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Standard Operating Procedures for a Spa

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Running a health or beauty spa can be a competitive business. Owners must make sure that their establishment stands out among competitors, and provide clients with service that they cannot get elsewhere. As a result, many spas develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) for their business, so staff members are aware of their duties and what is expected of them. Spas with established SOPs are often better equipped to handle problems that arise and create standards for customer service that contribute to the overall success of the business.

Staff Appearance

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All spas should have a clear policy that describes the acceptable dress code and physical appearance for staff members. Many spas prohibit certain items of clothing, such as tank tops, jeans, cut-off shorts, flip flops or mini-skirts. Management may also request that staff members wear clothing that follows current fashion trends. Some spas may issue staff uniforms to eliminate issues or institute a dress code that calls for all employees to wear the same color clothing. Female staff members may be required to wear makeup and have their hair pulled back.

Telephone Procedure

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All spa staff members must answer telephones in a courteous, friendly manner. Most spas require that phone calls be answered in a certain number of rings, so customers are not kept waiting. They may also have an office greeting that staff members are required to say when answering the phone. Staff is usually instructed not to place calls on hold without asking for the caller’s permission or keep customers on hold for longer than a minute. Before hanging up a call, staff members must repeat pertinent information, such as the scheduled appointment date, time and service.

Client Consultation

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During consultations, spa employees should learn exactly what clients hope to get out of a spa treatment. They must read the client’s record prior to the consultation to see what previous services have been performed. Spa staff should then discuss details that are pertinent to the specific service, such as the client’s skin or hair type, if they are prone to allergic reactions or if they have physical conditions that might be aggravated by certain types of massage. Spa employees should then explain the client’s options and help her make an informed decision about what treatment she should have performed. Once a service has been chosen, the procedure should be explained to the client in detail so she knows what to expect.

Service Procedures

Each service provided by the spa should have an established procedure when administered to clients. Guidelines vary based on the specific treatment. Manicure and pedicure workers must be sure to sterilize all equipment. Estheticians must monitor clients to ensure that they are not having an allergic reaction. Massage therapists must make sure that clients are comfortable with the manner in which they are draped by towels or sheets.

Housekeeping Procedures

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One of the most critical aspects of a spa’s standard operating procedures is their housekeeping policy. Clients will be turned off by dirty, unsanitary conditions, and the spa may face health code violations as well. Laundry must be done on a daily basis so there is a plentiful stock of clean towels and sheets in service areas and changing rooms. Floors should be swept throughout the day and mopped at the close of business each night. Carpeting should be vacuumed as well. Trash must be thrown out throughout the day, and any hazardous materials must be disposed of immediately. In addition, spa equipment and supplies must be sanitized after use on each client.


Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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