Times have changed for barbers. There was once a time when your local barber was on hand, around the clock to perform important life-saving surgeries, extract a troublesome tooth or put some life back into your bob.
Back in the middle ages, basically if you had sharp implements and a desire to cut bits off people you were both a barber and a surgeon. A barber-surgeon.
The modern barber doesn’t quite get his hands as dirty. Sticking mainly to the tops of heads, your modern-day barber might not be skilled enough to remove your appendix, but he will work wonders on your wig.
Open Up Shop
The first part of your morning will be opening up shop. Once inside, we get the kettle boiling and coffee machine rumbling . At Chaps & Co tea, coffee and iced water is available for the team and the customer throughout the day .
Next on the list is to check the laundry from the day before. Arriving back from its overnight stay at the dry cleaners, we fold the clean towels and gowns ready for use throughout the day. At Chaps & Co we offer extra services such as threading and waxing, so the wax machine will need to be switched on.
In preparation for the first customers arriving, we typically spend five minutes or so ensuring all their equipment is present, perfectly clean and plugged in. Checking levels on spray bottles and hair products will ensure we’re not left short halfway through a cut.
A quick check through the diary to see if any appointments will require extra attention is good practice. Hopefully, there is enough time to sink some of that coffee and have a five-minute catch-up with the team before the first customers arrive. However, we’re relentlessly busy and these moments can often be few and far between.
The time to earn your wage has arrived. Whilst greeting the customer as they come through the door or at least acknowledging their arrival, we offer them a seat and perhaps a drink. With the chair already prepared, it’s time to get the customer in the seat, and see what challenge they’re presenting us with this morning.
Small talk and pleasantries are all the rage between barber and customer. Even if you’ve have seen the head twenty times before, rapport is essential. Keeping your clients at ease, confident in your ability and packed full of rubbish jokes and trivia goes a long way to keeping them coming back.
All trimmed, brushed off, styled and swept up, thankyou-and-goodbyes taken care of, the post-COVID barber needs to wipe down all the equipment, the seat, the sides and the floor. Good, clean work areas have always been promoted, but post-COVID extra care is taken.
New or old client, we like to make some notes on the iPad so when they next come through, we have an inkling as to what they may require.
In between clients, as well as cleaning we will undoubtedly be juggling the other jobs from around the shop. Keeping up with the laundry, checking levels on both products and brew cups and cleaning.
Getting a break might not run like clockwork as with some other careers. Some days your break might equate to a few bites of a sandwich between clients. As a barber spends all day on their feet, lunch is an essential part of the day. Skipping it could spell disaster.
Keeping busy does mean less fuss at the end of the day. As much as a we love our work, the days can be long and getting home, fed and rested up is always a joy. By juggling the workload through the day, closing of the shop should be plain sailing.
When all appointments have been sat, the till has been rung-up, everything cleaned down, equipment unplugged, TV and radio off, the days laundry is finished and the brew cups are soaking in the sink – our day is nearly done. All that’s left is to flick off the lights, set the alarm and retreat back to the comforts of home before doing it all again the next day.
The modern-day barber is as busy as ever. True, they might not be performing heart-surgery, but the work is almost as essential. Running a tight ship may even require extra hands on the shop floor to manage diaries, keep on top of the laundry and providing a steady flow of coffee.
This all points towards a busy barber, and that’s ultimately better than sitting around twiddling your scissors.
At Chaps & Co, we’re always looking for new talent that can compliment our teams. If you think that might be you, you can fire us a CV over by clicking here and we’ll keep it on record for when we’re hiring.