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Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa Prepares for its 500th Spa Opening, Building on a Year of Significant Growth

The massage and wellness brand has signed deals to open nearly 20 new franchise locations to date in 2020 and is on pace to open its milestone 500th spa in Q1 of 2021.

Since 2004, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa has been making luxury spa experiences available to an increasingly large base of customers and members. In doing so, the franchise has become the premier massage and facial brand in the wellness space and has grown to more than 475 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, with plans to see its 500th studio open in the first quarter of 2021.

So far in 2020, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa has signed deals to open nearly 20 new franchise locations. The brand is also preparing for the opening of its milestone 500th location — meaning the massage and facial brand is right on track to celebrate a landmark achievement in the franchise world.

In addition to its enviable growth, in 2020 Hand & Stone welcomed its new chief development officer and president, John Teza, who joined the brand after working with Jersey Mike’s as chief operating officer. During his almost five years with the sandwich franchise, Teza’s leadership helped the brand grow to more than 1,750 locations and nearly $1.2 billion in system revenue. 

“[The leadership team] has grown the brand the right way,” Teza said in an interview with 1851. “The focus has been on franchise owners’ success, not growth for the sake of growth. The team has recruited high-quality and experienced franchise owners, has remained committed to a successful site selection profile and has been mindful of maintaining a business model in which its partners can thrive.”

He continued, “Todd [Leff, CEO]’s strategy of remaining focused on core growth markets and limiting the size of development agreements for new partners has enabled the brand to maximize its reach in existing markets, while maintaining significant white space in new and emerging markets.”

In 2020, Hand & Stone partnered with other industry leaders in the massage and wellness space to lobby for massage services as an essential business, further establishing itself as a leader in the wellness space. The brand has strengthened its franchisee support efforts and resources as well, including offering guidance on preserving cash flow and negotiating loans in addition to providing at-home massage and facial tips to keep customers engaged.

“I like the idea of working with a group of people who are experts in the industry and who will be there to support you,” said Judy Guarino, a Hand & Stone franchisee based in Brooklyn, New York. “There’s nothing more important than surrounding yourself with people who will help you be successful. Corporate has our best interests in mind. They’re constantly looking for ways to help us grow and make our business stronger and better.”

Franchisees across North America have echoed Guarino’s sentiments, saying that the massage and wellness brand has kept its focus on its dedication to the livelihood of its franchisees and massage therapists. One way Hand & Stone is doing that is through its membership model that provides franchisees with a recession-resistant business opportunity and recurring revenue streams. Between massage and skin care services and products, spa owners can feel a sense of stability regardless of the economic climate.

“When we first looked into Hand & Stone [over a year and a half ago], it was a brand with a very strong reputation,” said Jeff Bates, another franchisee with the brand based in St. Augustine, Florida. “Other owners we talked to spoke highly of their experience, especially with the corporate support and training platform.”

With so much added support for its franchisees and attention to changing consumer needs, the excitement surrounding franchise opportunities with Hand & Stone has positioned it well to hit the 500-unit milestone in early 2021.

Keeping with its growth momentum, Hand & Stone has identified a number of territories throughout the U.S. that it’s ready to welcome new franchisees into, including Boston, which has seven existing territories and 16 new territories available; St. Louis, with 13 new territories available; Kansas City, Kansas, with two existing territories and 10 new territories available; Hartford, Connecticut, with 10 new territories available; Minneapolis, with three existing 19 new territories available; Salt Lake City, with three existing territories and six new territories available; Cleveland, with eight existing and five new territories available; San Diego, with 15 new territories available; Chicago, with 16 existing territories and nine new territories available; and Baltimore, with three existing territories and 16 new territories available.

With sights already set high at 500 locations, Teza is prepared to continue to build on the team’s success beyond this milestone.

“The [Hand & Stone team] has an incredible foundation of execution in place and there is very little that needs to be re-tooled.” Teza explained. “We’re going to look at opportunities to optimize or amplify certain aspects of the brand, but the goal is really just to build on the team’s success.”


Hand & Stone is a 475-plus unit massage and facial spa franchise with a mission to bring massage and facial services to the masses. Launched in 2004, Hand & Stone now has locations in 31 states and Canada. The brand has been named number #1 in the spa category by Entrepreneur Magazine for 2020, ranked number #8 on Forbes' Best Franchises to Buy list for 2019 in the high investment category and is the fastest growing spa concept in the country. For more information on Hand & Stone, visit