There are as many opinions about tipping as there are massage therapist. Some therapists view their work as more in-line with other medical professionals. They feel that you don’t tip your doctor, so why would you tip your therapist?
Other therapists believe that tips aren’t necessary as the client is already paying them a fee. They are more honored when the client returns, and eve more by receiving the biggest compliment available- a referral from the client.
Personally, I never used to like accepting tips, especially when I was working in a medical office. Then one day I had a client tell me that although they understood my decision to decline the tip, it was their way of expressing gratitude for the help I gave them and insisted that I allow them to give a tip. With this new found awareness, I have approached the issue from a new perspective.
I have now adopted the motto, “Tips are never expected, but they’re always accepted.”
Reflecting on my various work place experiences, and chatting with some of my colleagues, I have written up some personal suggestions to help navigate various tipping situations for a massage therapist.
· When in doubt, ask!
Every therapist has his or her own policies and guidelines. We massage therapist appreciate questions, and know that everyone is different. We won’t be offended if you ask.
· Spas, Salons, Cruises
Most of the time when a therapist is working in a spa-like setting, they are paid on commission, salary, or as an independent contractor with split-commission. It is a nice gesture in these settings to tip the therapist, as they may not be taking home the same amount of money, as they would be in private practice.
· Groupon, Coupons, and Deals
This can be a point of contention with a lot of massage therapist. We all love a deal and saving pennies where we can. However, when a therapist discounts their services significantly, either through an e-coupon (Groupon, AmazonDeals, LivingSocial) or running a special, it usually means he or she is making an effort to build clientele while taking a major cut to their earnings. There are many clients who only come to a therapist when they can get a deal, and we understand those circumstances. In this case, we ask that you please make sure to tip your therapist if you chose to take advantage of a discounted offer for a massage. It shows value and respect for the therapist time, expertise and generosity.
In the end massage therapists spend a great deal of time, striving to provide the best services and experience for their clients. We love what we do, and hope you love our work as well.