Massages can help you relax and soothe sore muscles, so it’s no surprise they’re becoming more common. The rise of massage franchise locations and day spas, as well as modern and creative massage types like hot stone, shiatsu, and Thai massage, all point to a rising trend: People are increasingly incorporating massage and spa treatments into their daily routines.
The therapist is not paid directly by you, but he or she does earn a percentage of your payment. According to Daniel Post, a spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, “the bottom line is that your tip helps your massage therapist’s bottom line—they rely on gratuities as income.”
All of this raises the question of how much you can tip for a massage (or other excellent spa treatment). Here are the answers to all of your tipping and etiquette questions.
How Much Do You Tip for a Massage, and When Do You Do It?For massage tipping, the normal hospitality rate is 20%. A 20 percent tip on a $100 massage or body treatment, for example, will be $20. “Depending on how happy you were with the massage, you can tip more or less,” says Schweitzer, who stresses the importance of planning ahead and having cash to tip your massage therapist. “Paying cash directly to the masseuse allows him or her to carry it home the same day, rather than having to wait for the spa to ‘tip out’ on the therapist’s daily paycheck,” she explains.
Many spas have small envelopes in which you can write your tips. Simply write your therapist’s name and a note that it was from you on the front of the card. Are there no envelopes available? Schweitzer says she tucks her planned cash tip into the pocket of her spa robe and gives it to her therapist during her appointment. Also, don’t forget to express gratitude. “It’s worth its weight in gold to tell somebody they did a good job,” Schweitzer says.
When Using a Coupon, How Much Do You Tip
You can tip 20% on the original price, not the reduced price, if you buy a series of massages or an offer from a discount site.
When Getting a Private Massage, How Much Do You Tip
Since massage therapists are expected to receive tips, you can expect a 20% tip in any massage or spa treatment scenario (unless a self-employed therapist specifically tells you their rate is all-inclusive). Are you unsure? Always inquire if you’re unsure, says Post, who adds that tipping is always appreciated.
How Much Do You Tip for a Hotel Spa Massage
Some all-inclusive spa resorts, such as Canyon Ranch or other destination spas, offer gratuity in their prices or apply it to the final bill automatically. Schweitzer recommends double-checking your final bill for gratuity and inquiring about the tip policy with the individual who checks you in or out of the spa.