I know, I know, it sounds crazy right???? I mean, I’ve been in this industry since 1989 and had someone told me back then that it IS possible to provide salon services without needing to supplement income by way of tips I’d have thought them to be out of their mind. But yes, that is what I’m doing. And as I get closer to the opening of my private studio in the new location I thought now would be a great time to go over my new Gratuity-Free policy.
We have such a diverse population here. So many people come from cultures (within the USA and from other countries) that don’t find it necessary to tip and may feel uncomfortable with the whole concept. I’ve had some clients feel it necessary to explain to me that where they come from the owner should never be tipped and as an independent nail technician I am my own salon owner. I have no clue where that even got started but it is the way it is in some areas. Some people just don’t want to have to calculate the amount for tips. And others just don’t know how much to tip and don’t want to appear “cheap” or “unappreciative”. Let’s face it, it really can be a stressful subject in what should be a relaxing experience. It can be both awkward and uncomfortable for both client and tech.
Why am I going the “no gratuity” route? I value all of my clients regardless of where they stand on the tipping spectrum. I would rather not accept tips than to have a client feel “less than” or “better than” based on their tip size. All of my clients receive the same high level of care and attention regardless of how much they do or do not tip. So I’ve decided to just go completely gratuity-free.
With not tipping checkout is much quicker and easier for clients. There’s no calculating an amount, no math involved (and come on now……you’ve just had the most relaxing mani/pedi ever…why ruin it with having to think about tipping????).
I also believe that not accepting tips sets the bar higher for professional expectations. Here’s a quote from NAILS Magazine (an industry trade publication): “Nail technicians sometimes compare their work to that of a physician’s in that nail care is not just a beauty treatment but a practice that keeps nails healthy.” We also have to meet specific sanitation and continued education requirements. We have regular inspections to ensure that we are meeting these standards. These are all things that should be considered when looking at a pricing and tipping structure.
So my pricing has taken into consideration everything that is needed to provide my clients services for a fair wage. A few of these considerations are: operating expenses (rent, materials & supplies, insurance, accounting costs, etc.), my experience and time for each service, continued education so that I can stay on top of all the latest in the industry, and the level of care I provide for my clients.
I go above and beyond what is required by the state in order to ensure that my clients are provided with safe, professional, and quality services and products. So while the offer of tips are absolutely appreciated, they are not accepted. I would mention though, that the best tip a client could give is to SHARE my business with your friends and family. Share on social media. Take a few of my business cards and share with you friends in person. Leave a review online.
Thank you for your support of my small business and for understanding this “new” way of doing things in the salon. 🙂