Standard Rate for Hospitality
One option for determining how to tip a message therapist is to use the standard hospitality rate of 10 to 15 percent. Some people use this figure across the board at restaurants, bars, spas and salons. With a price range of $50 to $100 for a massage, this would equate to a tip of $5 to $10 at 10 percent and $7.50 to $15 at 15 percent. You can tip more or less depending on how pleased you were with the service. Remember, at a spa, you're paying the spa for the service you receive from the massage therapist or an aesthetician. While he or she receives a portion of your payment, the therapist is not being paid directly. Your tip helps to cover the overhead that is deducted by the business from his or her payment. If you are unsure of what to tip, ask what the average tip for his or her services are.
Develop Your Own Rating Scale
With all of the instances in which tipping is appropriate, it is often difficult to discern who gets how much and when. Take some of the guesswork out of it by developing your own rating scale to use in any potential tipping situation. Assign flat dollar amounts to each level of service. For example, a rating of excellent could equal a $15 tip, good could be $10 and fair could be $5. If you're a religious tipper, you could establish $5 as your minimum no matter what; however, you shouldn't feel compelled to tip for inferior service.
Keep It a Little Simpler
At the end of the day, you will need to balance your checkbook or bank account so do it with a nice round number. Plan to build an additional budgeting amount to cover tips. For example, if your visit to the spa includes an $85 massage and a $45 manicure and pedicure totaling $130, round up to $150 and split the additional $20 between the massage therapist and the nail technician. It is up to you how you distribute it, $10 each or $12 and $8 to reflect the involvement and price of their services. Remember to inquire because sometimes spas require that tips or gratuities are paid in cash. Do what you feel is an appropriate reflection of the services you received.