Customers Who Don’t Tip at Nail Salons: Here’s What We Really Think About You

As a nail technician working in this industry for over 5 years, I’ve seen my fair share of clients – including quite a few who apparently missed the memo that tipping is standard practice at salons.

I’ll be straightforward – it stings a bit when a customer doesn’t leave a tip.

Our job involves far more than just painting nails. We’re providing a personal service that requires skill, attention to detail, and care for your hands and feet. Not to mention putting up with things like strong chemical smells all day long.

Tipping shows your tech that you appreciate their work. When you don’t tip, it sends the opposite message, whether you intend it that way or not. Not to mention, like waitress, we tech nail workers depends a lot more on tips than our paychecks to meet our needs.

Of course, there can be valid reasons why someone may not tip on occasion.

But for those who never tip out of principle or ignorance, we definitely notice.

And we do make certain judgments about you in our heads (even if we’re too professional to say it out loud).

Here are 8 thoughts nail salon workers have about non-tipping customers:

1. We assume you don’t understand our job is a service industry.

Tipping is standard practice at salons because it’s a personal service. Just like waiters, hair stylists, spa attendants, and other service jobs where tipping is expected.

If you don’t tip, we wonder if you just don’t realize that.

2. You probably don’t get how hard we work.

From precision filing and shaping, to massage, to perfect polish application – it’s skilled labor.

We wonder if no tip means you don’t appreciate the effort that goes into a quality manicure or pedicure. It makes us feel undervalued.

3. We’ll remember you next time.

Especially if you’re a regular. Stylists talk and take mental notes about who tips and who always stiffs us.

Don’t be surprised if the service feels a little more impersonal next visit.

4. You may get lower priority bookings.

Good tippers get preferential treatment. Their loyalty gets scheduled first.

If you never tip, be prepared to take leftovers for appointment times.

5. We assume you’re cheap.

Not tipping a couple dollars when you just paid $45+ for a pedicure? Yikes.

We figure you’re just stingy in general. Not a good look.

6. You probably have never worked a service job before.

Because anyone who’s waited tables or cut hair knows how demoralizing a no-tip customer can feel.

There’s empathy among those working for tips. If you don’t tip, there’s none of that shared understanding.

7. Your service may feel “no frills” next visit.

Will we still work professionally during your appointment? Absolutely.

But go above and beyond, or take special care on something extra? Probably not happening for non-tippers. Bare minimum service it is.

8. We’ll avoid service trade talk around you.

Ever notice salon workers chatting while working on clients? It’s our way to get through the day.

But we clam up about tips or job frustrations if you seem like the type who just doesn’t get it.

So next time you’re at the nail salon, please consider: your tech works hard for little pay in hopes that tips will carry them through.

Not tipping, even for great service, sends a clear message that you don’t respect their effort and skills.

If you can’t afford to tip, it’s understandable. But otherwise, let your tech know you value the care they put into your service.

Their job satisfaction – and willingness to go the extra mile next visit – depends on it.

FAQs- I don’t tip at the nail salon

Why should I tip at a nail salon? Isn’t that included in the price of the service?

Tipping is standard practice at nail salons, just like at hair salons, spas, and other personal care services. The prices listed are for the basic services – this does not typically include gratuity. Tipping allows you to show appreciation for good service and care.

What is an appropriate tip amount at a nail salon?

An appropriate tip is generally considered 15-20% of the total service cost.

Some examples: For a $50 manicure, a $7-10 tip would be suitable. For a $30 pedicure, tip $5-6. Of course, tip what you can afford – every little bit helps.

I just don’t believe in tipping in general. Why should I tip?

Tipping is an important part of compensation in service professions. Nail technicians provide a skill, personal care, and plenty of hard work during appointments.

If you are against tipping on principle, letting the salon know upfront is a courtesy so they understand why you may not tip.

What if I’m not satisfied with the service – do I still need to tip?

If there were significant issues with the service provided that were not remedied, you have the right not to tip. However, for minor preferences or fixes, it’s still kind to tip at least 10%. Feedback to management can still be provided.

I always get great service but never carry cash for tips. What should I do?

Let your nail tech know you appreciate the good service but don’t have cash on hand. See if they have alternate tipping methods like an online payment profile or tip jar you can utilize later. Even a thank you note can show gratitude.

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