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JBloggs

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Massage Therapists
I have a couple questions for you since most of you are familiar with this vocation.
Do you tip your massage therapist? Why or why not? How much would your average tip be?
Most are privately contracted, so if in person at your place or at a rented space in a spa? Would that matter to the reasoning behind the tip (ie "don't tip the owner" sort of thing)?
Would you go to a massage therapist who is in a chiropractors office over a spa setting? Or vice versa? Why?
In light of the B&B - how often do you have a massage therapists come out, is it very popular or do most guests prefer to go to the day spa? Do they charge travel time or addtl fees to go onsite?
 

Morticia

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I think more guests prefer to have the masseuse come in rather than have to get completely dressed again and go out into the cold once they are relaxed.
Anytime I have had a masseuse come in here for a guest the guest has tipped over the stated rate.
I think if I were to go for a massage at a spa I would tip the masseuse because they don't get the rate you just paid at the front desk. If I were to go to someone local who had their own 'shop' I wouldn't tip because I would assume they are charging what they want to make. Does that make sense? I figure the masseuse at a spa is making minimum wage, or having to pay a fee for space, whereas the person who has their own business has figured in all the extras along with a tip into the price I pay up front.
 

JBloggs

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Have you ever been to a place that is soley massage though? I have not, even in the San Juan Islands at a resort they had the LMT's in their own little shop there (which I am sure they rented out for that service). Just wondering - and appreciate all feedback.
 

Morticia

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Have you ever been to a place that is soley massage though? I have not, even in the San Juan Islands at a resort they had the LMT's in their own little shop there (which I am sure they rented out for that service). Just wondering - and appreciate all feedback..
No, most places have some other specialists in the same space. Acupuncturist, aromatherapy, all of the same sort of field, but not just massage.
I did go to a friend who has a therapy room set up in her house. But, she also has 2 other businesses she runs out of her house as well. She charges $1/minute. I don't know if that even comes close to covering her expenses for the heat, the laundry, the essential oils AND her time. Not to mention the licensing fees, classes she has to take, the different tables/table extensions, etc. She has one of those full size musculature anatomy posters on the wall and she explains what muscles are causing the problems and shows where they are. Very helpful if you can't actually pinpoint where it hurts.
Then she shows you what you can do at home to relieve some of the pain on your own. Rolling on tennis balls, things like that. All of that is AFTER the massage, so additional time that she doesn't charge for.
 

SecondAct

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I hate tipping, but that's a whole other story for a different day. My son's friend is a masseuse. He tells me that tipping is pretty much identical to tipping for service in a restaurant - 15% to 20%. Personally, I think when you have a service that costs $50 on the low end and with $75 to $100 being the norm, that's an outrageous amount of money, but I do think that's the standard.
 

gillumhouse

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Call for a masseuse here is sporadic. She comes here and does in-room or they are welcome to go to her salon. When she first started the going rate here was $40 for a 1 hour massage. Her shop was in town so when I asked how much she would charge for in-room she saud, well you are in town so $40. I told her she was charging $60 per hour for in-room. I do not touch her money. Guests are told it is a separate fee, cash or check so I have no idea if they ever tipped her. Last time she came I told her it was now $75 (she now charges $60 in her new location), She has gas, lugging the table around, linens, etc so she deserves more for the in-room service. (It was kind of embarassing when the guest asked her how much and she looked at me to find out how much she was charging!)
 

EmptyNest

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Joe Bloggs said:
Massage Therapists
I have a couple questions for you since most of you are familiar with this vocation.
Do you tip your massage therapist? Why or why not? How much would your average tip be?
Most are privately contracted, so if in person at your place or at a rented space in a spa? Would that matter to the reasoning behind the tip (ie "don't tip the owner" sort of thing)?
Would you go to a massage therapist who is in a chiropractors office over a spa setting? Or vice versa? Why?
In light of the B&B - how often do you have a massage therapists come out, is it very popular or do most guests prefer to go to the day spa? Do they charge travel time or addtl fees to go onsite?
1. We do not tip the massage therapist. It is up to the guest having the massage to do that if they wish. When I have a massage myself, I pay $55 an hour at her office and then give her a $5 tip. Since I go weekly. she is guaranteed my income and I feel this is adequate..heck..I am making her car payment! Most guests in general do tip. We generally quote her hourly rate +optional tip.
2. It doesn't matter to me where they are! However as a guest, a spa situation / relaxing etc etc is what they want. They don't want to be in a chiro office. For me as well. Chiro implies medical treatment and I get that as well. But for relaxation, I would go to a private massage therapist location / day spa...whatever.
3. My massage therapist and her daughter and sometimes contracted help she gets..are the only ones to travel to B & B's and cabins. I think the others are missing the boat! Guests prefer she comes out to them so they can enjoy and relax in the privacy of their own room. She charges $60 an hour per person to come out to a location. I think that is very reasonable. Though I think she is raising her out going rates.
My friends remodeled an old smoke house and they have massages done there. It is very private and is very nice...then folks can use their hot tub later on or just relax in their rooms.
 

