Most beauty businesses, whether it’s a luxury spa, a high street nail salon, or a mobile therapist, will offer a pedicure treatment. They’re versatile, making them ideal for adding value, or cutting time to knock down the price. A client
may not want to pay more than £20 to get her toes done each month, but likewise she may not be bothered about an indulgent foot massage.
At the same time, if a client is shelling out upwards of £40 for a pedi, especially in a high street salon, she will want to be getting her money’s worth. With savvy clients often shopping around to get a good deal, how can you make sure that you are the one catching their attention? We take a look at some of the ways to add value to your pedicure treatments and charge a premium price tag.
As with many treatments, offering instant, visible results from a pedi is a sure fire way to get clients to recognise the value of your services. “Adding microdermabrasion [in a pedicure] is a way for salons to differentiate themselves from their competition. It’s something a little bit different,” says Crystal Clear’s international sales manager Cerys Millington.
“Businesses now have to have an angle,” agrees Joanne Woledge, owner and practice manager at The Abbeyfields Clinic in Suffolk, an integrated spinal clinic that offers wellbeing and skincare services such as massage, manicures and pedicures. “We decided we needed to solve clients’ problems.” Woledge offers bespoke foot care treatments, using Crystal Clear microderm-abrasion for skin rejuvenation. “I’ve used it on feet, ankles and legs, or on scars and pigmentation. If a client has self-tanned and it’s really patchy, I’ve dermabrasioned over certain areas,” she adds.
Incorporating microdermabrasion into a pedi certainly yields appealing profit margins. Millington recommends charging around £40-45 for a Foot Rejuvenation Treatment using the machine, although Woledge explains that she charges £55-60 for a bespoke service with microdermabrasion, up from £35 for a standard pedicure.
“The beauty of working on feet is that you don’t have to start on the lowest level,” explains Millington. “When someone comes in for a microdermabrasion facial, they will start on a level one, and as the weeks progress through a course you would then graduate to a level two then three. With the feet, you can go straight to level three.”
Chiropody and podiatry
“We’ve got the Medical Pedicure,” says Laura Dicken, owner of Podology salon in Saltburn-by-Sea in Yorkshire, which combines podiatry with beauty treatments. “That’s half an hour of chiropody then the podiatrist then goes to another appointment and the client goes with the beauty therapist for a 30-minute beauty pedicure. Obviously it’s a much more expensive treatment than a standard pedi.”
The hour-long treatment costs £45, whereas a client may otherwise pay £20 for a 45-minute beauty pedi and £25 for a standard 30-minute chiropody treatment. “We’re cutting down on the time and getting the most out of the treatment,” says Dicken.
Podiatrists running beauty services may be in the minority in the industry, but there are other operators incorporating medical foot care therapies into their nail offering. At Urban Retreat in London, clients can have their treatment at the Foot Clinic then head up to the Nail Loft to finish off with a nail paint.
“They do link together quite well,” says Nail Loft manager Stephanie Usher. “It means that if we do have somebody with an ingrowing toenail or something we can’t treat, we can refer them to the foot clinic. They can have their chiropody and then come up to us and have the polish.”
If pedicure clients are seeking results, they’re probably looking to have that stubborn, dry skin on the feet dealt with. Treating that effectively doesn’t necessarily require investment in advanced salon hardware like a microdermabrasion machine.
At the Nail Loft, Usher has recently redesigned the premium 75-minute foot treatment, the Pristine Pedicure, adding the option of either a Callus Peel treatment or a Tri-Enzyme mask by Leighton Denny. “The Tri- Enzyme Mask is a little bit more luxurious, while with Callus Peel, I’d say you see quicker results,” Usher says.
Part of the reason to change the Pristine Pedi, explains Usher, was to bring these services, which were previously offered as add-ons, into the main menu. “Now we’re including these treatments in the Pristine Pedicure, I think a lot more people will have it because they have the opportunity to experience things they didn’t before,” she says.
Tima Reshad, owner of Coco Nail Salon in West London, which also offers the Callus Peel treatment as an optional add-on for pedicures, agrees. “Coming up to summer, people just love it, because it really makes a difference if they’ve got really hard heels,” she says.
Heated oils and massage
Adding value can be just as much about providing a luxurious, pampering experience. Bryony Cocksedge, educator for OPI, suggests, “You can incorporate tasters of your other treatments, such as reflexology and aromatherapy.”
Reshad explains that this is the approach she has taken. “We have the Luxury Hot Stone Pedicure; we thought it would be great to have that kind of thing in a pedicure. We also have our Signature Coco Pedicure, which has chocolate paraffin wax,” she says.
Meanwhile, Dicken uses the Sparcana Orb, a heating device for oils or paraffin wax, to add a luxurious touch to her pedicures. “In winter, when it’s cold, and you’ve got a client with arthritis, for example, that warm wax is very soothing to pain in feet,” she explains. “It’s a good way to encourage them have an extra treatment at that time of year when beauty always takes a bit of a dip.”
Offering a variety of add-ons for your pedicure treatments allows for the potential to up-sell to clients once they’re in the salon. “If somebody needs [a service], the therapists will recommend it,” says Reshad. “For example, if the client has really dry feet, they’ll push the paraffin wax. You really have to engage in the conversation and ask how their feet feel.”
Woledge agrees, saying that therapists shouldn’t be shy about the cost of added value services. “I say to clients, ‘I can see you need this and this, these are my solutions and this is the price’. Some people are frightened of saying that, but you should let the client decide. If it’s important enough, they might decide that they’d rather have that than go out for dinner tomorrow night.”
Kirstie Sherriff, founder of luxury organics brand Pinks Boutique, says adding value is as simple as making the environment look luxurious. “There’s something special about walking into a treatment area with a perfect pedicure throne set up, having your feet rinsed with ladles and floating petals in the bowls.”
At Urban Retreat clients can have their pedicure on a massage “throne” and if it’s cold, they’ll be given a fleece blanket. “It’s about the whole experience, not just getting your feet done because they need to be done,” says Usher.
Likewise Woledge says an additional massage doesn’t cost anything but could mean the difference between a client staying with you and going elsewhere. “Back when I started in the industry, therapists would put a mask on, and leave the client in the room. You’d lie there bored while the therapist was having a cup of tea. Now we think, ‘what else can I be doing to make your experience even more enjoyable?’ It’s competitive; you can’t afford to rest on your laurels and I want to keep my clients.”
Crystal Clear’s Mini Microdermabrasion unit
What: A compact model of the brand’s microdermabrasion machine more suitable for reaching smaller, targeted areas like the heels.
Initial cost: £2,500
Cost per treatment: £5, including Crystal Clear mask
Additional revenue: £10-25
Jane Scrivner’s The Orb
What: A device for heating paraffin wax or oils
Initial cost: £145
Cost per treatment: £1.50
Additional revenue: £10, or (£25 as a standalone service)
What: A glycolic acid-based pad that is applied to the tough callused areas of the feet to melt away the stubborn dead skin. It must be carried out on dry feet
Initial cost: £52.80 (for the Starter Kit, enough for 10 treatments)
Cost per treatment: £4 approx
Additional revenue: £10-15 (£20-40 as a standalone service)
Cuccio’s Detox Soak
What: A foot-detoxifying treatment that can be offered as an add-on or standalone, which includes a specially formulated foot soak and somatology massage.
Cost per treatment: £7
Additional revenue: Up to £30