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Need some wording advice on a sign for gratuity.  Any suggestions?

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There is a custom at the Korean Spa I go to for tips.

 

When I go to my locker there is an envelope stuck in the locker door for each person that gave me service. The name is on the envelope. On the way out there is a drop box for depositing the envelopes. The only identification of me is my locker number on the envelope. Very discrete and left up to me.

If I only get a scrub there is one for the Scrubber, if I get a massage there is one also for the MT.

 

I feel no pressure and am able to express appreciation. It can easily be adapted to many environments. The envelope can say "tip for XXXX"

 

Patty said:

I work in chiro office.  I get paid per massage/hour.  I don't "expect" tips.  Especially from the clients hat the dr has sent to me as part of their treatment.  BUT there are clients that come in on their own for a relaxation massage.  Or because the place is running a promotion.  And I am disappointed when I am not tipped.  I guess it's because if they went to a spa they would tip the therapist?  

I am not the only therapist there that feels that a sign would be helpful.  Or maybe the receptionist should ask about a tip when the client leaves?  (just the clients who come in on their own- those are full hr vs half)



Stephanie Keffer said:

Marilyn,

I work in a chiropractic office and I am creating a sign tomorrow reason being if they aren't told then they don't know. Just like when I was old enough to go to the hairdresser alone I didn't know I was suppose to tip her. I don't get paid from my chiro I merely rent space so that is why to me it's not that big of a deal. My tips pay my gas so I need them. Now when someone asks how much to tip I tell them that's on them and do it as they see fit. 

Marilyn St.John said:

I just wouldn't feel right about placing a sign or tip jar in my space.  Maybe it has a little to do with my location (inside a chiro office)--I mean, we don't tip our dental hygenists, do we?  Many people see my service as adjunct to their chiro visit and leaving a gratuity would never occur to them.  On the other hand, people who come in just for massage almost always leave extra--and I always feel gifted, ESPECIALLY because no sign nor jar had to prompt them to do that!

I love the motto, "Just set your prices accordingly and you won't have to worry about tips."  And while I agree this is the ideal that the majority of MT's would love to do it isn't always feasible.  The facts are there are a great many MT's who are working in situations where they aren't the ones setting the prices for their services/massage and are being paid a pittance for their work so the tips do become an important part of their income. 

I am very tired of the constant comparison of MT's to doctors and physical therapists.  Doing so is like comparing apples to junebugs.  In order to make a true comparison you need to find someone in the healthcare field who can enter the field without a 4 year undergrad degree plus additional training of 2 to 8 years minimum in the field AND the inclusion of payment for their services to the majority of all health insurance plans.  Otherwise you are kidding yourself that you as an MT compare to a doctor or physical therapist in the healthcare field. 

If you do not want to accept tips don't accept them.  If you want to accept tips find a way to do so with grace and appreciation.  The truth is professionalism in our field doesn't revolve around accepting or not accepting tips.

Well said, we are a mixed lot. Some can set their rates where they like but most receive only part of the fee or must reduce to match prevailing competition. A wonderful thing about massage is its not one size fits all adaptability. And that you don't find much in the medical profession..
Well when I worked in a Chiro office and physical therapy clinic..I didnt need tips, and pretty much nobody tipped....I got paid more then I was worth anyway.... Now I work in a spa.  And tips just come with the job... I make $10 to $20 tips for every hour of massage work.  They are greatly appreciated.
Not required, but any generosity is always appreciated.

I used to be of the mindset that tips didn't matter, and when I received them I was surprised and gracious about it. Of course, that was when I was completely independent, had my own set of clients and set my own prices. Now I am working at a small locally owned gym. I share a room with a chiropractor (we off-set days), and gym members also have a PT on sight to see about aches and pains. There is a complete wellness atmosphere in the place.

I have a deal set up with the gym owner that I keep 60% of my sales, which I'm happy with and don't think tips are necessary. HOWEVER, promotions are starting to be thrown out there where I am giving away 30min & 60min massages for free. That's right, FREE. Many of these clients getting the free massage have not been leaving tips, or booking their next full price massage. I'm out my time, gas for travel, and laundering fees. So I am thinking about placing a sign in the room, or envelopes. I need to keep this position for at least a few months, as I'm new to the area and don't have a client base yet and this will be a very good reference for future jobs.

After reading this thread I'm not sure what to think anymore. It's very easy to talk about the ethics of tips when you don't rely on them, but when that's the only form of payment and people aren't leaving it... it becomes a whole different story.

Tips accepted but not expected.

I have not read the other comments....Working in a chiro office or physical therapy clinic you wouldnt expect tips... However working in a spa or hotel setting, you would...I work in a spa...I get tipped pretty much every massage...Its usually $10 or $20 for an hours work... I work five or six hours a day.. Greatly appeiciated.... If you work on your own....I think I would perhaps charge ten dollars more per hour session and tell your clients they need not worry about tips... Thats just my thought.

Mary~ I understand where you are coming from about the tipping.  I work in a chiro office and I rarely see a tip.  I do NOT expect the PATIENTS to tip me for their massage.  However, the office does run promotions for $30 hour massages and those clients I do expect a tip from.  They are coming in for a full body relaxation massage, not for "treatment".   And they are paying half of what they would at a spa.  The majority of the time I am not tipped.  It's frustrating.  I am tempted to have a sign in my room that I can put out for those "promotional clients" saying something along the lines of tips not expected but appreciated.  I just don't understand why they don't think to tip their massage therapist if they are coming in for a relaxation massage.  I realize it's not a spa, and I am not expecting a $20 tip.  I would be thrilled with a $5 tip.  Something that says thank you for pampering me today! 

