Beardsgaard has just roared into our 9th month of operation, and things are going pretty great.
We’re still working on teaching Shopkeep to groom himself.
A wonderful group of smart, nerdy, and now phenomenally handsome gents have developed around this place (ladies…), and we have been thrilled that this idea and dream we had way back when has connected with so many people. We are genuinely humbled.
That is not to say there haven’t been a few hiccups. They have happened, and they have been rapidly handled. But there is this one sticking point that we as a shop finally have to address in a formal manner.
Late arrivals and no shows
We really don’t want to be dicks about this. We certainly could have made ourselves a walk-in only barbershop, like so many are.
Except a vast swath of our clients live an hour or more away, and/or are parents beholden to schedules of tiny gremlins. They, and heck, anyone who has schedule of any sort, need to plan their lives or else nothing gets done.
Shop Kid knows well the importance of lists
As a family-run shop of former long-distance commuters, we get that better than most, which is why we invested in one of the most extensive and powerful POS/CRM/appointment scheduling services on the planet. With an app and everything. All for you guys.
We understand that everyone leads busy lives and that things come up, traffic happens. We as a shop lock in our schedules three months in advance to make sure we can accommodate our beloved clients on their schedule.
All we ask for in return is for our clients to do their best to plan for these inevitable hiccups (like, if you have a 5:30 appointment, plan for traffic). What we can no longer ask is for that lost appointment (and subsequent lost income) to fall so squarely on the shoulders of our barbers.
Between you and Beardsgaard, let’s go Dutch instead.
This is the Important Part
Beginning August 1st, we will be charging 50% of a scheduled service cost in cases of no shows, late cancels (less than 12 hours notice), and terminal lateness (when a client arrives late enough for their appointment that we cannot complete said appointment) in order to pay our barbers for that now-empty time slot.
Luckily, the vast majority of our clients are on time, in the shop and ready to go for their appointments and these new policies, in practice, will never affect them in any way. Even among those who do occasionally have a scheduling conflict (it happens), most we have already spoken to about these upcoming policies have been incredibly supportive and understanding (thank you!).
Still, we understand that some may not love these new policies. But neither do we love having hours worth of appointments in a single day cancel without enough time to fill them, nor pushing other clients (who were on time) back due to the tardiness of others. And we will never, ever rush a service.
Left: Our book at the beginning of the day, every day. Right: How it looks by the end of the day. No shows in orange, late cancellations shown in big empty blocks. Not awesome.
We know this is all big and new and scary, but fear not! We will be rolling this out in stages and we have a nice little counterpoint to our having to firm up operations.
When our new policies take effect on August 1st, 2015, we will also be taking Walk-In Wednesdays for a test drive (walk-ins only, no appointments on Wednesdays). It should be a hoot, but be prepared for a wait.
Here are the stages for building a better Beardsgaard for all of you.
Step 1 / Updating Billing Information
Beginning July 1st, 2015, we will be requiring a credit card on file to book an appointment. Please note that we do not store your credit card information in any way, it is all secure and encrypted on MindBody’s servers (a PCI-Compliant Level 1 Service Provider).
Step 2 / Bombardment
On the website, blog, in the newsletter, on our social channels and in shop, we are going to do our damnedest to let everyone know about the new policies, repeatedly, before they go into effect.
Step 2 / Rollout
Beginning August 1st, 2015, our new policies will be in effect, as will Walk-In Wednesdays. They are outlined below, as they will appear on the Bookings page of the website.
Beardsgaard Appointment Policies
- Because we tend to book anywhere from a week to a month out (depending on the barber and time of day desired), by necessity we are appointment only and do not take walk-ins (except on Walk-In Wednesday).
- A phone number and credit card on file are required for all appointment bookings. Email is appreciated for additional reminder purposes.
- Due to the back-to-back nature of our appointment book, only pre-booked services will be performed. Our services are precisely timed and scheduled to see as many of our wonderful clients as possible, so if you booked a haircut, for example, you cannot add a beard trim or shave once you’re in the chair. Time just does not allow.
- In cases where a late, cancelled or no show payment would trigger, you will be notified by phone and email before payment will be applied.
- There will be occasions where the Late Cancellation and No Show fees might be waived (we’re not monsters), but this will be on a case-by-case basis and determined by a call to the front desk.
- You must be in the shop by the time your appointment is due to start (plenty of people show up early to enjoy a cup of coffee and our extensive library of weirdness). If you are not physically present by that time, we will call to check in.
- Please note that when we call you or you call us for an ETA, if you say you are 5 minutes away and we don’t see you for another 20, your appointment will likely no longer be available once you arrive.
- We will never sacrifice quality for time. In cases of lateness, once 25% of your booked service time has elapsed, we will not be able to complete that service in your remaining time. If multiple services are booked, one service may have to be sacrificed or downgraded (full haircut turns into a cleanup, beard trim with straight razor becomes a regular beard trim, etc.)
Cancellations & No Shows
- Appointments cancelled fewer than 12 hours in advance are subject to a charge for 50% of services booked in order to pay our barbers for the time in their books that was reserved. You can cancel by phone, email, app or online, although the latter two are only available with more than 12 hours left before the appointment start time.
- No shows will also be subject to a charge for 50% of services booked.
- On Walk-In Wednesdays all services are first come first served. The last butts hit the chair 30 minutes prior to close at 5:30. No exceptions.
- While it is exceptionally rare, barbers do sometimes get sick, injured, or have a family emergency. If we have to cancel on YOU within one week (7 days) of your scheduled services, you will receive 25% off your rescheduled service.
We know that this is a big change and will take some getting used to.
We also understand that some folks prefer a low-commitment shop where you can just walk in and get a haircut, and we have some great recommendations for shops just like that all over Chicagoland (fair warning, some of those come with hours and hours in a waiting area). Or you can make Wednesdays your haircut day.
From all of us here at Beardsgaard, we thank you endlessly for building this place from two dweebs and a dream into the epic fortress of barbering and nerdery it is today. Because we put up the drywall and stuff, but our clients (and staff, these days!) have made this place into what it has become.
This is the best way we know how to serve all of our clients better and make sure our barbers make a living. We thank you in advance for your understanding, and not mounting the head of the acting messenger/our Shopkeep on a pike while we implement these new policies.
He has a reasonably helpful head. Nice hair, at least.