Category: Massage Posted: 16 Jul 2018
Posted: 16 Jul 2018
Tipping is like Marmite. You either embrace the concept and tip happily all over the place or you find yourself tipping in restaurants to avoid a scene and elsewhere you're not sure exactly what to do. Whichever camp you are in, your massage should be a completely happy and relaxing experience from start to finish. Tipping customs and expectations should not spoil your enjoyment in any way.
In America, tipping is like death and taxes: you are probably not going to be able to avoid it. In fact it is so certain that some providers of massage services in the States openly include the tip into the basic advertised price of treatments. You know exactly what tip you will give to the therapist so the argument is that you won’t feel any pressure about it. That’s simply because there is nothing left for you to decide about. The tip is pre-set and automatically added to the price charged. It is mandatory and you pay it even before you have met your therapist, let alone experienced the service.
Europe, and in particular the UK, is different. Well, at least tipping is. Disappointingly death and taxes are just as certain here as anywhere else.
Google says tipping is:
“giving someone a sum of money as a reward for a service.”
We feel a more appropriate definition for the UK is:
“giving someone a sum of money as a reward for a better than expected service.”
Tipping is generally not mandatory in London and at The Massage Rooms tipping is completely voluntary. The massage therapists who work with us are totally at ease with this approach and embrace it. They do not arrive at your home or hotel expecting to receive a tip. If you do give them tip at the end of your session, your therapist will see this as a lovely bonus. Just as your better than expected service should have felt like a lovely bonus to you.
Tip amounts are commonly recommended as a percentage add-on to the underlying price of the service. This method is quite arbitrary and the most common suggestions range from 10% up to 20%. That works out as a recommended tip of £7.50 to £15.00 on a standard 90-minute £75.00 massage. We feel that percentage based tipping does not marry well with the underlying spirit of giving an extra reward that you feel comfortable with. You should set the value of the tip at whatever level you feel happy. The amount should have less to do with the basic price being charged for the service and more to do with what you feel is right.
The biggest tips any of our therapists have received (that we are aware of!) was from an Arab gentleman who booked a hotel room massage at a 5-star hotel in Knightsbridge, and he actually gave the same huge tip every day for several days.
Simply give what you feel happy giving. Rounding up the price of the massage to save your therapist needing to give change is a common approach. Other customers use our online booking discount code and then give this saving to their masseuse if they feel she delivered well.
Remember also that tipping can take various forms and need not necessarily be a monetary reward. Money is just the most common and easily used form. Other options which you can consider instead of (or in addition to) money include leaving positive Feedback on the website specifically mentioning your masseuse or simply booking the same individual again for your next treatment. Even something as simple a grateful smile with a comment about how much you enjoyed your massage is sure to be appreciated. These are all equally valid ways to show your gratefulness for a job well done and you should feel comfortable using one or more of them to additionally reward your therapist if you feel it is deserved.
Looking at some of our most popular massage styles, there are some that are best received over a course of treatments, like foot reflexology and slimming massage. A great idea is to give your masseuse a tip at the end of your course of treatments to show them real appreciation for not just doing the massages but seeing them all through with you to until the benefits have become noticeable.
A key aim of massage therapy is to make you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Tipping should make you feel even happier, not stressed. As stated in our FAQs, the only pressure our therapists want you to feel is the relaxing one you will get from their hands during your massage.