Step Right UpSeptember 1, 2005 By: Carrie Watson American Salon
Some salons thrive on walk-in customers, others are strictly by appointment. We asked salon pros whether they market to unscheduled clients and what percentage of their business comes from them.
Pharaoh's Hairum Salons & Spas (Rochester, NY)
We don't really promote walk-in services—we really push our clients to book ahead, and we run promotions to entice them to do that. We have raffles every month, so every time someone books three appointments ahead, their name goes in a raffle for the chance to win a prize. After seven scheduled appointments, every eighth cut is free.
Expressions Salon & Spa (Cedar Rapids, IA)
After someone walks in, we usually send a welcome card in the mail and a coupon for their next visit. We keep track of walk-in clients to see if they come back again.
Silhouette Hair Design (Melbourne, FL)
We've been in business for 32 years and the number of walk-ins we have now is blowing my mind. We had nine people walk in a few days ago who wanted foils! A few years ago that would have been unheard of. And they don't even care which stylist they're getting! It's got to be because of our reputation. I have 15 chairs, but I try to keep 20 hairdressers on staff so that I can always have the salon fully staffed. We have a small sign in the window that says "Walk-ins Welcome," but we are not a chain salon that you would find advertising to drop-ins. We definitely have to cater to them, though, because they're like found gold.
Hair Xtreme Salon & Spa (Chester, VA)
We always invite people we meet out in public to stop by and take a tour. We put up a professionally-done banner several times a year on the road where the salon is located that says we are an Aveda Concept Salon and lists our information. Most of the print ads we run in the local paper tell a little bit more about us than just the fact that we do hair or perms. We like to mention our accolades, and we also use a local public relations company to help market us.
Jerry Heston Hairdressing (Louisville, KY)
I don't promote walk-in services per se, but it's part of our culture. We let people know that it's always an option, and we want people to feel comfortable stopping by. It's important that we have walk-ins, especially for the younger talent, because they often get their start by working with the overflow and with people who swing by. If we can't give a customer a haircut at that moment, we will call them that day and let them know if something opens.