Growing franchise concept Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa
was founded by a physical therapist with the mission to bring massage and wellness services to a wider audience. The company opened its first location in 2004 and began franchising in 2008, at the beginning of the Recession.
“The company started to franchise in 2008 right before a very severe downturn in the economy. It was hard to find franchisees willing to invest,” Hand & Stone President and CEO Todd Leff told the magazine. “There was also hesitation on the part of landlords as the business model had not yet been widely adopted.”
The company pushed on, setting themselves up for huge growth as the economy recovered. IN the last six years, the brand has gone from 25 units to 275.
Leff says that innovation in their offerings has contributed greatly to their success, noting that the launch of facials and skin care services sets them apart from competitors and accounts for over a quarter of their business.
The brand also offers a monthly membership plan. Franchisees were concerned about cancellation at first, but industry data suggested it would provide important customer feedback and allow the system to set their franchisees up for success.
“With those insights and ongoing feedback, we were confident in switching to month-to-month agreements—the result was that our member sales skyrocketed and attrition improved,” Leff told the magazine.
The company's decision have paid off with huge growth and support from lenders as the business model is proven time and time again.