Build Your Best Book Using the FOIL Method


The epic battle between accommodating clients and reducing long lulls in your day is a tale as old as time for stylists and technicians.

However, building a full day on your appointment book can be tricky, too. How many times have you found yourself stuck with a five-hour break in your day? It reduces your productivity and profit margin, plus it's downright frustrating. Helping fold towels isn’t that time-consuming, right?  

One way to strike the right balance when planning your schedule is to use the FOIL booking method to optimize your appointment book. The FOIL booking method is a simple, four-part solution that allows you to best utilize your time by filling in your calendar in a way that eliminates annoying gaps.

The FOIL Booking Method

F — is for First, as in the first appointment of the day

O — is for Outer, any booking that can go outside of a previously booked appointment

I — is for Inner, bookings that can be squeezed inside of another appointment (i.e. double booking color)

L — is for Last, as in the last appointment of the day

Example of how to use the FOIL Method in the STX Cloud Appointment Book

Example of how to use the FOIL Method in the STX Cloud Appointment Book


Offering these specific times helps you take control of where bookings are placed. If the times offered don’t work for your client, then naturally the next best thing is to ask what times would work and be accommodating.  

Here’s an example of a booking call:

Front Desk:  You would like a haircut with Jennifer, and what is the best day for you to come in?

Guest: Tuesday

Front Desk: Great! I can do 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.?

Guest: 2 p.m. Sounds great!   

Using this method to plan your day is a great way for anyone trying to maximize the efficiency of their booked appointments and is an easy way for new front desk staff to understand the value in booking properly.  

An even easier solution is to use a salon software equipped to assist your front desk in creating a perfectly balanced schedule. STX Software has a patented algorithm called "Appointment Builder" to search for one or multiple appointments based on rank. This foolproof feature takes booking to the next level and reduces the amount of lulls or booking errors.


Shannon Wojtkowski began her salon career almost 20 years ago by sweeping hair at 14 years old. She worked her way up the salon ladder by working the front desk, assisting and eventually behind her own chair. Shannon spent many years living a double life, attending cosmetology school while also working at a salon nights and weekends and maintaining a full-time career in project management in the marketing and technology field. She’s the trifecta of awesome, combining her knowledge of salon life, marketing and technology.

Shannon Wojtkowski