How to survive and thrive in a massage franchise job

Massage franchise jobs are very plentiful right now.  There are more available jobs than there are massage therapists to fill them so you will have the option to research and choose the best place to work and you may be able to negotiate a better situation.

Every franchise is independently owned meaning each owner will have a slightly different way of running their business.   Some will be more business minded and will not care as much about the employees where others will put their employees first knowing it is the employees that can make or break the business.  So do your research to find the best place for you.

Start with getting a few massages at each place you are interested in working at.  Yes it will be costly, but it will be the best test to find out which places are better to work at.  See how you are treated from your initial phone call to the minute you walk out the door after your massage and pay attention to ALL of the details.  If franchises are owned by the same owner, you may not be able to get the low cost massage at all of them.

  • Where they friendly and helpful on the phone?  Were they rushed and unprofessional on the phone?  Ask questions about their services and the types of massage and see if they can answer correctly.
  • How were you greeted when you walked in the door?
  • Was the therapist on time to start your session and did you get the full time that was scheduled?
  • How was your massage?  Was the therapist able to give you a massage based on your needs?
  • Talk to the therapist and the front desk people about what it is like to work there.   See if you can find out things like starting pay, benefits and how they feel they are treated.

If you can’t get a massage at every place you are interested in, do as much research as you can about them.  Look online at and look for reviews from their clients.  While yelp is not always the best source, it will give you a general overview.   Just go through the reviews and throw out the really bad and the really good and find the middle ground.  Does that sound like a good place to work?

Most franchises will also have online applications or specific instructions on how to apply. Follow them.

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

Once you get a job interview, be sure to interview them just as much as they interview you.  Ask them as many questions as you can to find out what will be expected of you and if the place will fit you.   With the job market having an excess of jobs, you can and should always negotiate.  You can negotiate just about anything and everything.

  • How many hours will you work and what days/times will you work?
  • Negotiate your hourly wage.  Show them how you will help their business grow with building repeat clients etc.
  • Negotiate your wages for repeat clients.  You can usually get more when you get a repeat client back on your table.
  • Negotiate sick time, days off, vacation time and benefits.
  • You can also usually get a signing bonus.  Check out the ads for other places that are hiring to compare their bonuses and make sure you get top dollar for signing on with them.

The big thing in negotiating your ideal massage job is to know what you want and set your boundaries accordingly.  There is nothing worse than an unhappy employee.  It doesn’t do anyone any good.  What do you want in a job?  What will help you thrive and grow as a massage therapist?  What kinds of things will squash your spirit and happiness at work and in your personal life?  Franchise jobs are very controversial.  There are so many complaints against popular franchises for inappropriate touch and dating clients it can make your head spin.  There are so many bad reviews and complaints against franchises, that it should make you think twice about working there.  Can you put up with the constant bad image that the franchises are presenting for the massage profession?

This is all about boundaries and taking care of yourself so that you don’t burn out.  Franchises jobs will make you work on clients back to back with little time in between sessions.  The low introductory pay and unfair working conditions usually will lead many massage therapists to feel resentful about giving the massages and feel resentful about working there.

Just say No to poor working conditions, low pay and keep looking for your ideal job in massage.