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

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I don't find anything interesting working at Massage Envy or any McMassage franchise.

Gordon J. Wallis said:

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?

Jimswife~ Thanks for your reply. While I'm sorry your experiencing something similar, it's good to know I'm not alone. My clients coming in with the promotions are there for a relaxing hr as well, not treating an injury along side the other specialists in the gym. I think I'm going to place a sign in the room along the lines not expected but appreciated as well, and take it down for paying clients.

...although I'm also thinking maybe I do need to look at my options & make a change.

My doctor earns so much more.  Anyone with this attitude is foolish.  Perhaps if you work in a medical facility and are well compensated, however for the vast majority of therapists gratuity is a large part of their wage, for me at times almost 1/2.  Many spas pay their therapists 25-30% of the service cost, so without grat, one would do just as well at the drive through enquiring if one would like fries with that.
 
BodyWork'Er said:

Do you tip your doctor?

You should NEVER be required to work for free...dont' do it.
 
Gordon J. Wallis said:

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.

Gratuities are gratefully accepted.

There should never, EVER be the word "just" before the words "relaxation massage."

Excuse me, but...what the hell. STRESS is a major factor in many illnesses, and the ART of providing sensitive, caring, intelligent touch, as well as a personal energy as a healing professional that calms, soothes, and allows a client to become vulnerable and to let go is a SKILL that not everyone has; nay, not even every massage therapist.

To have the demeanor, the voice, the attitude, the energy, the inner calm to be a healing force BEFORE we even touch a client is highly valuable. Human beings are desperate for stress-relief, for nurturing, for a port in their personal life storm. That ain't about the latest technique. It's about the self-awareness and inner healing that the therapist brings to the session.

So, really. Can we just stop with the "just?" We know better.

I do not keep a sign about tipping in my office and I tell clients who ask, that I do not take tips.  I do have two clients who tip a small amount on their sessions, and have for years.  But, I only accepted this after I twice refused to take the tip and they continued to press.  

This is what I have in the FAQ section of my website:

You should never feel pressured to tip. We will accept tips if you are so inclined, but the best tip you can give is a referral of a friend, family member or colleague. We are excited when referrals become wonderful clients, just like you.

Additionally, on each page below my fee schedule (I have the fee schedule listed as a standard side-bar on each page of my website), it says: 

Gratuity is not expected.   The best tip you can give is a referral of a friend or family member.

A sign is NOT asking for a tip.  In fact, worded as others have suggested, gives clients the info that, NO, tips are not REQUIRED.  It merely gives them permission  to, in a sense, brag that they have "arrived", and can afford to tip extravagantly if they so choose. 

Look, one reason people visit massage clinics is to feel pampered.  For the same reason, people visit expensive restaurants for $50 sandwiches when across the street they can get a superior meal for a fraction of the price.  Working class people don't get a lot of manicures or facials or $200 50-minute massages; upper middle class and upper class do.  Working class, when they have the extra money for pampering, are well aware that a tip is not a requirement but leaving what they can afford ($5 vs $100 paid by the wealthy client) is a way of enhancing their own  feeling of being pampered.  People won't dig for the last $1 in order to tip-- a tip, all people know, is voluntary.

Accept it in the spirit in which it is offered, with a smile and a simple "thank you."

One more attempt to get my point across.  At most day spas, the fee and any tip is paid up front, and not paid to the LMT immediately: clients are well aware that their therapist won't know whether the client tipped, or how much-- yet, they tip anyway...because they want to.

BTW, my notice is worded essentially as Peuppi's is worded



Choice Kinchen said:

I have to agree with Marilyn.....This question should not even be asked.  If therapists wish to be taken as reputable in their craft, they should:  Be professional at all times.  Make your skills be awesome.  Price your services accordingly so you do not need tips to survive.  If you do this, you hardly need to waste your time on tip signs, suggestions, jars, hats or monkeys with tin cups.

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