It’s not uncommon for upscale salons to offer their clients a complimentary glass of wine with services, especially in California, where the recent passage of the “Drybar bill” made the practice legal. ZaZa Nail and Wine Lounge in San Francisco, however, has taken the concept to a whole new level, offering guests the opportunity to purchase a glass, or even a bottle, from a sommelier-selected menu of white, red, rosé and bubbly wines. “We offered complimentary wine after the bill passed, but we couldn’t really offer quality selections,” says ZaZa owner Rachel Cheng, who opened her salon in 2005.
Recognizing that many of her clients were interested in drinking wine during services and when they booked parties at the salon, Cheng decided to apply for a liquor license in 2016. Around the same time, she met sommelier Allegra Angelo, who created a curated wine list especially for ZaZa. After completing a renovation that included the addition of a chic wine lounge at the front of the salon, Cheng officially launched the new concept and branding in January of 2017, aptly summed up by the salon’s hashtag, #GetPolishedDrinkWine. “Our motto is low-sugar, natural, no headache wines,” says Cheng, adding that the focus complements the salon’s emphasis on nontoxic beauty and nail services featuring natural and eco-friendly products, many of them made in-house. “Most of them are from France or Italy, though we do have some local wines as well.” Wine menus are displayed at every station, and selections are updated every few months.
ZaZa holds tasting events every other month, where guests can purchase packages that include a manicure or pedicure. The salon also introduced happy hour pricing ($5 for a glass of wine) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, when business is typically slower. Parties have been popular as well. “We stay busy during the week with many back-to-back company functions,” she says. “They blow away bridal showers and bachelorette parties for us.”Cheng’s hybrid business model has helped her establish a new revenue stream—essential in the salon’s high-rent neighborhood that’s home to tech titans like Dropbox and Strava—as well as attract new clients. “Nail salons are a dime a dozen; you come in here and it’s a little more of an experience,” she says. “I think this concept would also do great somewhere else where rent is less expensive.”
How would you like some wine with your mani/pedi? Let us know in the comments below!
[This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of NAILPRO]