In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:
- Section I – Background information on the Drybar franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
- Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Drybar franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
- Section III – Presentation and analysis of Drybar’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
- average gross sales, total shop consumables, manager wages, total hourly labor, total controllable expenses, total non-controllable costs, and total operating profit for 7 franchised Shops during their first 12 months of operation
- 2014 average gross sales, total shop consumables, manager wages, total hourly labor, total controllable expenses, total non-controllable costs, and total operating profit for 7 franchised Shops open for the entire calendar year 2014
Section I – Background Information
Alli Webb may not have invented the idea of a “blowout,” a hair washing followed by a blow-dry styling, but she’s one of the first to capitalize on it in a major way. Rather than a full-service beauty and hair salon, Webb’s idea was simple – create a salon with just one simple service and keep the price reasonable.
In 2008 she had already perfected the art of the blowout and was running her own in-home blowout service, but she was always overbooked and felt like a hamster endlessly running on its tiny wheel. With a loan from her rather skeptical (and bald) brother, Michael Landau, as well as her own family’s life savings, she put together her first location in Brentwood, California, in 2010 and Drybar was born.
The idea caught on quickly, and soon locations were springing up all over the place. The chain opened its 40th store in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on January 8, 2015, and is on track to bring in $70 million in revenue this year.
Here’s how Drybar keeps hair, and its operations, looking smooth and shiny:
More Than a Wash-and-Blow-Dry
Webb understands that she’s selling more than a wash-n-dry. What she’s really selling is self-esteem, happiness, and confidence. That’s why she has put so much thought into the experience of Drybar.
Women don’t face the mirror when their hair is being styled – that’s saved for the final, dramatic spin-around when the work is complete. After all, who wants to see themselves looking like a drowned rat?
The experience includes highly-stylized décor, a plate of cookies and flavored water at the front counter, carefully selected movies, and a big-screen TV that plays chick flicks with subtitles (the roar of the hair dryers can be deafening).
The point is that it’s not unaffordably upscale, but it’s a whole lot better than what you’ll get at a discount hair salon.
The Bar Theme
The bar theme is carried out with impeccable consistency, from the names of the different styles (Dirty Martini, the Cosmo, the Mai Tai, the Cosmo-Tai, Southern Comfort, the Straight Up, etc.) to the gift cards that look like coasters to the names of the various hair products used (Happy Hour Shampoo, Texas Tea Conditioner, Hot Toddy Frizz Fighter, Mud Slide Hair Mast, etc.) to the offering of a beverage (water, coffee, champagne, etc.).
There’s definitely a pampering effect going on here, and women love it.
The sheer simplicity of what Webb is doing is admirable: No cutting. No coloring. Just washing and drying. It’s hard to believe that anyone could build a $70 million empire on essentially nothing more than hot air.
Will the chain be able to retain this elegant simplicity? Time will tell, but it’s clear that Webb is willing to experiment with additions that make sense. During the last holiday season the chain offered a home blowout kit with its buttercup blow-dryer, 2 different brushes, shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray, all in its signature yellow and slate gray colors.
The chain also recently rolled out an add-on option of hair braiding for an additional fee.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Drybar franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.