Suggestions for Reopening
With lockdowns slowly easing around the world, we have been keeping an eye on what other countries are doing and the guidelines that governments are putting in place for their own hair and beauty industry.
With the UK lockdown extended, we still do not have a date yet as to when ours will start to lift, and we can expect to have our own set of guidelines in place to operate. But we do not expect our guidelines to differ greatly from what is happening in other European nations. The two biggest guidelines we are seeing are social distancing for staff and clients, and hygiene!
With that, we have gathered some suggestions for you to look over so you can think about how you will implement these in your salon when the big open date is given.
It is safe to assume that when salons can reopen, the government will insist upon social distancing measures being employed. This means salons will need to consider the number of clients you can safely fit within your salon and working your staff rotas around this. Staff will also need to be able to keep a safe distance from each other too, so this is another aspect to think about. You may want to consider the following suggestions:
- Operating extended opening hours or seven days a week to cope with demand
- Work out how many clients you can safely hold in your salon and get your staff rotas sorted early to ensure you can operate. This will give staff with childcare needs and other responsibilities outside of work the time needed to lodge their requests
- Ensure staff have and are using the correct protective equipment in terms of gloves and masks – in some countries we have seen masks become mandatory outside of the home. This may not be the case in the UK!
- Asking clients to attend their appointments alone
*An extra note here about how you extend the working hours of employees to allow for longer opening: You will need to vary your employee’s terms and conditions of employment for which you will need their agreement. Try and do this now as you must give them at least one month’s notice of any change. As you do not know what the changed hours will be, write to staff now, following an initial phone call, to say you expect you will have to run the salon in a different way. This means their hours and days of work will change. It is also worth adding that, other than for emergencies, you do not expect any holiday to be taken in the next three months.
Health and Hygiene
Staff and clients are likely to be apprehensive and anxious once businesses reopen. Ensuring you have the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene will be critical for lots of reasons.
Visit the salon before reopening to give the whole area a thorough and deep clean. Promote your high standards of cleanliness both across social media and within the salon so clients and staff are reassured and know that they are in a safe and clean environment. Some other points to consider are:
- Discard all old magazines
- Make sure to include your chairs/beds and all appliances when you deep clean
- Use paper towels in the bathrooms
- Use disposable towels on clients
- Deep clean salon gowns, cutting collars and all tools and brushes
- Continual washing of hands after every client
- Antibacterial gel/wipes available throughout the salon for staff and clients – get clients to use this at the reception desk as they enter the salon
- Use disposable paper cups for beverages in-salon or encourage clients to bring in their own drink containers/bottles. You can also serve bottled water, cans and cartons of juice instead
- Services: In Dubai for example, salons can carry out hair services as normal, but beauty salons are restricted in what they can offer – no facials, waxing, brows or massage. Again, this will differ for the UK. We know some beauty salons in the UK are taking their own safety measures, such as installing Perspex screens at all nail stations so hands can be slid underneath for their treatment
- Take card payments only, no cash
- Clean the station/area fully after every client. In Denmark where salons are now open and operating, one of their guidelines is to thoroughly clean the area after every client. This of course will take time, so you will need to take this into consideration when booking clients in
Coping with Demand
The good news is you can expect to be super busy once you reopen your salon. The difficulty will be in how to manage that level of demand.
We recommend in the interest of fairness you operate a rolling on of columns so that those who did have appointments which they missed during the pandemic get seen first. It is also worth putting a list together now of key clients – the loyal and long-standing clients who visit your salon regularly. Rewarding their loyalty is important so get in touch with them now and reassure them that they will be accommodated at the earliest opportunity.
We have heard of salons offering priority type vouchers that clients can buy for a fee or allowing clients to pay extra for priority bookings. If this is something you are thinking of in your salon, we would urge you to be mindful of doing this. There will be clients of yours that have possibly lost their jobs and may have been loyal to you for many years that can now no longer afford such ‘priority’ treatment and may feel pushed to one side.
Stock and Services
When you next visit the salon, check you have enough stock for when you open including PPE. Contact suppliers now if you need products!
When visiting the salon check the water supply is operating, the heating system to heat the water is fully operational and the computers and phones are all working. The last thing you want to encounter on your first day back is an issue that will prevent you working a full column and meeting the demands of clients.
Appointments for NHS and Key Workers
Many salons will want to say thank you to NHS staff and key workers in the best way they can by offering them some superb hair care on the house! If this is something you plan to do, think carefully now about how you will accommodate NHS/key workers in your already busy schedule. If you opt to offer them a free service, it may be wise to put a time limit on the offer.