The short answer to this question is yes. I would estimate that out of all of my clients about 80% tip. Not bad odds. In fact, tips would make up a great deal of my paycheck each week. There are some times of the year when people are more likely to tip, and times when they are less likely. There are also some things you can do to increase your tips each week.
In my experience, the customers who are more likely to tip are the ones who have a regular schedule. A lot of the clients I groom for come either every week, every other week, or every four weeks. These are the customers who would regularly tip me anywhere from two to five dollars. The customers that were less likely to tip are the ones who would wait till last minute to schedule their appointment, and then when they did show up the dog was in horrible shape. As weird as this seems, it makes sense if you think about it. The customers who understand that grooming is an important part of maintaining their dogs health are appreciative of our services, while the ones who think of grooming as nothing more than an added expense are not going to add to the amount by tipping.
I have also found that if a customer is extremely picky you have a chance to generate a good tip and a lifelong customer. If a potential client calls stating that they have had problems at every other groom shop, don’t let it scare you away. Listen carefully to their complaints and do your best to deliver what they want. If you successfully make them happy, they will repay you.
The best time of the year for groomers is around the holidays. During Christmas time, your books will be full, you will busier than you have ever been, and you will get the best tips of the entire year. Some customers will surprise you by not tipping all year and then presenting you with a large Christmas bonus in a card. The largest Christmas bonus I have received from a customer is $280.
Who Doesn’t Tip?
For the few customers that didn’t tip, there was usually a good reason. Some of them were customers that I was trading services with. For example, my hairdresser would bring her two dogs in every week to be bathed or groomed. In return, she would do a complete hair makeover on me monthly. We neither one tipped each other. It was just a mutual understanding between the two of us. The others that didn’t tip either really didn’t have money to spare or, while not in the traditional way, would “tip” in other ways. For example, some would bring freshly baked goodies for me every week.
How to Generate More Tips As A Groomer
If you want to increase your chances of getting tips there are a few things you can do. Firstly, the one that will make the biggest impact, if you have a credit card machine, ask the company if they can add a tip line. Even if it costs you a monthly fee, it will pay off big time. When people have to sign a receipt and see a line asking for a tip, they feel more obligated to leave one. If you don’t have a credit card machine, you can put up a sign saying “tips appreciated” or leave a tip jar on the counter.
I have seen some customers, who were waiting in line, be really surprised when the customer in line ahead of them tips. They often felt horrible for not knowing that you are supposed to tip a groomer. If you can leave a subtle reminder for the customers it can help educate them on the proper protocol.
Overall, groomers make out pretty good when it comes to tips. Make sure that you keep a detailed record of the tips you receive, especially those that are made on checks or credit. You are supposed to report all your tips as income on your taxes. Many people I know do not claim their cash tips, but they do claim tips made in other ways. Good luck. May your tips increase and your clients be plentiful.