Pros and cons of massage chains
All over America, massage chain franchise locations have begun to pop up. Offering a reduced menu of spa services, such as one or two types of massage, and one or two different facials, these massage chains have advantages and disadvantages for all involved, including massage therapists, massage therapy students, and consumers.
The main advantage of massage chains, for consumers is the low price of a massage at one of these franchise locations. People who have never had a massage are more likely to become a massage consumer based on the low price of a massage, while current massage consumers are likely to enjoy more massages at a lower price.
This low price means that massage therapists may make less income, and have to rely more on tips. Since tips are based on a percentage of the service fee, the massage therapists may earn smaller tips. For competing spas, the lower price point means being forced to learn to operate at a lower cost. Since smaller competing spas are unable to take advantage of massage chains ability to negotiate rents and supply purchases based on multiple locations, this can be a great challenge.
The prevalence of massage chains means that more people than ever can try out massage, and get massages more regularly, which means more employment opportunities for massage therapists. Massage chains offer greater hours than smaller spas, which means more flexible scheduling options for massage therapists, including part time and full time schedules. A greater demand for massage therapists also means more opportunities for massage therapy students. This also means that there will likely be more demand for massage therapy schools and educational programs across the country.
Because massage chains offer a reduced menu of services at their franchise locations, this means that massage therapists are restricted to these offerings. Depending on the massage therapist, this may be either an advantage or a disadvantage. For competing massage therapists, however, this provides an opportunity to differentiate themselves by providing additional massage therapy and spa services not available at massage chain franchise locations. These services present an opportunity to raise their price point, compared to the reduced price point on those services in direct competition with massage chains. For consumers, this may mean that they have to seek out these smaller spas for more exotic spa treatments and massages, or that they are never exposed to them, if they become loyal massage chain customers.
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