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Industry • Inspiration

Nailed It! Here's How Salon Owners Can Create the Perfect Nail Menu

A step-by-step guide to designing a menu of nail services that will inspire your clients and grow your salon business at the same time

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to creating your nail salon service menu. From the logistics of how to list the services you offer to the creative challenge of describing each nail treatment in enticing ways, nail menu design is a delicate art. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks that will get you from a blank page to a rich and rewarding nail menu in no time. You can do this!

Nail the service menu basics

Maybe your salon is all nails all the time, or maybe you’re more of a one-stop self-care shop. Either way, you’ll want to create a nail-specific section of your service menu. Start by listing out the basic treatments that you offer; this will help you organize your thoughts and will give you a  framework you can use to build out your complete nail menu. Think of general nail categories like: 

  • Manicure

  • Pedicure

  • Polish change

  • Shellac

  • Acrylics

  • Gels

  • Art and designs

From there you can start to fill in the details. How many different types of manicures and pedicures do you offer? Do you have different categories of polish that change either the price or the process associated with application? Do different nail artists on your team charge different rates, or do different designs take more time or more supplies to execute? Answer those questions by listing out sub-services, add-ons, and specific treatments wherever they belong in the nail categories you’ve already created.

Paint on a little personality

Some salons prefer to stick with the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach to naming their services. But a nail services menu that lists out options like manicure, spa manicure, and manicure with 10-minute massage doesn’t exactly delight the senses and inspire the imagination, does it? That’s why it’s always a good idea to bring a little flair to your nails menu. 

Describe the specifics of each service to get your creative juices flowing, and make sure to think about the ultimate customer experience. How do you want clients to feel after having the service or treatment? If you offer a cucumber-themed nail treatment, you might describe a cooling summer pedicure that starts with a relaxing cucumber soak and ends with a refreshing skin scrub using fresh cucumber slices. Personality-filled titles and descriptions will help you avoid the trap of being just another mani on a run of the mill nail salon service menu.

Fan favorites and special surprises

It’s also important to keep your nail services fresh! You wouldn’t use products that are past their expiration date; don’t let your nail menu get stale either. Your cooling summer mani/pedi won’t be nearly as relevant in January as it is in July, so there’s no reason to keep it on your nail salon’s menu of services out of season. (Hot tip: if your nail menu lives online on your website, it will be that much easier to keep all your services up to date all year long!)

Cycling services on and off your nails menu also helps generate excitement around crowd favorites — when you announce you’re bringing back seasonal favorites, your clients will be excited to rush in and treat themselves to the nail services they remember fondly. If Starbucks kept the infamous gingerbread latte on their menu all year ‘round, they’d lose all the joy that comes with updating their holiday menu.

In addition to predicting the seasons, pay attention to the latest and hottest trends. If everyone’s asking for the specific nail art that a particular celebrity wore on the cover of the latest glossy magazine, it might make sense to add that style to your services menu “for a limited time only!” It’s also a good idea to highlight the services that set your nail salon apart. What are you known for? What do you do best? Instead of letting those special skills be a best kept secret, shout them from the rooftops by putting them front and center on your nail services menu.

Think outside the… polish bottle

You can use your nail menu to entice new clients and serve your community, too. Think about what keeps people from coming in the door, and get creative about solving those problems. If price is the primary concern, you might offer weekly or monthly promotions where you invite everyone in the neighborhood to mix and mingle while having discounted manis or massages. If you have a hard time getting certain men in your salon chairs, think about how you can cater to their needs with separate services menus that skew more masculine.

Another way to boost your nail salon revenue in a big way is to book parties and groups. Think of ways you can use your nail salon services to help your clientele celebrate life’s biggest moments, and build experiences around those events:

  • Birthday parties

  • Graduation gifts

  • Reunion gatherings

  • Wedding and engagement parties

  • Baby showers

  • Celebrations of friendship

  • TGIF pre-weekend prep

  • Scare away the Sunday blues

  • Just because!

Think of your nail menu as another avenue to show off what your salon is all about. If you can find the balance between the functionality of listing the services you offer and making sure your personality shines through, you’ll be on your way to crafting the perfect nail menu.

For more tips for nail salon owners, check out our guide: How to Open a Nail Salon: The Complete Guide.

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