Do you hate working on Christmas Eve?
I know that I used to.
We do not usually work Christmas Eve anymore.
We would rather work the Monday before Christmas to make up for closing Christmas Eve.
It seemed that it never failed that one or two customers would always hold us up from closing, no matter how much we stressed our closing time.
So, I don't open on Christmas Eve anymore.
I know that there are a lot of groomers out there that have no choice but to open on Christmas Eve.
One year, when I was still opening on Christmas Eve, I tried something new.
I had two other groomers working for me at the time.
I am not sure where I read about this idea, but I decided to ask my other groomers what they thought.
It was an idea to make Christmas Eve a 'Tidy-up Day' instead of a full grooming day.
What is a 'Tidy-up Day'?
The idea was to hand out special invitations to all of our customers beginning the week before Thanksgiving.
I typed up an invitation like the one below, and had copies printed out on red and green construction paper.
I folded the invitation in half, with the front saying 'An Invitation', and stacked them on the counter in my lobby.
When you opened it up, this is what it said;
Of course this was years ago, and we only charged $5 then.
I asked my groomers what they thought, and they were all for it.
The idea was to hand the invitations to all of the customers coming in the week before Thanksgiving till the week before Christmas.
The owners could walk -in at any time on Christmas Eve, and wait while their dog was brushed out, given a trim to neaten, a squirt of cologne, and a bow or bandanna.
Each groomer would take one dog as they came in, in order of groomer seniority.
We would keep going until closing.
The groomers would also take 100% of the $5 dollars on every dog that they did.
We did not know what to expect.
The only thing that we did know, was that we would either be busy, or this idea could bomb big time.
So how did it go?
It was a big success.
At one time during the day, we had people lined up out the door.
We did not spend anymore than 15 minutes on each dog.
We did not do any de-matting, just a quick brush out.
We trimmed to neaten around the rear, feet, and eyes.
The dogs were given a squirt of cologne, and a bow or bandanna, and handed right back to their owner.
We had Christmas cookies and drinks out in the lobby for the owners while they waited for their dog to be tidied-up.
No dogs were allowed to be left.
It turned out to be a fun, stress-less day of grooming.
I have to say that I only did this one time.
Not because it didn't work, but because every year I would forget and start to book appointments for Christmas Eve with out thinking about it.
When I would remember, it was always too late.
It is something that you have to plan for.
You have to keep Christmas Eve open. (or whatever is the last day you work before the Holiday)
Of course, if you have groomers that want to do full grooms and other groomers who would like to try the 'Tidy-up' day, I could see a shop doing both.
A groomer doing full grooms and a groomer doing 'Tidy-up' jobs.
I have been wanting to try this again the last few years, but my customers book up a year a head of time, and I always forget.
Even this year, my daughter was half way through doing next years schedules when I remembered, and Christmas week for 2012 was already 90% booked.
I think that I will have her go into our appointment program and make a note on December 23, 2013. :)
If you are already booked for Christmas Eve this year, maybe you could try it next year.
Oh, by the way, I did have quite a few customers ask me if I was going to do the 'Tidy-up Day' again the next year.
The customers really liked it.
Especially the customers that could not get an appointment before Christmas.
Happy Grooming, MFF