With two locations in the CBD, True Thai Massage is delivering exactly what it promises to the local community – a real Thai massage experience.
General manager, Tae Panuktong and marketing manager, Michael Wright travelled extensively around Thailand and Australia before realising that Melbourne was lacking in consistent, quality Thai massage.
“Our focus when we first opened really was to deliver a reliable, quality, customer-focused Thai massage service,” Mr Wright said.
“We wanted True Thai Massage to be transparent and family-friendly. It is somewhere you can bring your girlfriend, husband, or grandma to have a quality experience.”
Opening its first store in 2009 on Hardware St, True Thai Massage has expanded to four locations around Melbourne. Its third is on Spencer St.
To ensure their values are maintained throughout their brand, Messrs Panuktong and Wright manage all four branches. They say that the only thing that differs from each location is the aesthetic, as each is designed to reflect the community around it.
For example, the Spencer St location is joined to the Pensione Hotel where a lot of families stay, so the interior is warm and inviting with neutral colours and exposed red brick. In comparison, the Chapel St store is quite rustic and industrial.
Perfection is key for Messrs Panuktong and Wright, as they are very selective with their branch locations. The same level of care is undertaken when selecting their practitioners. Messrs Panuktong and Wright are the first to admit they are very picky when choosing practitioners – so much so that they have built a reputation for their rigorous selection process within the massage industry.
“We don’t just take people in, train them and then throw them on customers. We only take practitioners who are qualified and experienced, then we bring them up to speed with our brand and then, after that training, they start working with our customers,” Mr Wright said.
“Again, it goes back to delivering consistency to our customers,” Mr Panuktong said.
Setting it apart from other massage spas that also offer cosmetic and beauty services, True Thai Massage focuses solely on massage.
“We want to do one thing and do it well – massage,” Mr Wright said. “So we offer just three different full-body massages: a traditional Thai, an oil and a fusion of both. That’s actually our most popular.”
Mr Panuktong told CBD News True Thai Massage was also now providing health rebates and remedial massage to clients with private health insurance, which are becoming very popular.
Tailoring to the busy CBD lifestyle of their customers, True Thai Massage also offers “express” packages. Mr Wright says these quick massages (from 10 minutes) suit people wanting an escape on their lunch break or people walking by who might not have the time to stop for a full hour.
True Thai Massage also offers external services. Currently, therapists can visit offices around the CBD and perform neck and shoulder massages whilst staff are at their desk. True Thai Massage is also available for corporate and community events throughout the year.
Realising the value of supporting the local community, True Thai Massage has set up what its named “True Partners”. It offers ongoing discounts and value packs to the staff of regular-visiting businesses and other CBD organisations. Businesses like Commonwealth Bank and Telstra are already utilising the partnership.
“We’re not just a walk in, have your massage and leave kind of business. We are really heavily involved in our community. We enjoy it, we give back and we gain from it as well. This is what we wanted from the beginning,” Mr Wright said.