How Much Money Should You Tip At Massage Envy?

tipping, massage envy, massage parlors

tipping, massage envy, massage parlors

Tipping for services is a common practice in the U.S. We tip our baristas, waiters, and yes, our massage therapists. Tipping might be common, but the amount you should tip is a somewhat nebulous topic. Planning a massage soon? Here’s how much money you should tip at Massage Envy.

First, let’s back it up. Massage Envy is a national chain of wellness studios that focus on massages and skin care. You can get an array of massage and skin treatment services, from Swedish massages to facials.

It’s a luxury business, and most people understand that tips are expected in this line of work. What’s interesting about Massage Envy is that it uses the franchise business model. What that means is the franchise location in Seattle is going to be owned by a different person than the location in Atlanta. While they all operate under the main company, each franchise gets to set some of its own rules. Tipping falls under that.

Massage Envy also uses a membership model. Membership fees include a once a month massage or facial, as well as unlimited additional massages at the member rate, and discount and referral programs. Prices for members are different than for non-members.

So, How Much Should I Tip At Massage Envy?

Massage Envy has this posted on their website:

To show your therapist how much you appreciate their service, you may want to leave a gratuity. Information on the suggested gratuity range for your service is available at the front desk. We look forward to welcoming you for your first visit.

What does this mean? Since Massage Envy follows the member model, members pay a different price than non-members. So, the amount they suggest for a tip will depend on your membership status and the type of service you’ve purchased.

A one-hour massage is usually $55-60 for members and $100 for non-members. Generally speaking, tips fall into the 10-20% range for a luxury service like massages. Massage therapists make a flat hourly rate, and tips are truly just tips. This is different from a restaurant, where waiters depend on their tips to earn money.

Massage Envy suggests that you tip your therapist based on the non-member rate. So, your tip would range somewhere between $10-20 for a one-hour massage.

Prices for services may vary from location to location. If your local Massage Envy has a one-sheet with suggested tip prices, take a look at it when you stop in. That will guide you in figuring out your tip at Massage Envy.

How much do you tip for massages or other luxury services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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24 Replies to “How Much Money Should You Tip At Massage Envy?”

  1. Massage Envy therapists do not make a flat hourly rate. They make an commission per service hour rate which is very low compared to the industry standard. The massage envy model is set up so that the therapists must heavily depend on tips. An appropriate gratuity is 20% of the non-member rate, about $15-$20 for the hour.

    1. I used to work for Massage Envy and this is correct! We didn’t get paid by the hour, only for the service we provided. As an example, for a 1 hour massage the therapist would be paid $15. If the therapist was scheduled for a 6 hour shift and they only performed (2) 1 hour massages, they would be paid $30 not $90.

  2. Who suggests leaving tip on the discounted price? It is customary to tip based on the price before the discount anywhere you go.

    1. you’d be surprised!

  3. C. Works too hard says: Reply

    Actually, 25% is standard. I started tipping 20% in 1997. If you are happy with your massage $25-40 for an hour and $35- 60 for a 90 minute. Massage is physical labor to fix someone else’s body. Please tip accordingly. We do not bring you food that someone else cooked.

    1. Yes but in this case the massage therapist doesn’t work for themselves. You’re analogy is ridiculous. So I’m going to leave a $25-40 tip on top of the $80/hour for massage? So you’re basically saying I’m paying the business to pay you AND leaving a large tip? This makes sense to you? That’s up to half the price of the massage, way more than 25%. Servers wait multiple tables, have multiple duties and a hard job, which also includes fatiguing physical labor. No, you’re not bringing the food and the cooks don’t get tips. The business that you choose to be employed by is supplying this particular service. If you don’t like what they pay, find something else.

      1. Mike,
        This is just a flawed business model frankly and is simply squandering a legitimately growing and beneficial component of the healthcare field one where the tail is wagging the dog and essentially only perpetuating a complete lack of value of massage practitioners everywhere.
        Your rebuttal is so ignorant I’m more sad for you than anything. Franchise massage therapist contractors are paid less than 20% of the premium that you pay.
        Furthermore, servers don’t pay upwards of $20K+ to competently perform their craft, don’t have to touch your body and have a very low level of responsibility -not to mention, they do not require regular licensure, ongoing education and insurance premiums just to practice. Your arguement is invalid on the basis of your gross misunderstanding of the reality you are making such indifferent assertions on.
        The franchise business model offers a well oiled machine approach that relies on memberships to offer such steep discounts on massage therapy. Even with a 25%-30% tip, you are still well under the industry standard price that you’d be required to pay for the same service.
        Please do every reputable massage therapist out there the best favor you can and never visit them. You are the very poster child and reason the franchise system is not sustainable for great therapists. Believe it or not, most people DO tip well. And here’s a tip for you: If you start to notice that you get find a therapist you really like and is compatible with you; yet you ultimately can’t get booked with them: you’re being avoided because you aren’t willing to invest in yourself or the person who’s busting thier hump because you make poor choices and don’t take care of yourself. It’s honestly a self fulfilling prophecy of your own inability to establish value in yourself, much less anyone else.
        I hope you at least come away with better knowledge even if your empathy and integrity can’t keep up.