EmptyNest

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Have you ever been to a place that is soley massage though? I have not, even in the San Juan Islands at a resort they had the LMT's in their own little shop there (which I am sure they rented out for that service). Just wondering - and appreciate all feedback..
"Have you ever been to a place that is soley massage though? "
My massage therapist...just does massages..that is it. She used to have someone come in for facials and pedicures etc..but it was such a hassle she stopped doing it.
 

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests.
 

NW BB

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests..
Why aren't you charging the therapist anything? Since you are touching the money, hopefully you have informed your insurance company that these massages are part of your business. Whether you put any money in your pocket or not, if you are taking the client's money, it is part of your business and you now have liability.It's my understanding that even if you just make the appointment for them, you have liability.
You are actually losing money since you are using your merchant account to accept payment. You're paying processing fees for that money. I would suggest you charge the therapist enough to at least cover those expenses, but frankly, this could be an added source of income for you if you charged the therapist a percentage of the services.
 

Proud Texan

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests..
Why aren't you charging the therapist anything? Since you are touching the money, hopefully you have informed your insurance company that these massages are part of your business. Whether you put any money in your pocket or not, if you are taking the client's money, it is part of your business and you now have liability.It's my understanding that even if you just make the appointment for them, you have liability.
You are actually losing money since you are using your merchant account to accept payment. You're paying processing fees for that money. I would suggest you charge the therapist enough to at least cover those expenses, but frankly, this could be an added source of income for you if you charged the therapist a percentage of the services.
.
Since we just opened in August of last year, we may do just that after a bit. Right now, we are just getting everything in place and seeing what services we want to offer and those that we don't.
Thanks for the heads up about the liability issue. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check with my insurance company on Monday.
 

happykeeper

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I can appreciate this and I agree it is worth looking at, but with a fully licensed massage therapist in Hawaii, I have yet to hear of a legal problem for the venue.
I also understand the issue around revenue, but we made the decision that we actually do not want to make anything from the event. This greatly reduces our liability. Since a guest can choose this on line, it does require that we deduct a very small amount for processing credit cards, but again, our liability, while real, is limited.
More importantly- it allows the therapist to charge less than the resorts, adding yet another value based reason to choose a luxury bed and breakfast over a hotel. Better still, it turns our relationship with the therapist into gold and she makes the extra effort to care for our guests that the resorts just can't do. Need 5 more minutes to work on that ankle? No problem!
I should add that we have been working hard at revenue streams and we aren't in the business of giving everything away free, but we have found that when the revenue stream gets outside of who we are and what we can do, we are often better served by exchanging the potential user fee for goodwill. In contrast, my partner is very well known for his cultural art and he offers a wonderful 3 hour intensive lei making workshop that includes picking in the forest for a set fee. Many guests choose this and gladly pay the fee. We don't reduce it or include it in specials and it is a great source of revenue. Best of all, it generates goodwill AND enhances the revenue.
 

EmptyNest

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests..
Why aren't you charging the therapist anything? Since you are touching the money, hopefully you have informed your insurance company that these massages are part of your business. Whether you put any money in your pocket or not, if you are taking the client's money, it is part of your business and you now have liability.It's my understanding that even if you just make the appointment for them, you have liability.
You are actually losing money since you are using your merchant account to accept payment. You're paying processing fees for that money. I would suggest you charge the therapist enough to at least cover those expenses, but frankly, this could be an added source of income for you if you charged the therapist a percentage of the services.
.
Since we just opened in August of last year, we may do just that after a bit. Right now, we are just getting everything in place and seeing what services we want to offer and those that we don't.
Thanks for the heads up about the liability issue. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check with my insurance company on Monday.
.
Oh Liability is a real issue. Massage therapist MUST have proof of insurance here. Some of the other B & B's here put together the package and book it so they make money on it. But any tip is left to the discretion of the guest. So this too makes me wonder....if the innkeeper schedules the appt and collects the money and pays the therapist...liability could still be a real issue for them as well. I am going to mention this to them and see what they tell me.
 

