To complement “Launch a Hotel-Based Massage Business” in MASSAGE Magazine’s September 2016 issue.
When doing any type of on-site massage—especially hotel massage—the most important consideration is safety. Here are four safety rules that my wife and I followed when doing hotel massage.
1. Select hotels to work in that you would feel comfortable doing outcall massage in.
This may sound obvious, but if you’re hungry for extra money, you may overlook tipoff signs that a hotel may not be safe.
To avoid this, always ask yourself these questions: Are the hotel employees competent and kind? Is the inside and/or outside of the hotel run-down? Is the hotel clean? Is the hotel located in a safe area? What are people saying about the hotel online? When in doubt, leave the hotel out.
2. Get the general manager or sales director on board with your outcall massage service.
If you don’t have the blessing of the general manager, don’t try to do massage in her hotel. Besides being a bad business practice, it is a huge safety concern. Why? If the hotel management doesn’t know you’re doing massage in their establishment, you are basically on your own if an issue arises.
3. Get to know hotel management and staff.
You can get to know the hotel management and staff by offering free demo massages. The more people who know you and understand what you’re doing, the more awareness you create. In essence, once you make a solid connection with hotel management and staff, they will look out for you.
4. Always follow an outcall massage safety protocol.
Here’s a safety protocol I suggest:
- Tell a front-desk person. When you arrive at the hotel, make sure a front-desk person knows you’re doing a massage. Tell him which room you’re going to be in. Also, ask him to tell another front-desk person this information if his shift is going to end before you’ll be done.
- Call a contact person. Once in the room—and in front of the hotel guest—call somebody to let that person know you’re starting the massage.
For our business, the massage therapist would call me. If I couldn’t pick up, the massage therapist would leave a message on my voicemail. If you’re working alone, call a spouse, friend or even the hotel front desk.
Calling does two things. One, it lets the hotel guest know that someone knows where you are and, two, it lets your contact person know when you should be calling back. If you don’t call back in the agreed-upon time frame, the contact person should be instructed to call the front desk.
We never had an incident when we did hotel massage. But we did make some mistakes.
Early on, a therapist forgot to call me after she had finished a hotel massage, and she had turned her cell off. After the fifth time I went to her voicemail, I got in my car to drive to the hotel and make sure everything was OK.
Another time my wife, Lisa, was doing a hotel massage about 45 minutes away from our office. Since she was running late, I went with her to help her set up. After we got to the hotel and set up in the guest’s room, I went to the lobby and waited for her to finish the massage.
When the time came for Lisa to be done, she didn’t come down to the lobby. Another 15 minutes went by, and still no Lisa. I walked up to the room and listened through the door. I didn’t hear anything.
Some more time went by and just as I was ready to go to the front desk and involve the hotel, Lisa walked out of the room—which leads us to our next safety protocol point.
- Call if the massage time is extended. During a hotel massage, if the client requests more time, stop the massage and call your contact person. This may sound like overkill; however, if you let yourself slip once, you’re on your way to a bad habit of practicing safety only when it’s convenient. A safety protocol is effective when you follow it every time.
Profitable and Safe
Besides bringing in extra money, hotel massage can be a lot of fun—but you need to be safe. Be safe by first vetting the hotel. If the hotel passes muster, connect with the general manager. Then get to know the staff and management. And when you start doing massage in the hotel, have a safety protocol in place.
Mark Liskey, L.M.T., C.N.M.T., is a massage therapist of 25 years, teacher and business owner. His website, makethemostofmassage.com, is a free online resource for massage therapists who want to make more money, stay out of pain and create the massage lives they want. Liskey wrote “Launch a Hotel-Based Massage Business” for MASSAGE Magazine’s September 2016 issue.