Salon/Spa Pay

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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby Luthienne on Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:47 pm

I get 50% at my spa, and I'm pretty happy with it. The spa takes care of everything but my taxes. I only wish the spa charged more, since I think ours is pretty cheap. I'm moving to vegas soon though, and I actually just joined this forum today, out of curiosity if anyone else here works in a Vegas spa ?
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby Texas-gal on Sat Mar 26, 2005 5:07 am

If you are making 20 or more an hour and staying busy - isn't this good pay???


Purrkitty,

A big cheer for you for trying to spread the profit around! :)

A good way to decide if $20 or more an hour is good pay, is to look at the checks you are writing out at the end of the month and try to see if a person could live on that reasonably.

Maybe there are people out there with degrees making minimum wage. It doesn't mean we should settle for this is we don't have to.  That is the wonderful thing about living in the States where we are allowed more than one job if we like, and we are allowed to change fields, positions and go back to school even after we are in a different age bracket.  There are some countries who only let you continue in the same field you chose, back when you were 15 y.o. and that's what you get for life.  Mind you there are others who don't even have much schooling at all.  

We can take advantage of what we are given here in this country, and there are plenty of people who are not as lucky as I.... (here I sit in my apartment with a computer and the opportunity to run my own establishment), but we still have a place to try to do better, to try and see our dreams and to try and make a nice life for ourselves.  It is a nice feeling to be able to at least be given the chance to try.

Hmmm... looks like I went off on some strange tangent there.

If I were making $20/hour for 4 massages in a day, that is $80/day. And, let's say that I get 20 massages a week.  I think, if I calculate that right, I make about $400/week.  Minus what I have to pay the government, because usually the salon does not take out the withholding.  That gives me maybe $1,550.00 take home.  Now, I have student loans, bills, food, gas, vehicle payment possibly to pay every month -- plus add in a few kiddos along the way, and maybe a husband who also has a "minimum wage" job, IF I am not divorced or have someone skipping out on alimony.  Hmmm.... I am kind of figuring, that is why many of the people working in salons are having a difficult time dealing with the "more than minimum wage and $20 per service is enough" syndrome.  

Then again, I know people who do very very well working in a salon.  I think it all depends on the salon, how large it is, if favoritism is played in booking, etc. etc.

Just a few rambling thoughts.  Don't know that they mean beans to anyone, but you just never know! ;)

Oh, and when I was doing salon work, I was making about $32 on a massage, which I think was a 40% split, and they were pretty busy a good amount of the week-ends.  Problem is, they also could care less about your physical health and the fact that on the week-days there would sometimes be 1 massage for the day for each of the therapists working.  They didn't want you to leave (just in case) and you wasted a whole day sitting, when you could have been out drumming up some business or getting rest for your 8 people you'd have "tomorrow-Saturday".  

When figuring out the therapists and techs pay scale, don't forget to add in the "whole" year, including the down times.... that will give you a really good picture as to if you are needing to cut their pay to make a profit for your company to be able to grow, expand or whatever, I'd think too.  Of course, you own your own place... so I'm not really telling you anything new Purrkitty.  I guess this will help more of the people thinking about such things.  

Hope I haven't offended.  Gives a kiss to make up before the we even have a problem!   :-*



Here's an old thread that may be of help to:

Help, I need advice on what to pay therapist
http://www.bodyworkonline.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1029
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby Convoluted on Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:54 am

Bumping up this old thread due to recently accepting a new job at a salon/spa..

ministerofmassage wrote:I work in a spa outside Chicago and I know that spa pay scales here are low and dropping since we have over 5 massage schools and every junior college is getting a massage program. These schools are grinding out new therapists every few months and so it is an employer's market. Some will offer hourly plus benefits ($10-12 hr) while the spas owned by large corporations or hotels start at 33% up to 45%. They tell you when you are hired that your commission is higher but then you are charged a product usage fee or overhead fee of 10% or more. I started 10 years ago here in the fitness industry making 60% but remember 60% of no business is 0. After 3 years of back breaking work we had 3 fulltime MT's, added a 2nd treatment room and then were slowly fired for cheaper help. Since then I have built business for spa owners only to have to pay for my own business cards, uniforms (even though this is against the law in IL) wash loads of laundry and do maintenence like a cleaning woman for 40% or hourly. Believe me no one profits at a salon except an owner! The intangibles are a nice work environment and discounted salon services, plus they can offer more services to your clients than you can by yourself. I would like to know if others feel like spa work exploits massage therapists. I am planning to work for myself soon and create my own business if I have to work this hard for others.  ???