Morticia

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests..
Why aren't you charging the therapist anything? Since you are touching the money, hopefully you have informed your insurance company that these massages are part of your business. Whether you put any money in your pocket or not, if you are taking the client's money, it is part of your business and you now have liability.It's my understanding that even if you just make the appointment for them, you have liability.
You are actually losing money since you are using your merchant account to accept payment. You're paying processing fees for that money. I would suggest you charge the therapist enough to at least cover those expenses, but frankly, this could be an added source of income for you if you charged the therapist a percentage of the services.
.
Since we just opened in August of last year, we may do just that after a bit. Right now, we are just getting everything in place and seeing what services we want to offer and those that we don't.
Thanks for the heads up about the liability issue. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check with my insurance company on Monday.
.
Oh Liability is a real issue. Massage therapist MUST have proof of insurance here. Some of the other B & B's here put together the package and book it so they make money on it. But any tip is left to the discretion of the guest. So this too makes me wonder....if the innkeeper schedules the appt and collects the money and pays the therapist...liability could still be a real issue for them as well. I am going to mention this to them and see what they tell me.
.
We are required by our insurance to get a 'statement of insurance' from anyone who works for us in an 'independent contractor' capacity. So, if we have a housekeeper she goes on our workers comp insurance for injuries, etc. Anyone else must provide us with a statement saying they have their own insurance.
This is different from the liability aspect of it, tho. If we partner with another business they must have liability insurance to cover any aspect of the guest's stay that includes them. ie- kayaking classes, etc. That would apply to anyone who sets foot on the property to conduct a class or render a service.
In re what our insurance agent says, tho, we may partner with whatever 'normal' kinds of businesses that enhance the guest's experience that we want. They just want to know about it in advance. We stay out of the money loop wherever we can. If we have to collect the money, we give a gift certificate to the guest to partipate in the activity and they use that to pay the vendor.
 

JBloggs

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Not to hijack the thread - but for example our horseback riding package - where there could be serious liability, and you have to sign a disclaimer and statement before getting near their horses - are you all saying that if a guest calls and asks me to book it for them then I am some way liable? Are you saying then, that I should book the package and have them pay the horse people on their own when they do the event? Vs me charging it all upfront for the package price? A Licensed Massage Therapist is not a liability - unless THEY trip or fall on your property. They are minimal and pay a very low insurance rate due to that, but a horseback ride is another 'animal' altogether and people can and do get injured.
 

Proud Texan

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I can appreciate this and I agree it is worth looking at, but with a fully licensed massage therapist in Hawaii, I have yet to hear of a legal problem for the venue.
I also understand the issue around revenue, but we made the decision that we actually do not want to make anything from the event. This greatly reduces our liability. Since a guest can choose this on line, it does require that we deduct a very small amount for processing credit cards, but again, our liability, while real, is limited.
More importantly- it allows the therapist to charge less than the resorts, adding yet another value based reason to choose a luxury bed and breakfast over a hotel. Better still, it turns our relationship with the therapist into gold and she makes the extra effort to care for our guests that the resorts just can't do. Need 5 more minutes to work on that ankle? No problem!
I should add that we have been working hard at revenue streams and we aren't in the business of giving everything away free, but we have found that when the revenue stream gets outside of who we are and what we can do, we are often better served by exchanging the potential user fee for goodwill. In contrast, my partner is very well known for his cultural art and he offers a wonderful 3 hour intensive lei making workshop that includes picking in the forest for a set fee. Many guests choose this and gladly pay the fee. We don't reduce it or include it in specials and it is a great source of revenue. Best of all, it generates goodwill AND enhances the revenue..
knkbnb said:
"...I also understand the issue around revenue, but we made the decision that we actually do not want to make anything from the event. This greatly reduces our liability. Since a guest can choose this on line, it does require that we deduct a very small amount for processing credit cards, but again, our liability, while real, is limited.
More importantly- it allows the therapist to charge less than the resorts, adding yet another value based reason to choose a luxury bed and breakfast over a hotel. Better still, it turns our relationship with the therapist into gold and she makes the extra effort to care for our guests that the resorts just can't do. Need 5 more minutes to work on that ankle? No problem!"
Well said. This has also been our line of thinking. You can't put a price on good will.
 

