There’s a common thread between the salon and barbershop: Robert McMillen, founder and owner of Mildred, is married to one of the founders and co-owners of Love, Dunette, Christine McMillen, who partners with Jenna Pitocco at the salon. But each business is a little different. Love, Dunette is a full-service salon with regular stylists who rent their chairs, while Mildred is a barber shop specializing in men’s hairstyles with a rotating group of guest barbers.
Both businesses needed to be able to take appointments and accept payments without hassle. They were also looking for a solution that was flexible and easy for their staff to adopt. With stylists that rent chairs in Love, Dunette and barbers that work in Mildred, it was important that a booking and payment tool be easy to learn for their respective staff and seamless for clients from booking to checkout.
In spite of their different services and needs, Square Appointments became their technology solution of choice. Here’s why.
The Challenge: Finding the Right Versatile Booking System
At Love, Dunette, each stylist rents their station and manages their own client book, so they need their own scheduling account and booking page. Whereas at Mildred, the staff are full time, and clients like the option to book with their favorite stylist or anyone available at a time most convenient for them. Robert was looking for something easy that could integrate right into his existing workflows at Mildred, and Christine and Jenna were looking for something robust, given they didn’t have a studio phone at Love, Dunette.
A solution that featured a streamlined interface for Mildred and made team management a cinch for Love, Dunette was critical.
We were considering how long it would take a client to visit our site, find a stylist, an available time, and book an appointment. For the most part, whether clients were on their phone, iPad, or laptop, it seemed like Square was the quickest and easiest solution.”Robert McMillen → Founder & Owner, Mildred
The Solution: Square Appointments
The biggest benefit of Square Appointments for both businesses is how easy it is for a client to make an appointment online. Though Love, Dunette and Mildred serve different clientele, their common bond is empowering clients to look their absolute best and find the services they need with no friction.
It eases our plate when clients can schedule themselves. If someone goes on the website and they see all the descriptions of the services, they know what they’re booking for, they know how much it’s going to cost, and they’re able to just handle it all themselves.”Jenna Pitocco → Founder & Owner, Love, Dunette
For clients at both locations, their interactions start with online booking, where they can see services and prices clearly. From the Love, Dunette homepage, a client can navigate to the Book with Us section and then pick the artist they want to set an appointment with. Once the client selects an artist, the appointment options pop up so they can make selections for services and appointment time. All of the information and prices are right there.
From the Mildred homepage, a client can schedule straightaway with a barber by clicking on Book. In the new tab, the client can book either by service or with a specific staff member.
Once appointments are booked, staff can see client profiles and bookings and help set future appointments from their devices.
With Square Appointments, each staff member can take care of a client from start to finish, without having to hand them off to another employee for checkout or scheduling. At Love, Dunette and Mildred, a client can book online, services are performed when they arrive, and their stylist or barber can check them out right from the chair or at the front desk with Square Stand, an iPad POS with a built-in card reader.
The Results: Seamless Booking and Valuable Time Saved
Ease of scheduling has resulted in a better bottom line. Christine and Jenna say that Square Appointments has helped them and their stylists find 30%–40% in time savings per day, compared to personally working with each client to manage their appointments. Those time savings are a result of having fewer walk-ins to schedule in person and the ease of staffing the shop for the number of clients expected at any given time.
Similarly, with Mildred, Square products powerfully contribute to the company’s bottom line. Robert says that there have been measurable improvements with Square, noting that its suite of tools saves the business 25–40 hours a week.
For Mildred, Square solutions turned manual processes into more automated tasks:
- Clients can book appointments and get reminders via text message with Square Appointments.
- Square Shifts connects with Square Payroll to automatically calculate commissions and tip calculations. Square Shifts helps you manage team schedules and time, payroll prep, and sales, all in one place.
- Square Marketing is integrated into the same platform for easy access and helps manage tasks such as email and text messaging in a more seamlessly.
- New team members can onboard quickly and easily apply roles and custom permissions online with Team Plus.
Since Mildred features guest barbers from around the world, having an easy interface that can quickly onboard and temporarily feature new staff members is important for Robert. For clients, the option to book an appointment with a guest barber is one of the things that makes this shop truly unique.
When we implemented Square, we were able to see a 20% increase in clients. We had relationships with people before we opened the shop, and Square has been that bridge for them to find us. When we ask them, ‘How did you get to us?’ They do it through Square.”Robert McMillen → Founder & Owner, Mildred
Love, Dunette has seen the following improvements since implementing Square:
- Time savings of 30–40% per day.
- An increase in clients, from approximately 800 at founding to 2,200 today
- Revenue growth of 80% from January–July 2020 to January–July 2021
- Revenue growth of 17% from January–July 2021 to January–July 2022
Mildred has seen the following improvements since switching to Square:
- Operational cost savings equal to approximately working 25–40 hours per week
- 20% increase in clients