Well you should get tipped..But when you are in a Chiro office.. Medical professionals dont get tipped.  Thats what the patient thinks even if they are just coming in for a relaxation massage.. I wouldn't think that way.. but lots do.   Well, why not ask the chiropractor you work with about the tip thing... see what he says..?   Then that will solve it.

Jimswife said:

Mary~ I understand where you are coming from about the tipping.  I work in a chiro office and I rarely see a tip.  I do NOT expect the PATIENTS to tip me for their massage.  However, the office does run promotions for $30 hour massages and those clients I do expect a tip from.  They are coming in for a full body relaxation massage, not for "treatment".   And they are paying half of what they would at a spa.  The majority of the time I am not tipped.  It's frustrating.  I am tempted to have a sign in my room that I can put out for those "promotional clients" saying something along the lines of tips not expected but appreciated.  I just don't understand why they don't think to tip their massage therapist if they are coming in for a relaxation massage.  I realize it's not a spa, and I am not expecting a $20 tip.  I would be thrilled with a $5 tip.  Something that says thank you for pampering me today! 

If I were in your position and those promotions are not good for my business, then I would stop offering them. If the owner is pushing me in doing it, then he has to: 1)increase the percentage of commission 2) increase the rates. If he wants me to work for free just for his gym clients, then I would quit. Period. If he is offering free massages for his gym clients, then he has to pay me for those massages. 

If you stop working there, what the owner of that gym would do? probably hire another therapist. And what do you think will happen? the gym members will start going to that therapist and probably will forget about you. Even if they love you, they will prefer the comfort of getting the massage right there at the gym and save time. You will have to get all the information of those clients and then start marketing them when you start independent and what if they like the new therapist too? 

If I'm new in an area, I would start independent and not working for anybody else, and even less working at a gym, chiropractor's office or Massage Envy. It's better to start building clientele that want to get a massage from an independent and not they type of client that gets massages in a chiro's office or at massage envy. 

Depending on tips to make ends meet... it's not worth it. 


Mary said:

I used to be of the mindset that tips didn't matter, and when I received them I was surprised and gracious about it. Of course, that was when I was completely independent, had my own set of clients and set my own prices. Now I am working at a small locally owned gym. I share a room with a chiropractor (we off-set days), and gym members also have a PT on sight to see about aches and pains. There is a complete wellness atmosphere in the place.

I have a deal set up with the gym owner that I keep 60% of my sales, which I'm happy with and don't think tips are necessary. HOWEVER, promotions are starting to be thrown out there where I am giving away 30min & 60min massages for free. That's right, FREE. Many of these clients getting the free massage have not been leaving tips, or booking their next full price massage. I'm out my time, gas for travel, and laundering fees. So I am thinking about placing a sign in the room, or envelopes. I need to keep this position for at least a few months, as I'm new to the area and don't have a client base yet and this will be a very good reference for future jobs.

After reading this thread I'm not sure what to think anymore. It's very easy to talk about the ethics of tips when you don't rely on them, but when that's the only form of payment and people aren't leaving it... it becomes a whole different story.

It would be interesting to work for Massage Envy for a few days, to see what its like?  How it would change what Im doing now?  If it does?

Angela Lind said:

If I were in your position and those promotions are not good for my business, then I would stop offering them. If the owner is pushing me in doing it, then he has to: 1)increase the percentage of commission 2) increase the rates. If he wants me to work for free just for his gym clients, then I would quit. Period. If he is offering free massages for his gym clients, then he has to pay me for those massages. 

If you stop working there, what the owner of that gym would do? probably hire another therapist. And what do you think will happen? the gym members will start going to that therapist and probably will forget about you. Even if they love you, they will prefer the comfort of getting the massage right there at the gym and save time. You will have to get all the information of those clients and then start marketing them when you start independent and what if they like the new therapist too? 

If I'm new in an area, I would start independent and not working for anybody else, and even less working at a gym, chiropractor's office or Massage Envy. It's better to start building clientele that want to get a massage from an independent and not they type of client that gets massages in a chiro's office or at massage envy. 

Depending on tips to make ends meet... it's not worth it. 


Mary said:

I used to be of the mindset that tips didn't matter, and when I received them I was surprised and gracious about it. Of course, that was when I was completely independent, had my own set of clients and set my own prices. Now I am working at a small locally owned gym. I share a room with a chiropractor (we off-set days), and gym members also have a PT on sight to see about aches and pains. There is a complete wellness atmosphere in the place.

I have a deal set up with the gym owner that I keep 60% of my sales, which I'm happy with and don't think tips are necessary. HOWEVER, promotions are starting to be thrown out there where I am giving away 30min & 60min massages for free. That's right, FREE. Many of these clients getting the free massage have not been leaving tips, or booking their next full price massage. I'm out my time, gas for travel, and laundering fees. So I am thinking about placing a sign in the room, or envelopes. I need to keep this position for at least a few months, as I'm new to the area and don't have a client base yet and this will be a very good reference for future jobs.

After reading this thread I'm not sure what to think anymore. It's very easy to talk about the ethics of tips when you don't rely on them, but when that's the only form of payment and people aren't leaving it... it becomes a whole different story.

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