        1. The therapist is benefiting from advertising that produces a steady stream of clients and they have no overhead since the facility is equipped… if you are in business for yourself the advertising is generally by word of mouth and you must buy your own equipment and products. If you compare net income from self employment vs working at a franchise, you may find that the wages are comparable. If you are outstanding in your field then your reputation may make being self employed more profitable. Supply and demand at work here.

          1. Tammy,
            The post is about tipping. Not pay rates. But it has become a mess because it hits a nerve with people who either don’t know better or care to do better.
            The original article was genius. Therapists have chimed in and offered reality checks. The article is here at all because people give a crap to know how to be the most respective to their therapists.
            First, I have to ask you outright: Are you or have you ever been a Massage Therapist, yourself? And especially, in the current state that is the post “tech-school-minimal-certification-crank-out” boom that began the marginalized, saturation & eventual implosion of the profession that began back in the mid-late 90’s?
            I agree that therapists who are good do great. But you are either ignorant to or forgetting the fact that franchises are not an honorable contribution to the profession. They chew Massage Therapists and Estheticians up, then spit them out all the time and create these promising, yet inflated job opportunities for the new grads who dot know any better, due to the vacancies from constant burnout and high turnover.
            I know many people personally who after curiously looking around online on employment sites with pay information for therapists at massage franchises, cancelled their memberships due to the sheer disgust in finding that their beloved therapist was only receiving $12-$16 per hour out of the $65+ that they paid for. I also know people like these are the reasons that therapists got out and have a nice clienteles who are still following them after finding them at those places and those same therapists continue to grow despite it, but only because they left the franchises that refused to invest in them and compensate them fairly. You could frame that many ways. I think difficulties can create healthy refining that clarifies purpose in us all sometimes. But this is a grossly, disproportionate perpetuation of that to excuse the indifferent franchise models that are reductive to every Massage Therapist and the profession, period.
            If you seriously think that those franchise therapists are paid enough, I can only think that you either own/ work for one/created/invested in one or even worse; that you simply have such a very low sense of yourself as a therapist and the profession.
            The expense to launder 2 worn, flat sheets and an old face cradle cover, an ounce of lotion, unreliable/dingy equipment, the brand name/store front, underqualified/unmotivated front desk staff, generic business cards & higher ups holed up in a back office are hardly worth the 80%+ that Therapists do all the work to provide. But still don’t make up but under 20% that revenue? Local salons pay about 40-60%, and that is even before any gratuity; and at a fair industry standard price.
            There is no justification for this poor pay rate no matter how you try to legitimize it. And the franchises know it. They require employees not to discuss what they are paid and furthermore are not forthcoming to the people who hand their money over to them for those services. For instance, when a client is charged for a no show, the front desk charges them half and tells them “Sorry, but we have to pay the therapist!”, this leads clients to believe that the stiffed therapist is being compensated $32.50 still, while in reality the front desk typically waives it anyhow, but if they do charge the client like they should; the therapist still won’t even see half of that.
            You have to recognize that this is a much larger picture in order to really see the errors in it all.
            And I just hope you aren’t a great therapist settling at a franchise, on your way to becoming broke, jaded and burnt out.

