'Customers expect to get free drinks,' says salon
A Dublin salon chain has said providing customers with complimentary alcoholic drinks is now something that has come to be expected.
Ian O'Keeffe, spokesman for Sugar Culture, said its customers enjoy having a drink while getting a blow-dry.
Customers at its Brown Sugar salon are offered the usual tea and coffee, but can also partake of a glass of Prosecco or a tipple from its gin and tonic trolley. It also previously offered customers vodka.
The men haven't been left out either with customers at its Sugar Daddy barbershop offered a whiskey as they sit down for a short back and sides.
"Salons and barbershops in general, it's come to be expected to offer some sort of beer or tea or coffee. Every other salon has jumped on the bandwagon.
"We always had a drinks offering, like complimentary Prosecco. All our customers have always enjoyed that.
"In more recent times, we have been looking at new things and ways of making our offering more current. The gin and tonic trolley was brought in about eight months ago. We've always had different things to do at different times. We had an Absolut Vodka Night when the salon was first launched for a few years.
"Our customers really enjoy it. If we run a bit low, there's a bit of a panic in the salon," he joked.
Mr O'Keeffe said customers seldom ask for an alcoholic drink in the morning, and if they do, it's usually a bridal party.
"We do get the odd request for a G&T in or around 11am," he added.
He said Brown Sugar is "officially partnered" with Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and Thomas Henry tonic. He said the salon gets the gin at a "highly discounted rate" and, in return, the drinks company is given vouchers for the salon which it can pass on to clients.
"We have a good relationship with these guys. We have a lot of their bottles on display in the salon," said Mr O'Keeffe.
"We do generally encourage our clients to take pictures [of the drink] and share them on their social channels. It also doubles up for Drumshanbo because it is using our salons to market its product. It's great for it to have its product in a central place in the city centre."