The age old question that comes to mind why should a person tip? How much is enough tip, so I don’t look like a tight wad? How much is over tipping? These are all good questions that I will attempt to answer in this blog.
I will only be speaking from a massage therapist position but the ideas can be applied to any service field.
Why tip a person in the service fields? This is a very good question. We do get paid, but usually on a commission basis or lower than normal salary level. Those of us that work for ourselves have to depend on clients coming to us. This means we can often have very slow weeks or months with little or no pay. Tips help keep us in business. Also, tips were developed to let the person doing your service know they have either done a terrible job or an excellent job. This being said in my line of work as a massage therapist that is self-employed, I attempt to keep my prices in the middle. This means some people can just barely afford to come get the service they need while others it is no problem at all. I went into my business not expecting tips from any of my clients. However, each client that tips me it is appreciated greatly. For those that can’t afford it and tell me, they wish they could tip but just can’t it is an emotional tip.
Those of us that work for ourselves have a lot of overhead each year that includes: advertising, lotion, candles, bottled water, sheets, towels, educational classes, license fees, equipment, taxes, etc. Tips are the icing on our jobs that make it so we can do extra things other than just getting by.
I feel strongly that clients should tip according to how they felt about their experience, did they learn something about their muscles and if the massage truly makes them feel better. If the answer to any of those things is yes then the massage therapist has earned a tip. I truly dislike it when a client ask me what a standard amount of tip is. There is no standard amount and no percentage in the massage world unlike a wait staff that I feel should get a 20% + tip depending on the level of friendliness and service.
In conclusion, a tip is for a service well done and beyond the call of the job guidelines. Did you get more than expected, did you learn something, was the therapist happy and was the area clean and inviting? If so surprise your massage therapist with a nice tip after you have received an awesome massage you will not regret it and I promise they will remember you. Tips do not guarantee a great massage but they can guarantee a reap great massage.