Sticky Situation: Telltale Tipping

Do you get suspicious when an employee receives extra-generous tips?

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The Situation: "We had a client that would tip her massage therapist more than $30 each visit," says Dori Soukup, CEO of consulting company InSPAration Management "This therapist eventually left our spa and a new one took over her clients, including the big tipper. The client was surprised that she wasn't being given the same upgraded service as her last masseuse. The therapist said, 'I can't do that. It's like stealing from my boss'."

The Solution: "This happens all the time, but it's often hard to find out about it," says Soukup. "The first telltale sign is the regular patter of very large tips. We advise spa owners to hire a secret shopper every so often to see if it's happening. Once you get to the bottom of it, you can have the conversation with the staff about why this is unacceptable and hurtful to the spa."

Got a Sticky Situation to share? Email carrie.borzillo@gmail.com.