T\It is time to talk tiers.
Every cutter in every shop cannot and should not charge the same price. Differences in experience, timing, talent, tenure and client base dictate that different prices for different cutters just make sense.
Many shops operate on a “shop price” basis. Everyone charges the same. This just no longer works in our growing and expanded men’s grooming industry. Experienced hair cutters are held back at prices below their true worth. Supply and demand factors are compromised. Rookie hair cutters can be priced beyond their real market value making it hard for them to build and grow.
The answer is tiered pricing. Split out haircutters, as they build and grow, to higher prices called tiers. Tiers should jump by 10% per tier. Promotion to the next tier is based on chair occupancy. When a cutter can run 80% occupied for 6 weeks straight it is time to jump tiers. This is basic supply and demand at work for hair cutters.
The process makes sense mathematically. Shop owners and hair cutters can be challenged as to how to implement tiers in a traditional one-price environment. There are a few simple things to keep in mind and the system will work great for all.
All walk-in haircuts are to be served at “shop price”. A walk-in shop price is established for all cutters at the lowest tier. If Mike charges $30 and Lisa charges $25 and Tim charges $20… the shop walk-in price is $20. All cutters agree to serve all walk-in traffic at this shop price. Walk-in traffic is to be informed of regular prices. They then have the option to return as a walk-in or as a request. If they walk-in they will land in the next up chair. If they choose to request their prior hair cutter they must pay that cutters price. If they wish to be a walk-in and their preferred cutter is next up then they land in that chair by default. They are served at shop price. If they wish to make an appointment or request their preferred cutter they will pay that cutters tiered price.
The beauty of this is that it is based on real chair occupancy. If you are a higher tiered cutter but your chair is empty and you are in the rotation for a walk-in you have the ability to build off of floor traffic. If you are a built up and busy cutter you will seldom be in the walk-in rotation and you will not have to cut at the shop base walk-in price very often. You will mostly cut at your tiered, higher price.
The key is client communication. You must explain the walk-in price and tiered cutter prices at the first visit. Pre-planned scripting will prevent any awkwardness with this type of system. It can be as simple as “Our shop walk-in price is $20. My haircut price is regularly $25. You are welcome to walk-in any time at shop price but if you wish to wait for me my price is $20. If you walk in and I am free you can get cut for the walk-in price. It is up to you.” That should do the trick. You are inviting them to gamble. You are giving them the choice to choose you and your experience and pricing.
Reach out any time if I can be helpful in implementing a tiered haircut price structure for your shop. You will be happy you did it.