          2. ColoradoLMT says:

            And that is an incredibly vague perception that is completely irrespective of the reality as far as franchises are concerned.
            And I need to correct you on the independent work vs. franchise work coming out similar.
            I charge $100 per hour and don’t even mess with the tackiness of gratuity. Further, I only accept current clientele and their approved referrals or referrals from other professionals -and at my sole discretion. Massage Envy pays their therapists just $16 per hour on average, currently. Tipping produces $0-$20 per hour. They are also bombarded with novice clients who actually know nothing about functional medicine and expect therapists to abuse their bodies to satisfy their cathartic expectations. They have almost no time for a real assessment and rely solely on requests based on subjective information from the uneducated client. So even when a more educated therapists tried to do what’s right by a client, they are at te mercy of making a client happy regardless if it is appropriate for the client’s situation or not.
            THAT is the supply and demand. Not a demand for legitimate care and mindful bodywork and assessment. And because these poor clients don’t teally improve as well, they keep coming back due to little resolve to the case of their ailments. THAT is also the supply and demand. It’s crooked and not what massage is really about.
            Furthermore, franchises usually employ underexpereinced salespeople to manage the filing and other administrative and ‘marketing’ tasks. Business cards are simply generic franchise location cards with names printed on address labels and poorly stuck to the front of them, typically commensurate with the level of effort the salespeople decide to put forth based on their mood at the time. Therapists literally have to depend on underqualified retail/foodservice sales and retail/food service management level people to handle all the logistics of their work. It’s poorly done and poorly delivered delivered due to rampant maturity issues paired with sub par work ethic. The worst part is the therapists work is even why any of these individuals get paid in the first place and it’s not nearly worth what they get paid at all.
            Franchise brands have created a service synonymous with cut rate prices and marginalized provisions they derived from a legitimate branch of healthcare.
            You are wrong. The $30 average therapists make is a disgrace.
            Do the math:
            1 hour: $100, Swedish only.*
            (*Targeted deep tissue: +$50/hr)
            Lotion: -$1.50
            Equip/laundry: -$5.00
            Rent: -$5.00
            Market/books/admin: -$5.30
            Card fees: -$2.30 (%)
            $100 – $20 = $80
            (**$128.85 Targeted Deep Tissue)
            Clients still often tip on top of my rates, but I don’t factor this into that because I don’t expect it and use it to further support my pro bono opportunities.
            (Note: This is a generous, cautious estimate of expenses that actually tend to be $15 or less, even during months I take personal times off/ those with holidays.)
            Compared to:
            $16 + $14 (avg) per hour = $30
            $30 for mostly back to back deep tissue sessions.
            Hmmm…Really?!
            FRANCHISED THERAPISTS ARE GETTING OVERWORKED AND RIPPED OFF while they line the pockets of underqualified support staff, brand owners and investors.
            Sure, THAT is the supply and demand. But also why we have so many expendable, bitter, injured tech school crankouts distracting hurting clients from a legitimate profession that could be helping them get better.
            Hope that helps!

        2. Brandi Thomas, LMT says: Reply

          THIS!!! ❤

    2. Brandi Thomas, LMT says: Reply

      BOOM!

  4. They also make more than $2 an hour.

    1. Massage therapists are paid hourly or by case basis. What is the difference from a physical therapist or nurse providing a service, or anyone providing a service for that matter? Really, the only workers who should be tipped are the ones who actual depend on their tips: waiters/waitresses, bartenders, etc. This practice of expecting tips really pushes away those who cannot afford to tip. I’d love a massage but 20% over cost is difficult for me to manage every time I’d want a massage.

      1. I’ve seen MTs complain about 30-40 hour from the house, plus tips to the customer (while poor customer is paying 100 dollars an hour). Seriously, most people I know don’t make anywhere near that kind of money and customer works hard for their money too!

      2. Angie,
        You’re missing the target. Do you realize that we are one of the few countries that looks at self care and investment as a ‘luxury’?
        Self care is discipline and maturity; which encompasses not eating crap, we rest as we need to as well as exercising and being more aware and respectful of our overall health in all areas. Massage therapy is only part of the equation to achieve homeostasis and balance. It’s value is understated in imbalanced and uneducated cultures even though it is actually a fundamental part of multiple centuries old health and wellness protocols in other cultures.
        Interestingly enough, those who make the biggest squack about cost efficiency are the same people who will easily drop more than the cost of an industry rate prices massage plus tip on restaurants and Starbucks in a months time.
        People who want to reach thier wellness goals make appropriate concessions and investments in themselves which further only serves to sustain that type of discipline and effectively; a more superior degree of health and wellness. It all comes down to intention and choices. Where there is a will, there is a way. Period.

    2. They also perform a physically demanding service on you, and in which many spent over 500 classroom hours to learn. . Not on the same level as a food service worker.

      1. Servers don’t have an easy job and no one forces you to be in massage therapy. Their comment is spot on, it discourages people from using the service.

        1. Iworkhardformymoney says: Reply

          Before franchise chains offering Massage became available, Massage therapists charged a fee that was justified based on the demanding physical work they provided (we work for 60, 90, and 120 minutes straight–not stopping at all for a sip of water, bathroom break, or a breather) for clients who often want their therapist to pound them with all their might for the time they have them. These franchised forced all but some of these privately owned spas to close forcing many therapists to seek employment at rates far below the norm. Massage isn’t just a person rubbing you, but is an assessment of a client’s body by a trained specialist who then needs to customize a massage based on the client’s need. It is knowing what muscles are affected, where they originate, and where they attach. It is knowing what if any contraindications exist. Therapists have to be licensed like chiropractors, nurses, and physical therapists. They are required to have college level courses in Anatomy and physiology 1 and 2, kinesiology 1 and 2, pathology, psychosomatic psychology courses and ethics and collegiate algebra among the many other classes they must take. They are required by law to fulfill 24 CEUs every 2 years which are, in every case, additional costs to them. Massage is not and should not be considered a leisure. It is a form of alternative healthcare. It is an investment in one’s health and Massage therapist work extremely hard to help you feel better.

