Back in 2011, Samer Hamadeh had a vision. Passionate about great massage, but never able to find a great therapist at the time he had availability, Samer decided that he would be the one to create Massage On Demand.® Massages from licensed massage therapists 7 days a week, morning until night, 365 days a year.
The path from idea to booking the first customer wasn’t easy. Massage therapists were understandably worried about traveling to the homes of customers they hadn’t previously met. And many potential customers had never even conceived of the notion of having a massage at home, instead of a spa or gym. Zeel was creating a brand-new category – Massage On Demand.
Samer’s solution – install best-in-class security. Not only would therapists be thoroughly vetted, to allay the concerns of therapists, customers would undergo a brief ID check as well, as well as verifying mobile numbers.
(Today, Zeel is still the only in-home and on-demand wellness company to take ID verification seriously. There’s no ID verification without securely sharing personal info – social media profiles don’t work and aren’t effective.)
Samer also insisted that Zeel Massage Therapists be respected like the professionals they are– and supported and compensated accordingly. Zeel Massage Therapists would make 75-80% of the price of the massage – about 3 times the amount received by massage therapists at typical spas and salons. The 18% tip would be auto-added and transparently indicated on the receipt, to the benefit of both massage therapists and customers.
In December 2012, Zeel booked its first Massage On Demand in New York City.
After the first Zeel Massage was booked, word quickly spread and customers took to Zeel with fervor. It wasn’t long after that the Zeel app for iPhone and Android was launched taking Massage On Demand mobile. And in on the heels of the app Zeel launched Massage Zeelot® – our monthly annual massage membership.
Today, Zeel customers enjoy the seamlessness of booking. With a few swipes on the app for iPhone or Andrid, or clicks with a mouse, they choose their preferred technique (Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, prenatal massage, sports massage, couples massage, or back-to-back massages), the time and place of the massage (start times as early as 8 am and as late as 10:30 pm), and indicate whether they have a gender preference for their therapist. They then enjoy what a few years ago was only a dream – a great Massage On Demand, massage in home, massage at a hotel, massage at the office or an event.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.