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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How to Successfully Book a Restaurant (28 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jonathandupree
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Depending on the restaurant it can be far more than $75 per hour. Smile but yes you are right - you are only what you believe you are worth.
PhillipHayes
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Thank you for a great help, mostly a stage performer. Because of not knowing how to get other work. Will put into practice at once.
jimvines
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Brooklyn, NY
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Great article- thank you, Christopher! Anyone who has not tried booking themselves in restaurants (or who have had limited success doing it their own way) will benefit hugely from this article. Nice work!
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topchange52
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Great advice from someone who's been there and done it, thanks
WalkerMagic
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Littleton, CO
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Great advice! I'm sure this will help me get more restaurant gigs!
astoundyou
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Great information I feel this is the correct way to get and approach a restaurant. But please remember that your magic should be polished and professional. Please don't take a restaurant if you are not ready. It will hurt the pro that has been doing this for years and anyone else after you. You need to know when to approach a table and when not to. What are you going to say when you walk up to the table?? This comes with experience. Good luck and keep them entertained.
Philip Klipper PM(Professional Magician)
atinczor
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New York / Istanbul
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Great article. Thank you for sharing it with the Magic Café community.
houdini
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N.E. Kansas
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Christopher, at what point in your pitch do you discuss your fee for doing your walkaround gig? How do you go about presenting your cost to the manager for your entertainment?
Jim. Thats me on the left,Everyone should know the other guy!
Christopher Lyle
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Usually right after "THE PITCH" the owner/gm will ask "so how much is this going to cost me?" That's the point where my fee is discussed...

Glad to hear that so many are finding my article helpful!

Christopher
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Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
donrossmagic
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Awesome article. I am certainly going to use these principles. I had always wondered what to do when approaching a restaurant. you have certainly given me food for thought.
Keith Raygor
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Naples, FL
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Over the years, I've been asked quite a few times for my list of benefits, and have posted it here on the Café a couple times. The first time is here.
That thread also has the approach I used to secure my latest residency, which has me in my 13th year at 5 nights per week.

Personalized entertainment - especially good for special occasions, like anniversaries and birthdays

Unique entertainment

A cover for delays in seating or delays in the kitchen

Entertain guests on busy nights

Increase business on slower nights

A way of attracting return customers that bring new customers with them

A way of attracting publicity

A way of delaying the customers from leaving, generating increased revenue

A way of stimulating conversation between strangers in the lounge

An extension of the restaurant’s hospitality

Thanks for opening this topic back up, Chris. I was looking for the thread you had removed as it had so much wonderful information in it from others as well.
I hope this helps.
newbstermagi
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I know this thread is a bit older, but I do have one question: What if you know the restaurant is privately owned (A local business) and the original call to get the info is not needed, do you call to set up an appointment for the pitch, do the pitch over the phone and then go in for an audition? I guess what I am asking is, if you know they are privately owned, and you want to catch the GM/Owner, how do you go about it for this circumstance? I am a teenager, so there are mild transportation issues at this point, but knowing I have an audition, meeting time or if they accept me, knowing when I work is not a problem in arranging transportation, but going in just to strike out in finding who it is I need to speak to seems a bit, for lack of a better word, impractical at this point. Any suggestions would be great!
Matt B.
kennewhitson
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Great info! Thannks for your insight.
jasonpartin
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Great tips from seasoned performers - thanks!

I'll offer a tip from a seasoned performer who has been a first-timer TWICE... I took a 15 year break as other responsibilities dominated my ability to perform a couple of nights a week. I recently returned to working restaurants. My advice is: don't over-think picking a restaurant for your first gig, just visit the place a few times and find an off-time to approach the manager or owner, then be honest about being relatively inexperienced and ask if you could perform before the busy times on an off-night. I choose Thursdays, even though I've been on a break, I have enough experience under my belt to jump back into it and know that I don't enjoy working on weekends. Thursday is a happy medium. Tuesdays or Wednesdays are ideal for a first-time performer, and you could always add more nights after the restaurant sees your value.

Regarding tips, again I recommend not over-analyzing it. Get a few weeks under your belt for free, then figure out what works for you. Personally, I start off by saying that I'm offering a free service provided by the restaurant to ensure that everyone has a good time. I find that this diffuses inevitable tension (most people don't want to be solicited during an already expensive meal), yet I still get tips (even better, they seek me out later in the evening - it's feels more sincere!). Plus, being good pays for itself... focusing on making people feel good and have fun can lead to private parties or corporate gigs that add up more than tips.

Above all, be courteous. All of the analyzing about how to approach a restaurant, how much to charge, or how to get tips goes out the window when performers interrupt a conversation, rush through effects without developing a personal connection, or try to impress people rather than entertain them. If you're a good entertainer (more than a magician), the methods of obtaining money unique to your approach will unfold. Good luck!
paymerich
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Norwalk, CT
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I know of one restaurant that would close with out its entertainment : HOOTERS!
Have a Magical Day!
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<BR>The Maniacal Mage
<BR>
<BR>Pablo Aymerich
<BR>Norwalk, CT 06851
mgsmagic
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Torrance CA
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I've been trying to get a restaurant for sometime now to no avail. I tried approaching a few but they all whine that I'll compete with the wait staff for tips, so when I offered an hourly rate they balked that they'd have to pay anything at all. At the end of the day it seems that no matter how I structure this I don't get gigs. I'd like a mid term regular restaurant gig to aid in marketing other gigs, however thus far I haven't gotten anything.
Ekuth
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Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I've been eyeing several local restaurants and this list will help immensely!
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Merc Man
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Christopher,

Many thanks for taking the time and energy to write up such an informative and interesting article.

Can I just clarify a few points?

(i) Do you (and other magicians in the USA) work for a set wage OR do you receive a small retainer from the restaurant and work for tips?

(ii) If you work for tips, what is your 'come on' to get you at the tables?

(iii) Do you get any problem with the waiting staff as you are potentially reducing their opportunity for tips?

I'd be really interested to hear from yourself (and obviously other magicians) that may have some answers to these points.

Sincere regards,

Barry
Barry Allen

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Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2011-09-15 15:04, Merc Man wrote:
Do you (and other magicians in the USA) work for a set wage OR do you receive a small retainer from the restaurant and work for tips?


I NEVER work for just tips! Other people do and that's there deal...but you'll never see me working for tips alone. Any restaurant that I perform in I am being paid an hourly rate + I accept tips + my family and I eat there for free whenever we want.

Quote:
On 2011-09-15 15:04, Merc Man wrote:
(ii) If you work for tips, what is your 'come on' to get you at the tables?


n/a


Quote:
On 2011-09-15 15:04, Merc Man wrote:
Do you get any problem with the waiting staff as you are potentially reducing their opportunity for tips?


Nope! The waitstaff make more money on the nights I work b/c I'm keeping their customers happy. The servers let their guests know about the awesome magician and ask if they'd like me to visit with them. Since the server let's them know about me, they get (normally) a nice tip from their guests.
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Blayk P
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So much great information here. I'll be using a lot of it soon! Thanks!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How to Successfully Book a Restaurant (28 Likes)
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