The other day I accepted a new position at a salon/spa that pays 45% commission or an hourly base in a pay period if your commissions are not high enough. It wasn't until orientation that I found out that after commission is calucated then they take out a "ticket fee" that is anywhere from $10 to $20 per service. Most of the time it's a $10 charge. So my commissioin minus ticket fee could be $15 for a 45 minute spot treatment, $26 on a 60 minute swedish, $18.50 on a 60 minute swedish package price, $32 on an 60 minute deep, $23 on a 60 minute deep package price....I honestly wish the pay structure would be just a flat rate for each type of service vs commission.

In addition to that bit of news I found out that all employees are expected to work in occassional charity events or promotional events for "free". I guess that's technically under the "hourly base" umbrella that you would get in a pay period if your commissions are not higher.

I am leaving a job that is similar to ME. I get $17 per 50 min massage & $21 per 50 min stone massage. If you were to convert the $17 per 50 minutes into a rate for 60 minutes that would be $20.40, which in some cases would be higher that my new salon/spa job rate.

Even though I feel duped I am still going to give this new job a shot. I did make the choice to go through with it even though new information was presented to me after I already accepted this job and gave my 2 week notice to my present employer. I guess I am realizing the grass may not be greener on the other side. It will be a bummer if I end up averaging a similar amount of money with tips. Right now I make on avergage $30 per 50 minute massage with my tips included in the mix.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby maestra on Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:11 am

Convoluted wrote:In addition to that bit of news I found out that all employees are expected to work in occassional charity events or promotional events for "free".


They can expect all they want, but I don't believe they can require you to work for a "Charity event" for free. If you want to Donate your time/skills to a charity it should be Your choice of charity, and not the pet project of your employer. What if it was a charity that you did not feel particularly charitable towards? Is it really a "gift" if your employer demands it of you? :roll:
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby Convoluted on Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:43 am

maestra wrote:
Convoluted wrote:In addition to that bit of news I found out that all employees are expected to work in occassional charity events or promotional events for "free".


They can expect all they want, but I don't believe they can require you to work for a "Charity event" for free. If you want to Donate your time/skills to a charity it should be Your choice of charity, and not the pet project of your employer. What if it was a charity that you did not feel particularly charitable towards? Is it really a "gift" if your employer demands it of you? :roll:


:irked: I am irked about it, but I do think that they can do it as a condition of my employment as a commissioned employee. It was also part of the contract I signed...(sign it or don't work for them) I think that because I am guaranteed an hourly minimum for a pay period if my total are less than that amount they techincally are "paying" me, even though it seems "free" to me. .... :P

I have to remember while I am "b####ing" and moaning about this, I did agree to it, so I better suck it up for now. Hopefully other postive things about this new job will outweigh the things that irk me.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:05 am

maestra wrote:They can expect all they want, but I don't believe they can require you to work for a "Charity event" for free. If you want to Donate your time/skills to a charity it should be Your choice of charity, and not the pet project of your employer. What if it was a charity that you did not feel particularly charitable towards? Is it really a "gift" if your employer demands it of you? :roll:


Oh, sure they can. If you are an employee, so long as your earnings -- commission, split, fee per service, hourly -- whatever scheme they use -- plus tips = minimum wage, they can have you perform any service covered by the terms of your employment.

It does not even have to be a charity event. One of our PTEs could not work for us on VDay because the spa she work for PT was having a FREE day -- any club/spa member could get a free massage -- and the technicians were not getting paid a penny for the services (the joys of being on commission -- 100% of 0 = $0) Be careful what you wish for -- in terms of commission -- and what you sign your name to
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby Convoluted on Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:03 pm

Convoluted wrote:I have to remember while I am "b####ing" and moaning about this, I did agree to it, so I better suck it up for now. Hopefully other postive things about this new job will outweigh the things that irk me.


