I am not a walk-in massage franchise. So if you have an "all massages are the same" mentality, then I am not the place for you. I try to accomodate your schedule and if you are injured I will rearrange my schedule to fit you in the same day. I do prefer advanced notice and as such have an online booking system.
Certainly there is a place for massage franchises, but the cost should not be the only factor. Why you say? Why should I come to you vs. my super cheap massage with a franchise?
1. The Old Bait and Switch
-After the introductory rate what is the real cost? One place is $60 for 50 minutes, aromatherapy or heat $10 more. Another franchise is $69 a month and another $10 for heat for 55 minutes. Another franchise won't tell you the price until after you get your introductory massage, but judging from the reviews on yelp they are about $60 for 45 minutes. EVERYTHING else is an add on. The idea is to tie you into a contract that can only be canceled in writing. Then there is the tipping, and these girls survive on your tips. I appreciate your tips very much if you want to add that on, but I also have priced my services to reflect the cost of doing business.
2. Overworked+Underpaid=(Sometimes)I don't care attitude.
-There are some great therapists at these franchises...the problem is they are worked in a way that often drains their capacity to pour their caring natures into their clients. Why? What don't they want you to know? The average per massage rate that a therapist gets from one of these franchises is $20 per massage. You might think, "wow what a great hourly rate!" but what you might not be considering is that massage is manual labor. This is not a 40 hour work week. No scheduled clients=minimum wage. The average burn out rate for a massage therapist is now 3 years (possibly related to working more hours than a therapist's body can handle)
3. One last note on Human Trafficking/Non-licensed therapists - The Franchises DO follow the law and DO hire NY state licensed therapists. BUT- That craigslist ad that says masseuse, that open until 11 massage shop, that Nail Salon/spa that says "backrubs""asian bodywork""full service" often have non-licensed, non-insured therapists. If you are getting a massage for $30 cash consider that there is no recourse should there be an incident. In NY State, massage therapists spend over $20K for their education, take classes in anatomy/physiology, kinesiology, pathology, ethics as well as required work in a clinic before graduating. Liability insurance, continuing education and conforming to HIPPA laws are required. *Please look for a license displayed on the wall of your therapists office. A nail technician only has a license to massage your hands and feet. As far as human trafficking goes...consider that as a user of these sexual/or non-sexual forced labor situations - you are providing the demand in a business that will surpass the drug trade in less than 5 years.