Express services are hot right now and for good reason. Americans are known for flitting from appointment to appointment never feeling content until their “to do” list is exhausted. Consequently, as popular as half-day and full-day packages are at spas, some spa goers find the investment of time anxiety producing and are opting for spa sampler packages and one hour or less service choices.

Many of the services offered as express specialties are perfect for on the go club members who want to treat themselves to a quick fix but don't want to break the bank or disturb the demands of their daytimer. The most popular express services have included:

  • Twenty minute, $20 manicures consisting of a nail bed nourishing massage, nail shaping, cuticle work and a complete polish job.

  • Thirty minute, $40 facials that offer that extra glow before a date or important business meeting. Express facials usually include a cleansing, light massage, masquing, hydration or steaming and a final treatment like an anti-oxidant serum. Because they don't include an extraction session these facials don't require recovery time from that red, blotchy look that facials can sometimes produce.

  • Thirty minute, $35 spot massage for that area of the body that is screaming for a quick rub down.

  • Sampler packages incorporating a number of quick services that make for a brief but comprehensive package are also popular. A mini-facial, basic manicure, spot massage and small homecare sampler kit at $99 allows spa enthusiasts to feel spoiled while also allowing them to interact with three technicians and experience three different treatments that could turn into full-time addictions.

    Another winner is adding a therapy that doesn't require labor intensive care like offering a complimentary paraffin dip for the hands with a mini facial. Other ideal sampler combinations offer a couple of intensive pampering services with a treatment that focuses on homecare. A great example is a mini facial, reflexology foot massage and mini makeup lesson. While recipients of this kind of package will reap the benefits of 45 minutes of hands-on therapeutic care, they will also walk away with the knowledge provided by a one-on-one lesson that they will use for years to come when applying their makeup. Furthermore, by getting complimentary colors onto their skin so they can experience the magic of makeup well done first hand, retail sales are bound to follow. The combination of a lesson with a couple of mini sessions of decadent pampering allows the client to feel as though he or she received something tangible as well as spa indulgences during their visit.

    While it is somewhat of a teaser to relax and comfort a client for such a short period of time, it is also a great way to introduce your spa services to club members who might not otherwise find your spa, take the time to indulge in onsite spa services or who may not be aware of the benefits of spa services. Moreover, with the economy creeping along as it has been, the cost of investment for an express service is often more appealing to a prospective spa goer.

    Allowing the convenience of walk-in services for express spa care will increase participation. Handing out slips to members as they enter the club for services to be received after their workout can increase spa business by 60 percent or more. Try handing out a small paper filled with express spa services available with little or no notice. Mini facials, express massage services, 20-minute body exfoliation treatments, manicures and other services lasting less than one hour are all ideal for this type of offering. Simply ask members to choose the services of choice, sign the form and place their member ID and indicate at what time they anticipate they will be ready for their spa experience. The forms can be handed to the front desk clerk as members are checked into the club for their workout. While this type of impromptu spa selection will require more flexible staffing, it will also increase spa traffic and revenues. Moreover, many regular club members will begin to treat themselves to express services on a regular basis.

    Finally, make sure that your members are aware of the express spa options. Including a descriptive list in your newsletter and on small shelf talkers throughout the club is only the start. Make sure that your front desk team, instructors, personal trainers and other key staff talk up the services as well. Many club managers and owners who have tried offering a more extensive list of express spa services have reported increases in spa traffic in only a matter of weeks after engaging in an in-house promotional campaign. “Express it” and they will come.

    Melinda Minton is a spa consultant and health and beauty expert in Fort Collins, CO. She is the founder of The Spa Association, which is dedicated to enriching the professional beauty industry through self-regulation, education and sound business practices.