How to open a spa: Part 4 – Writing of the treatment and services menu


This month, we will continue to cover the different steps one needs to take when opening a spa from start to finish. Once you have designed and activated the Critical Path Method (CPM) of your project, it is time to start thinking about the kinds of treatments and services you want to offer to your clients. In the following lines, we will discuss the art of writing the treatment & services menu of your future spa.


What is menu engineering?

Menu engineering is the process that allows you to write the treatment & services menu of your spa. If you think that choosing the different therapies, treatments and services of your spa is something simple, you are wrong. Today, menu engineering is a process based on quality and performance that brings into consideration the whole operational aspect of the spa.


Best practices

In order to elaborate an effective treatment & services menu, you need to keep in mind the following set of best practices:

  • Good balance – It is very important that you keep a good balance between the number of treatments, your planned economic revenue and the expectations of the client.
  • Quality – Instead of having a long and complicated menu, you should focus on the quality of what you are offering. It is also important to keep it simple. Having several treatments with very little difference amongst them can generate confusion among your clients.
  • Uniqueness – Your treatment menu should reflect the unique selling point of your spa’s offering. It needs to show to customers the identity of your business.
  • Beyond profitability – Don’t focus only on profitability. It is a good idea to include in your menu different treatments and services that can reinforce other values of your business.
  • Easy to understand – The language of your treatment menu should be simple, clear and informative. Describing the services or the concept of your spa will increase the appeal of your treatment menu.
  • Avoid drastic changes – Don’t change your treatment menu all at once. It can have negative effects on the perceived experience of your regular customers.
  • Smart pricing – The elaboration of your treatment menu needs to be in line with your pricing strategy, which should be ideally based on the spa’s position in the market.
  • Innovation – You should try to incorporate creative packages into your treatment menu. By doing this, you will be upgrading the spa experience at your spa.


Applying treatment menu engineering to your spa

Applying treatment menu engineering principles to your treatment menu involves a careful analysis of your treatment and service offering as well as your customer mix. This analysis is done by taking all the treatments in your menu and dividing them into four different sections that will provide you with a clearer idea of the level of sales and the overall impact of the different treatments and services in your bottom line. The following are the four sections you need to use when elaborating your treatment menu:

  • Stars: The group of treatments that have low cost of sales but are strong sellers
  • Plow horses: Treatments and services with a high cost of sale but at the same time are strong sellers too
  • Puzzles: Treatments where the demand is not too strong but where the cost of sale is also low
  • Dogs: These are your high cost of sale treatments that sell poorly

By knowing your customer mix and what kinds of treatments they demand or are likely to buy in your spa, you will be able to implement a solid treatment menu. You should also keep in mind the importance of linking your treatment menu to a coherent pricing and revenue management strategy.


A comprehensive process

The writing of a treatment & services menu should be considered an art as many details need to be taken into consideration. It is not simply choosing the text and treatments that your chosen product house partners offer and bundling them together into a treatment menu. Other important factors need to be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Your target market and customer segmentation,
  • The kind of treatments they tend to buy,
  • Their perceived value and acceptable price point of your treatments,
  • The profit margin of each of your treatments


As we have seen, there is a comprehensive thinking process behind a solid treatment & services menu. If you are capable of putting together a menu that brings into consideration everything we have mentioned in this post, your future spa will have a solid foundation to potentially flourish.

By Sonal

Sonal Uberoi creates and delivers smarter spas around the world. Spas and hotel groups hire Sonal to help them design, set up and manage their wellness businesses. Her finance background and worldwide operations experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors make Sonal the go-to expert for business optimisation solutions. Connect with Sonal on LinkedIn