Salon gratuities today run the gamut. Though most lash artists receive a straight percentage of the service fees as their tip (often between 15 and 20 percent), some report that their clients give them a fixed amount not based on the service fees at all. Joyce Donnell from Pampered Touch Skin & Nail Spa in Longview, Texas, says that her average tip amount is equivalent to 15 percent of her service fees, but that some clients “just give me $5, regardless of how much the service costs.” Fortunately, clients at opposite ends of the tipping spectrum generally balance each other out. Still, should you be putting so much stake in your tips as part of your income? Kathie Kirkpatrick of The Vanity Shop in Crockett, Texas, doesn’t think so. “I set my prices to what I want, and anything over that is just cake. Tipping is nice, but I don’t expect it.” While cash in the pocket on a daily basis—even when it’s not “expected”—is a great perk, have you considered taking the stress out of tipping altogether by becoming a nontipping salon?
Becoming a nontipping salon removes the awkwardness from the end of the appointment and sends the message that employees are already being paid what they’re worth. (Ideally, nontipping salons adjust salaries to reflect average income with tips.) It also does away with the need to report tips to the Internal Revenue Service because 100 percent of income is already reported. Of course, if you decide to move from a tipping salon to a no-gratuity establishment, communication is key. Your policy on gratuities should be loud and clear in all marketing materials, including on your website. Z Salon & Spa in Louisville, Kentucky, has a tipping policy posted online that reads, “Thank you, but we do not accept gratuities. If you liked the services you received, please refer your family and friends. That’s the best tip you could possibly give us.” It can be difficult to convert clients to your new way of thinking, but if you’re successful, they will feel more comfortable, which will ease tension among the staff, and the environment will improve overall
–by Melisa Wells
[Image: Getty Images]