One of your top priorities for your medical aesthetic practice should be to make sure your clients feel comfortable and informed throughout their treatment process. Part of this will include their experience with tipping. Developing gratuities’ guidelines will avoid confusion for clients and make the job of administering gratuities easier for your practice.
Recommendations for receiving tips
When visiting a medical aesthetic practice, clients may feel uncertain about whether they should tip, and if so, how much. While gratuities should never be solicited from clients, many people will be in the habit of tipping when visiting a day spa or salon. They may wonder if they should apply the same thinking to their visit to an aesthetic medical practice. But what happens when the treatment cost is in the hundreds or thousands? Also, if a medical professional is performing the treatment, is it appropriate to tip?
If a client visits an aesthetic medical practice for a treatment that they might receive at a day spa, e.g., facial, tipping can be appropriate. For these services, 15 to 20% is customary. If they are receiving a treatment that they might not be able to receive at a day spa, e.g., photofacial, especially if this service is performed by a medical professional, tipping does not typically occur. In short, your practice has the option to allow tipping for aesthetician based services, but should carefully consider tipping of medical professionals.
It’s important to make sure your receptionist is briefed on your practice’s tipping guidelines. Your front desk will help advise clients on what to do in certain circumstances to make the visit as stress-free as possible.
You might also suggest that clients express their gratitude by leaving a positive review on Google, Yelp or RealSelf or by posting some praise directly onto your practice’s social media pages. Gently request that when leaving online reviews, clients include the name of your aesthetic medical practice and the treatment provided.
Recommendations for processing tips
Tips that are paid through credit card, check, gift card or other pre-paid formats should be tracked for each employee by pay-period either manually or through a software system. Cash tips should be reported by the employee at the end of each pay period using form 4070A found in IRS Publication 1244. These forms need to be made available for all staff and can be ordered by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM.
Your payroll processor can organize your payroll to include gratuity fields (for cash and charge tips) for each employee. The amount to be entered into these fields is provided by your manual or software tracking system for charge gratuities or from the completed form 4070A for cash gratuities.
Tips from charged transactions are included within the employee’s paycheck. The cash tip field is used to calculate the employee’s taxes based on the cash tip amount included in gross wages.
For more insights that will support your practice, contact the aesthetic medical business experts at Acara today!