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When Damien Zouaoui and Jessica French, house owners of Oakwell Beer Spa, dropped every part to begin a small enterprise, they had been on the lookout for a grand idea, a novel enterprise mannequin primed for progress.
Whereas touring the globe, they got here throughout all types of artistic companies, from hedgehog cafés to Airbnb options in camper vans. However one particularly hit dwelling: a beer spa they visited within the mountains of Zakopane, Poland. Whereas soaking in a soothing tub of barley and hops, proper subsequent to an all-you-can-drink faucet, Damien and Jessica talked in regards to the potential for the favored European exercise and learn how to translate it for an American buyer base.
“In America, we realized that [the spa industry] could be very transactional and is absolutely targeted on a selected viewers. You could be wholesome. You could be rich,” Damien stated. “We made a promise to ourselves… that we create an inclusive area the place everyone seems to be welcome. Let’s break the stigma that the day spa was meant to be for a selected viewers, maybe girls, in America.”
Settling in Denver — a U.S. capital of journey, wellness, and craft beer — Damien and Jessica started to deliver their imaginative and prescient to life. Setting was an enormous piece of fostering a way of inclusivity. Oakwell’s stunning inside design steers away from the white and sterile spa aesthetic, creating an approachable and intimate atmosphere. The spa even gives a wide range of remedy choices for non-beer lovers, together with wine and cocktail baths.
Oakwell’s accessible and cozy environment was a key piece of the expertise for reviewer Jessica Okay., a first-time beer spa goer.
“The minute that you just stroll into this institution, you are in awe with the gorgeous inside design and greeted by the pleasant workers,” her overview reads. “Earlier than our spa, we loved the complimentary snacks and made our technique to the wonderful self-serve beer wall. The beers provided are native, and should you’re not a lot of a beer drinker like I’m, there are alternatives of wine and rosé. Beer Spa is a novel idea, and I liked each second of it.”
As a result of Oakwell’s enterprise mannequin is so distinctive, evaluations are an important a part of spreading the phrase and finetuning providers. Damien and Jessica acknowledge that the novelty of their thought could cause apprehension, they usually respect friends like Jessica Okay. who take the time to share their expertise.
“Good, dangerous, this isn’t the purpose [of reviews]. The purpose right here is to assist us to do higher and at all times enhance providers. I at all times bear in mind… ‘Okay, there’s two methods [to go about receiving feedback]… We take it personally and reply personally, or we take it professionally by stepping again.'”
Damien and Jessica reply to friends’ evaluations each time they obtain suggestions. Nevertheless, as an alternative of replying straight away, they put loads of thought into how they’re going to navigate any criticism, typically calling friends personally to speak about their expertise earlier than responding publicly. They’ve crafted this overview response technique by wanting on the manner different small companies deal with crucial suggestions.
“I feel typically the enterprise desires to show that the visitor was incorrect or shed extra mild on the state of affairs. Possibly, ‘Oh, effectively, the friends did not comply with our insurance policies they usually did A, B, and C incorrect, and also you’re deceptive on this overview,’ and it actually doesn’t look nice,” Damien stated. “It doesn’t make the visitor really feel like [they’re] going to be heard if there’s a grievance or a problem. It feels very aggressive and combative. And that is one thing that is actually vital to us—that everybody’s suggestions is legitimate, whether or not they had been in the appropriate or incorrect.”
Whereas they’ve acquired some crucial evaluations, the spa has 4.9 stars on Yelp and almost 400 evaluations, due partly to the prioritization of hospitality. Prospects are often known as “friends,” their names are discovered, and the main points of their anniversaries and celebrations are prudently famous. The skilled, full-time workers has performed an enormous position lifting the enterprise off the bottom. By the point an worker begins serving friends, they’re an knowledgeable on Oakwell’s beer lineup and geared up to assist prospects lean into the relief of the expertise.
Oakwell’s top-notch customer support has led demand to exceed provide. With a rising waitlist on their palms, the subsequent step for Damien and Jessica is opening a brand new location in South Denver to accommodate their friends within the southern suburbs. The brand new location is projected to open within the fall of 2024.
The house owners hope this growth will likely be adopted by different places throughout the nation, each company-owned and franchised.
“It was at all times our plan from the start to construct this with the intention to scale. We did not wish to simply run a mom-and-pop, single location for the remainder of our lives,” Jessica stated. “After we selected this idea throughout our travels, quite a bit was behind it.”
Along with the significance of making a cushty atmosphere with high-quality customer support, Oakwell Beer Spa believes:
- On-line evaluations are a key manner to assist prospects find out about your small business and handle expectations, particularly in case you have a novel enterprise mannequin.
- It is vital to take a step again when responding to evaluations. Taking the time to grasp the client’s facet of the story is usually a useful manner to enhance enterprise operations.
- Enterprise concepts are in every single place. Look outdoors your quick environment for alternatives and take into consideration how one can make these concepts match inside your group.
Hearken to the episode under to listen to straight from Damien and Jessica, and subscribe to Behind the Assessment for extra from new enterprise house owners and reviewers each Thursday.
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