I have had a turn of events since my last post. After talking with a MT who is a mentor to me, I realized I really don't want to quit my current job to go work for this salon/spa. I talked to my current employer today and she "had a feeling" I would be back and that she was going to leave the door open to me. So, I am not quitting my job and I rescinded my accpetance at the salon/spa.
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Postby Snackdaddy on Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:46 pm

You people are freakin' me out. I am horribly underpaid.

3-star "resort" hotel in the Phoenix area, $5.25/hour (minimum wage), plus commission of $17.61 per 50-minute treatment (brought DOWN two weeks ago from $19.35. Yes, a 9% cut due to lack of business). Plus tips, which used to be $20 a pop, now running $15 or so on average.

Bear in mind also in this discussion, seasonality! For example, there is NO work to be had in massage in Phoenix in the summer at a resort.

My country club gig pays great... 70% payout of $90 = $63/hour, plus tips. And tips there are righteous. Their supplies, linens, laundry, phone jockeys, everything. Massages done in-home on the property pay out 90% of $115 = $103.50, plus tips. For those, we use all our own personal stuff.

I stay at the hotel because of righteous employee discounts on rooms nationwide. I use that a LOT, staying in the La Jolla area of San Diego numerous times per year for $40/night, which includes a great free breakfast. I also drove across the country twice last year, all the while paying $40/night for great rooms.
Plus, the spa is staffed with hotties! DON'T HATE ME.

Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott, and others all have a lot to bring to the table that small day spas simply cannot. It's worth looking into, all things equal.
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Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:36 am

Snackdaddy wrote: You people are freakin' me out. I am horribly underpaid.


No, you are not. You are paid the going rate in the PHX area.

PHX is flooded with massage therapists, and even more with the travel industry on the ropes.

If there were higher paying jobs, no one would not have taken the 9% cut.



Snackdaddy wrote: My country club gig pays great... 70% payout of $90 = $63/hour, plus tips. And tips there are righteous. Their supplies, linens, laundry, phone jockeys, everything. Massages done in-home on the property pay out 90% of $115 = $103.50, plus tips. For those, we use all our own personal stuff..


Then you should work fulltime at the CC! Sounds like a great deal.

CCs have different economics than hotel spas. Our club has the philosophy everything should be a "deal" for members -- after all, the ponied up enormous membership fees and pay monthly dues. Most CCs run amenities at cost. Keep the prices and costs low. They also don't spend millions on a buildout. Hotels investors are looking for a return on investment -- and when you spend $300 per square foot on a buildout, a 6% return means low pay.

CCs operate more like a non-profit.
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Postby healingtime on Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:10 pm

Would anybody here take 35% at a new, VERY small spa that is independently owned with very little current clientele.

uM, hmmm, I'm feeling very green, and I don't mean one with lots of money, lol.
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Postby Rose of Sharon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:46 pm

healingtime wrote:Would anybody here take 35% at a new, VERY small spa that is independently owned with very little current clientele.

uM, hmmm, I'm feeling very green, and I don't mean one with lots of money, lol.


I'd have to know a LOT more than that before I could say. 35% of WHAT?, for starters. Are you required to sit there unpaid when there is no massage work? And....about 45 other questions would pop up.
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Postby healingtime on Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm

Swedish $65/hour
Deep Tissue $85/hour

and this owner has NMT as a massage request/price and
Trigger Point massage as a separate request/price

All the massages are between 65-85/hour

Would be sitting around all day with no hourly base pay, and expected to help out with the laundry and sell make-up if customers are interested. Also would be there from open to close 10am-7pm Thursday and Friday.

She wants to train me to do different wraps. Those are priced around $100

Another thing is the tables are hydraulic but I've never seen a table so wide.., didn't ask measurements. I'm 5' 1'' so not really great for me.

The owner is an esthetician.
I would currently be the only massage therapist. She said the last one left suddenly with no notice which makes me nervous. Why did her last MT walk out on her?

I have no idea what to expect from a salon/spa so I've been trying to read up about any kind of average expectations here. I only am considering a spa to try to fill some gaps while I build my own clientele. She didn't need to have me sign ANY paperwork, so no non compete or anything else, but not having some kind of paperwork boundary makes me extremely leery.

I just don't really know what I'm supposed to be looking for when I walk into a spa or the right questions to ask. I'm probably getting red flags and feelings this might not be the place for me to start my career, but this is my first experience really with an offer.
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Postby Rose of Sharon on Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:59 pm

My gut says, "run. run fast. run far!!"

