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Massive-on-demand company makes it's way to Fairfield County

Greenwich Time

Massive-on-demand company makes it's way to Fairfield County

Zeel, a massage-on-demand service, made its way into Connecticut last month and has been welcomed by a slew of clients all over Fairfield County, especially in the towns along I-95 between Greenwich and Fairfield. The business utilizes a mobile application where clients can order a massage nearly any time of day to their home, hotel or office, eliminating the need for appointments, a trip to an actual spa or even a phone call. Greenwich resident Charlotte Dewey tried out the service this week and was impressed with how quick and easy it was to get a massage. “It was awesome,” Dewey said. “I definitely think the convenience part is huge. For everybody I know, time is a challenge, so having this convenience of being able to get a massage when you need it is really great.” New York City-based Zeel hasn’t always focused solely on massage. The company started in 2011 as a wellness booking service, and according to Zeel’s Chief Marketing Officer Cynthia Irons, the company noticed in the first 18 months of the business that massages were by far the most popular service requested. So the company relaunched in 2012 as massage-on-demand and has opened in four metropolitan markets across the country including the tri-state area, southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and southern Florida. Irons said the company took off in this region because a traditional spa doesn’t fit in the busy lives of of those living and working in the New York area. “Between a busy schedule and sitting in traffic, getting a massage is no longer relaxing,” Irons said. “Not only that, but usually you have to make an appointment weeks in advance at a traditional spa and usually if you need a massage, you need it now, not in two weeks.” Ordering a massage is simple. Customers need only download the application, select their therapist gender preference, massage type and desired time, with massages available in as little as an hour or up to a month in advance. Customers make payments through the application, which includes an 18 percent tip and applicable sales tax, simplifying the experience further by eliminating the need to pay in person. Zeel offers a variety of massages from Swedish and deep tissue to sports, couples and chair massages. Irons said the therapists are paid on average 75 percent of the cost of the massage plus the 18 percent gratuity. She said the cost of the massage varies from market to market in order to compete with local spas, and in Fairfield County the average cost of a massage is about $116 with tax and tip. Additionally, Irons said customers can see how much their therapist was paid for their massage. “So many massage therapists are already offering in-home massages on demand,” Irons said. “We’re just helping and supporting them by making it easier with our app.” Once the massage is booked, a therapist shows up with everything needed for the massage except sheets and pillowcases, which the client provides for the service. A customer who becomes a regular client can order a table to store at home and the price of the massage will be reduced. “It doesn’t take up that much space and the setup takes less than four minutes,” Irons said. “And the best part is, once the massage is over, you don’t have to get dressed, sit in traffic, get home. That massage mindset stays with you once the therapist leaves and you can relax in your home or office.” Zeel therapists, of which there are about 4,000 across all of its markets, are vetted and certified, Irons said. She said safety for clients and therapists is a primary concern for the company, which uses an extensive identification verification process for those ordering massages. She said the process is rivaled only by Airbnb in terms of safety checks for in-home, on-demand services. “We want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible,” Irons said. “Massages are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable so that’s what we provide to our clients.”