Evaluating Spa Trends for Profitability and Longevity

By Ann Brown Founder, Saltability | July 22, 2018

In the midst of managing the day-to-day operations, hotel and spa owners and managers must constantly look forward and evaluate how to increase efficiency and profitability. As you balance overseeing current business and forecasting for the future, you are faced with the challenge of considering what changes will bring the most benefit to your organization. For spas, keeping watch of the latest trends in the spa industry and making relevant changes to your facility, treatment menu and customer service practices are important for success. But how do you know which trends and latest innovations will bring that success, and which ones may not be worth their return on investment?

As a former spa director of one of the largest resort spas in the Midwest, I know how important it is to evaluate new products and services in order to determine which ones offer true potential for wellness for the client and profitability for the business. As a property manager or owner, your phone rings constantly with vendors who want you to consider their products and services. Below, here are a few questions to help you decide if a trend is right for your property.

How does the trend create an improvement over how we are currently working and providing service to our clientele? As an entrepreneur in the spa industry, I created my business because I saw the need to create a more eco-friendly delivery of stone massage and an opportunity to provide more health benefits for clients through Himalayan salt. When you see depth in the benefits provided by a trend, it is likely to be longer lasting and more positively impactful upon your business.

How long has the trend really been around? Rarely will you find something that is truly new. Part of the beauty of the spa industry is spa therapy's roots in centuries-old healing treatments and natural remedies. Delve into the science and history of the treatment or products being offered as part of the trend. Take confidence where you see ties to proven or long-standing history.

Is the trend sustainable? What is the impact on the environment in general and at your spa property in particular? You should always evaluate any new product or service with an eye on environmental impact.

What safety precautions exist, if any? Does the trend pose any risks for your clientele? Thoroughly research and consider any counter-indications to protect your business, your therapists and your clientele.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.