But then, I am one who could NOT sit there all day with no work and no pay. I would not work "free" doing laundry and cleaning, or even at minimum wage if they actually happened to honor that law, because I made more than minimum wage *without* the student loans, cont. ed. costs, certification costs, etc.

Having a written contract is very important. Verbal agreements are often remembered differently by the two parties.

Check to see if doing esthetician work is legal in your state. Here in WI nobody but a licensed esti can legally do the work. Spas train MTs to do it and require it, but it is still illegal and the MT could lose the right to ever work as an MT again, if caught.

Working for someone else while you build your own clientele is totally reasonable. There are good places/people to work for. This may be a good person, but you need to work for a good business person - there is a huge difference. No contract = bad business.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby sunshine on Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:21 pm

Thank you all for sharing. Very useful. Especially for a beginner like me, since it is my first job as a massage therapist at a spa.
I want to share my situation as well, hope it helps someone who is considering getting a job in San Francisco.
Pay : 25% of body wraps (which gives me about $21 per session) and anti-cellulite procedures ($30 per session). I am also payed $5 an hour regardless if I am with a client or not.
Tips average $10 per client.
On some days I only have 2 clients, on others it can go up to 7 or 8 people.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby tiger snacks on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:40 pm

I'm located in a Plastic Surgery group so my spa has a more Medical personality. I get 60% the spa gets 40% of all services. So if a massage is $80 I get $48. It works out good here. I get paid time off, 401k retirement, holidays off, and hourly wage along with commission. It really all depends on the salon/spa, and what their reputation and quality of services are.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:16 am

tiger snacks wrote:I'm located in a Plastic Surgery group so my spa has a more Medical personality.


Or what their focus is. When you make thousands on a procedure, you don't worry so much about making money on massage, it is considered an amenity to draw in the high $$ clients and keep them happy.

No spa could survive paying 60% of revenue, plus benefits, on its primary services.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby ksue on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:13 am

I guess I can shed quite a bit of light on this subject since I have both worked for someone else as a massage therapist then opened a business and employed massage therapists.

I will tell you I made a lot more money when I was working for someone else then I ever have owning a business.

I have employed hairstylists, estheticians, nail techs and massage therapists and I will tell you that as a GROUP (yes, I know there are the exceptions and I have had a couple), massage therapists are a very lazy group of people compared to the others. They seem to want everything handed to them, even if you give them clients, they generally do very little for themselves to get them to return. Many of them have been flakey and skip from job to job every few months thinking they will make more at another place. It is so sad to say that one of the founding parts of my business (massage) has been one of my biggest challenges because of lack of good, stable massage therapists out there.

I read an article in Massage Mag, It was basicly saying that as a massage therapist, you would make more $, when you become worth more $. Here is the article link in case anyone wants to read it http://www.massagemag.com/News/print-this.php?id=9303 . This is one of the best most informative articles ive ever read and it just makes so much sense to me.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby athletica on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:33 am

Ksue,

Interesting comments.

I definitely agree that so many massage therapists believe they are being paid unfairly. As a massage therapist/clinic owner I think I can empathize with both positions. I have not had any major problems with any of my therapists. Whenever a therapist hints at being unfairly paid (on avg. my rmt's get paid $45 per hr) I am always quick to show the therapist financials. I just think therapists can be naive to all to the costs that go into a business.

I think it's unfair to generalize by saying massage therapists are lazy. It's a physically demanding profession.

I think the problem is so many massage therapists open businesses with no previous experience. As a clinic owner I make more than I would ever make as a therapist. I look at some of the clinics in my area they struggle because ridiculous overhead that can be avoided with proper startup planning.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:26 am

athletica wrote:Ksue,

Whenever a therapist hints at being unfairly paid (on avg. my rmt's get paid $45 per hr) I am always quick to show the therapist financials. I just think therapists can be naive to all to the costs that go into a business.



At times, we have played the "money game" with our staff. Take the cost of an average treatment, say $100, and turn it into $1 bills and hand it to the first staff member.

Then you work your way through the P&L, starting with things they understand -- the variable costs associated with each treatment

CC processing - minus $2 - have them take the money out, put it in a hat or box and pass the remaining stack to the next person.

