to find in addition to printing out the information and hanging it up somewhere visible and noticeable in your salon.
Check COVID Rates in Your Area
Checking the COVID rates in your area will be one of the most important factors in deciding the maximum occupancy of your salon, or even whether or not to open. The best way to gauge this risk is to look at your local numbers through your local health department website. A test positivity rate — the percentage of people tested who were positive for the virus — below 5 percent is ideal. If the positivity rate is above 10 percent, your community may be dealing with an uncontrolled spread, which means that you are potentially putting yourself and customers in harm’s way by allowing clients back into your salon.
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