        2. Mike,
          This is not about someone choosing their job -again, this is a post about what to tip ayour massage envy massage therapist. You are receiving feedback from people who are in this field as well as those who are not entirely understanding or respective of the franchise massage therapy service model. The only reason people get burnt out or don’t like this model when they are employed in it are when the client doesn’t compensate their therapists appropriately enough to sustain the work they do. Your indifference and rebuttal to the question itself as well as undervaluing the massage therapy profession is not the answer to anyone’s question regarding this blog post. If you do not believe in paying a professional an industry standard to compensate professionals who do quality work for you, then please do not utilize a franchise model in an attempt to avoid being a responsible, fair paying client like others. I would say the same thing to you as well if you were a restaurant customer and felt like you deserved great service but didn’t feel like you should have to pay your server for it. I’ve done server work and now I do massage therapy. Servers do work hard but it is nothing compared to massage therapy. Have you done either in any capacity to garner the conclusion you seem so firm in? Have you ever been employed in a commission based workforce? Commission based jobs actually encourage people to work harder and make more money. If more jobs were commission based, we would have better work ethic, frankly. But those who do not understand the respect and comisurate pay reflective of an honest days work often do not because they are more focused on money than work ethic. Again, this is why the franchise models are not sustainable -because people want work but don’t want to have to pay for it. I wouldn’t be that way toward anyone. I am not well off, but I am an excellent tipper no matter where I go, whether it’s a restaurant a spa or if I get my carpet cleaned. They all get tipped well because I believe that hard workers deserve to get paid. Not all are paid the same percentage or amount, but I know I encourage a job well done and show my appreciation where my wallet is. Sometimes that means I don’t get Starbucks or I brown bag it at work. And you know what? I have people who prefer and look forward to seeing me as their customer/client who seem to be legitimately happy and always go a little above and beyond.
          See how that works? It’s not complicated and really shouldn’t even be an arguement.
          Commission based services and the proper etiquette that goes along with it just should not be abused by some people.

      2. 500hrs lol, and it’s not luxury anymore or there wouldn’t be chains. Meaning it’s going to get saturated and going to bring in avg people that make 20-60k per year. Expect what the business is going for, more customers and saturating market for revenue. Don’t like it? Find something else that takes more than 500hrs like physician. .who BTW makes 100/hr n has licensing n insurance. Arguments here on wage is ridiculous like the McDonald’s wage complaints. Tips are extra and optional. Many do not tip a waitress at all and it’s their choice to stay in that field, same goes for mts, look at supply and demand. It’s not getting better for the worker there in massages with supply of therapist. Tips will be marginalized because the business is bringing in lower class individuals like that waitress or construction worker, they expect your pay to be higher and aren’t going to tip but 5/10$. It’s your employer you should be complaining to , not the customer. You accept the offer so deal with it, go elsewhere, or do something else that takes significant time. Not 500hrs.

  5. MASSAGE THERAPIST says: Reply

    At massage envy,the therapist are not paid as well asmany otger massage businesses. The trade off is in how busy they are so you are never short clients…and the tips. The tips actually bring our pay closer to what we are worth. As a massage therapist,i am in it to help peoplenot get rich. Though tips are greatly appreciated, especiallyfor deep tissue massages

  6. Hm this 15-20% tipping model makes no sense at all. The reason one goes to massage envy is for the affordable member discount. Adding the 15-20% tip (of the non-member rate) brings it back up to other private practices, and that was one of the reasons I don’t get massages in the first place is because the price is not affordable.

    And the argument about needing to get degree for this work, etc. I’m sorry, my field also requires a bachelor’s degree. But I don’t go around asking for tips from my customer when I’m doing a good job. I think the service industry in the US is just strange.

  7. I do not mind tipping but I find that 10-15 minutes are wasted on them changing their table and then waiting 9-10 minutes for you to take your clothes off. I can undress in 1 minute. I just had a 2 hr massage and I paid for both hours and gave a 15% tip on each hour. I missed an appointment and gave up two of my member services hours for the therapist. It was at my request not theirs. Had I gotten full two hours I tip 20% but I missed out on exactly 20 minutes.

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