European Wax Center’s CEO on Staying Ahead in the Beauty Industry

"The move to the greater Dallas area strengthens our ability to attract and retain top talent to augment the great team we already have in place as we accelerate into our next chapter of growth," EWC's CEO says. Now, the waxing franchise has made its first foray into other services with a newly launched, first-of-its kind skin treatment.

European Wax Center, newly relocated to Plano, is one of the leading beauty and lifestyle franchises. 

With its decades of wax experience, EWC is known for its unmatched expertise in the science of wax. But at its core, and at the center of everything the company does, is the guest experience.

EWC was named Cause Marketing Champion this year in the 1st Annual Franchise Innovation Awards from Franchising.com for its #axthepintax campaign that focused on raising awareness about how women are charged more than men for comparable products and services.

EWC recently launched a skincare treatment that its CEO says has never been done before in the industry. And with the recent move to Plano, the corporation is building a state-of-the-art training lab to build on more experimentation, testing, and development.

We caught up with David Berg, EWC’s CEO, to see how he plans to stay ahead in a growing industry, what’s on the horizon, and what motivated the move to Dallas-Fort Worth.

How does European Wax Center innovate in the beauty industry?

Unlike other wax centers, we use a proprietary Comfort WaxTM, a hard stripless wax formula that is a blend of beeswax and other high-quality ingredients. Our branded skincare, body and brow lines are high performing and include the most extensive offering of slow hair growth products available. Another aspect that sets EWC apart is our wax specialists, who are licensed professionals from our extensive in-house training program.

We just launched an innovative skin treatment for the face, which is unlike anything that’s been done before in skincare. Cirefusion Thérapie 135°TM is a 30-minute wax-powered, heat-amplified, skin-revitalizing treatment for the face that uses European Wax Center’s new proprietary Thermaceutical WaxTM. The warm wax helps the active ingredients and nutrients of the products put on the face before the wax is applied, be absorbed and penetrate deeper into the skin, which works both immediately and over time.

With our extensive wax experience and knowledge that heat amplifies skincare results, we’ve combined the power of heat and high-performance serums to reveal one’s best skin yet.

This first-of-its-kind treatment is EWC’s first foray into services outside of traditional out of home waxing services. The treatment is currently available exclusively at select centers in select markets with plans to expand nationally.

Our job is to continually introduce services to address our guests’ unmet needs and desires in revealing beautiful skin.

Tell us about your new headquarters.

Our headquarters at Granite Park in Plano is designed with our associates in mind. The floor plan is an open concept style so our teams can collaborate and innovate together. We are also building a state-of-the-art training lab to enable experimentation, testing and development of new techniques, train team members, and continue innovating in the waxing space.

What motivated the decision to move to Dallas?

Plano was selected after a careful evaluation of the business ecosystem, long-term costs, quality of life for associates, global connectivity and proximity to other important company priorities. As importantly, the move to the greater Dallas area strengthens our ability to attract and retain top talent to augment the great team we already have in place as we accelerate into our next chapter of growth. Dallas, with its amazing infrastructure and location, also allows our corporate staff improved access to our franchise network, regional field teams, vendors and industry stakeholders.

How do you, as the CEO, drive innovation in your company?

We view our associates as “clients” requiring a much deeper relationship commitment to them. Our associates in our 740+ centers are truly the ones “closest to our customers.”

Innovation occurs on the “shop floor” by those associates who are directly serving the customer. My job as CEO is to unleash innovation by inviting associates to bring their unique and genuine skills into our centers to delight our guests. In addition, my role is to break down barriers to implement innovative ideas that come from our associates and enable rapid deployment of great guest serving ideas.

Do you have any previous life experiences or employment that’s gotten you to where you are today?

I joined European Wax Center with more than three decades of experience leading consumer brands in retail, restaurant, and hospitality. Prior to joining EWC, I served as chief executive officer at Carlson Hospitality and held senior leadership roles at Bloomin’ Brands, General Nutrition Centers, and Best Buy. I also serve on the Board of Directors of Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing franchise businesses in the US.

In all of these businesses a “key success factor” has been a maniacal focus on the customer.

One of my earliest jobs was as a teenager working in a small town, family owned butcher shop that competed with all the major chain grocery stores. What I experienced there, all those years ago, has stuck with me. The owner of the meat market understood the power of “service” and making a personal connection with his customers—he treated each customer as if they were the most important person in his business. All in an authentic and genuine manner. We consider our “customers” to be our “guests” who are invited into our centers where we make sure we delight them with every visit to EWC.

What’s on the horizon for you and EWC?

As CEO, my goal is to lead EWC to new levels of growth by building upon the foundation for continued enhancement and expansion of the brand. We are the leaders in the Out Of Home waxing industry. We do not take our leadership role for granted. We will continue to focus on delighting our guests, revealing beautiful skin, and providing services desired by our guests. We are incredibly excited about our next chapter and our move to the Dallas area. We look forward to our future in continuing to enable our guests to “Walk in and Strut Out.”

This Q+A has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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