There is a great deal of discussion among people in the industry about barber travel time. How far will a customer travel to get to his regular barbershop? Is there an average barber travel time or distance that the typical customer will travel to see his barber? Is there an average time or distance which is just too far so that a customer will look for a closer barbershop?
About a year ago I had a survey on our website which dealt with barber travel time. I was pleasantly surprised with the results from that survey. I wish I had those exact statistics to share right now, but they were somehow lost. I do remember that there were significant numbers of customers who checked the 20 minutes and 30 minutes boxes regarding barber travel time.
The corresponding responses with longer barber travel time indicated that there was a strong relationship with their regular barbers and that it was more than just the act of cutting hair or giving a face shave. It indicated a personal friendship and relationship with their barber of many years.
I know my own personal barber of thirty years became a close personal friend. At first I looked closely at my haircuts, but then when I decided that he did a reasonably good job on my hair, it shifted to our relationship and friendship. It was always amazing to me that when I stepped into the barber chair he could start up the conversation exactly where we left it off the month before. He made me feel like I was an important person to him and a valued client.
I lived about 35 minutes from his barber shop for about six months. When it came to barber travel time I didn’t even give it a thought. I wouldn’t go anywhere else–even if I had to drive an hour for my monthly ritual. So I am thinking that barber travel time is mainly a function of the relationship between barber and client and how many years that relationship has been going on.
I am going to create another barber travel time survey and put it on the website. I would like to have some specific numbers to quantify the results of this question. But until I gather that additional information, I am going to stick with my conclusion that barber travel time is a function of the time duration and quality of the barber-client relationship.