happykeeper

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Not to hijack the thread - but for example our horseback riding package - where there could be serious liability, and you have to sign a disclaimer and statement before getting near their horses - are you all saying that if a guest calls and asks me to book it for them then I am some way liable? Are you saying then, that I should book the package and have them pay the horse people on their own when they do the event? Vs me charging it all upfront for the package price? A Licensed Massage Therapist is not a liability - unless THEY trip or fall on your property. They are minimal and pay a very low insurance rate due to that, but a horseback ride is another 'animal' altogether and people can and do get injured..
Liability is not IMH(not a lawyer) O an all or nothing deal. A licensed therapist, or stable, or tour operator with the proper insurance is almost completely liable for the services they provide and most courts would not hold the venue or concierge liable unless, as was mentioned, you presented the guest with a service from someone who was not licensed and insured. As long as you are working with the former, I don't think it is a significant risk to build a package and accept payment. Of course, the extent that you profit from that service would play a role, but as pass-through service, it shouldn't deter you from it.
 

egoodell

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Our massage therapists are very popular. The guest reserves the massage at the time they make their reservation and the fee is tacked on to their bill. Right now, the tip is between the guest and the therapist and is usually cash or check. I'm working with my credit card service to have a tip line added to our receipts so that tips could be received this way too, since most want to hold on to their cash.
We negotiated the fee that would be charged to our guest up front. This includes travel time etc. As far as book keeping, the transaction is a wash because we receive no compensation for the massage, but it provides a "value added" feature to the room. The key is to provide a hassle-free service for your guests..
Why aren't you charging the therapist anything? Since you are touching the money, hopefully you have informed your insurance company that these massages are part of your business. Whether you put any money in your pocket or not, if you are taking the client's money, it is part of your business and you now have liability.It's my understanding that even if you just make the appointment for them, you have liability.
You are actually losing money since you are using your merchant account to accept payment. You're paying processing fees for that money. I would suggest you charge the therapist enough to at least cover those expenses, but frankly, this could be an added source of income for you if you charged the therapist a percentage of the services.
.
Since we just opened in August of last year, we may do just that after a bit. Right now, we are just getting everything in place and seeing what services we want to offer and those that we don't.
Thanks for the heads up about the liability issue. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check with my insurance company on Monday.
.
Proud Texan said:
Since we just opened in August of last year, we may do just that after a bit. Right now, we are just getting everything in place and seeing what services we want to offer and those that we don't.
Thanks for the heads up about the liability issue. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check with my insurance company on Monday.
I believe I have been told to ensure that the therapist has me listed on their insurance to protect against liability. I have not yet found one to recommend and am looking. Most of the B&Bs here give out names for the guest to call and book themselves. That's how I plan to do it as well. This way, if the therapist does not show - I was not involved! One less headache for me.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

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I was told to have my massage therapist put me on a rider on her insurance and get proof of insurance.
Insurance agent told me they do not cover anyting that has to do with horses - do not touch the money for the stable.
Before the Historical Association would allow me to take people into the log house, I had to get a rider on my insurance to cover anyone I took to the log house.
Lawsuits have everyone running so scared it is hard to do business. Instead of living in a world of doing things, we now live in a world of "What if....?" Before my City makes a move they go through the "What if...." and check with the insurance company regarding what is covered.
 

NW BB

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Here is a link to an article in a massage therapist journal regarding massage law suits and some reasons for "recent claims".
It just makes good business sense to make sure you have protected yourself by contacting your insurance company when partnering with any outside vendor. The "deep pocket" mentality of today's litigious society could mean that some lawyer might go after you. If your insurance company hasn't been included in the loop, you would have to spend big$$$$ defending yourself whether you had any actual liability or not.
I know when I was using a horseback riding company, my insurance company did not want me to make the reservations for our guests or have anything to do with the money.
 
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