Laundry - minus $2

Products for treatments - minus $2

Discounts/Promotions - minus $5

For your fixed costs -- Rent, utlities, advertising -- take last months total for each line item and show them the math of getting to a per treatment figure

Rent -- $3,000. Divided by 30 days (fewer if you close sundays) = $300 per day. Divided by your average # of treatments per day this week (to make it current and real) = minus $12

Before long, the stack is mighty thin. Then you "pay" your therapist (which can be tricky to calculate if you pay something other than straight fee or striaght %), BUT MAKE SURE ONE PERSON HANGS ON TO THIS AMOUNT INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT IN THE BOX - then any employment taxes, benefits costs, etc

When you are done, you have what the owner keeps from each appointment. Compare that to the stack the therapist is holding for pay.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby pueppi on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:26 am

RelaxandRejuvenate wrote:
At times, we have played the "money game" with our staff. Take the cost of an average treatment, say $100, and turn it into $1 bills and hand it to the first staff member.

Then you work your way through the P&L, starting with things they understand -- the variable costs associated with each treatment

CC processing - minus $2 - have them take the money out, put it in a hat or box and pass the remaining stack to the next person.

Laundry - minus $2

Products for treatments - minus $2

Discounts/Promotions - minus $5

For your fixed costs -- Rent, utlities, advertising -- take last months total for each line item and show them the math of getting to a per treatment figure

Rent -- $3,000. Divided by 30 days (fewer if you close sundays) = $300 per day. Divided by your average # of treatments per day this week (to make it current and real) = minus $12

Before long, the stack is mighty thin. Then you "pay" your therapist (which can be tricky to calculate if you pay something other than straight fee or striaght %), BUT MAKE SURE ONE PERSON HANGS ON TO THIS AMOUNT INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT IN THE BOX - then any employment taxes, benefits costs, etc

When you are done, you have what the owner keeps from each appointment. Compare that to the stack the therapist is holding for pay.



This is an excellent visual. I think every school should use it in their business class, for potential employees, IC's and business owners. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby truepeacenik on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:12 am

Resurrecting, because we all wonder about money.

Question: for ICs, when your contracted location runs specials or accepts things like Spa Wish/SpaFinder/other discounted gift cards, do you have to share the discount?
I'm on a flat rate split, and the spreadsheet for services calculates the discounted cards, and subtracts my percentage. (Equal to the pay percentage)

I'm of two minds about this:
I am not contracting with the spa cards. I'm providing the same service as any other client (and often don't know how they are paying until after the service). Since it isn't my own business, it is an advertising/marketing cost, and like the electric bill or credit card processing fee, should be borne by the owners as the cost of doing business. Should I leave, none of these spa card clients will leave with me. I have no long term benefit of participating.
Under this set of thoughts, I feel it isn't my cost to bear.

HOWEVER,
Some clients only come in with these cards. Without them I'd not have the services at all.

Some spa card clients do stay on, but they are typically not therapist-loyal, so I could provide 'Great Me' (a term from a mentor who posits that we don't do a particular therapy by the book, so we are really giving Good Bob or Good Jane) and the client will come back for whomever is available next time. Still not seeing a long term benefit here.
The benefit is that service, that day.

Could I get some thoughts on discounts from non-owners?
(fwiw, I'm in California)
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:56 am

truepeacenik wrote:
Question: for ICs, when your contracted location runs specials or accepts things like Spa Wish/SpaFinder/other discounted gift cards, do you have to share the discount?


There is only one side to this -- what does your contract say? Does not matter what you think, it matters what you agreed to, which I presume involved some thought on your part before agreeing to it, so what you think and what you agreed to should be the same thing.

If you contract to earn a % of the revenue, then you get the same % of a smaller pie.

If you contract on a fixed fee per service, then you get your fee regardless of how much the spa gets or when or if it gets paid.
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Re: Salon/Spa Pay

Postby truepeacenik on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:20 am

Ah, there's the rub.
It's a verbal contract, often changed.
While I'm content with this particular situation, I will add into my contract language that I will be paid $X per each type of service, not Y percentage.
So thanks for that.

If this was enough of an issue, I'd submit a contract. It isn't.

I'm merely trying to discover what happens with other spas.

I did say I was not willing to be part of a groupon or similar deal.

I also run my own specials, on occasion.

Other ICs? Comments?
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