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Topic: Restaurants
Message: Posted by: benlewis2004 (Feb 24, 2007 05:59PM)

so I know how to price all of my work. But I have just got a trial night at a Café uno, and when the manager asks me how much I charge, I will genuinly not know what is too much or too little to charge at a restaurant. Any tips?
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Feb 24, 2007 07:10PM)
Then you don't know how to price your work? I'm sorry, your statement above is confusing.

I will, however, guess that what you are saying is that you have done other forms of close up gigs and meant that you know what you charge for them. If that's the case then I'll tell you how I personally do it.

Strolling I charge 150$ an hour for most private parties...non corporate. Table hopping, I charge 100$ for 2 hours IF they will book me for at least 3 months weekly. And it's all in how you sell it - When the GM asks you how much you charge...tell him what your rate is for strolling "For private shows I get 150$ an hour...however, if we decide to move forward with this, and we book for 1 night a week for 3 or so months I'll do 2 hours for 100$.
Your regular hourly rate will probably turn them off, but the rate for the repeat weeks will sound fantastic...big discount. It IS a big drop from your hourly rate from normal party strolling but you now have a weekly gig booked...thats very good. But most importantly you can bring in many private shows with this where you charge your normal rates. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Message: Posted by: benlewis2004 (Feb 24, 2007 07:27PM)
Sorry I didn't make it clear, you did however understand what I was saying. Would you recommend 2 hours over 3?
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 24, 2007 07:39PM)
It really would depend on how busy the restaurant is. A lot of workers would say that you're drained after two hours of table hopping, some are good for three. If you can make more money doing three hours, and think you're up to it, go for it.
Message: Posted by: benlewis2004 (Feb 24, 2007 07:48PM)
Thanks for the advice.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Feb 25, 2007 12:29AM)
After two solid hours of table hopping in a restaurant I start to feel drained, and thus I can only imagine my performance suffers from it. Usually in restaurants you're going constantly with little breaks, and so I keep at two hours. Table hopping at private parties I will go for longer than two because there is usually more down time between sets, and more time per set/table. Best of luck with the trial night!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 25, 2007 01:10PM)
Wow I guess I am older school than I thought. I can't even imagine being drained after 2 hours of table hopping. I guess the way we did it at Schuliens was different. Heck we had one shift that went from 6 till 12 every night. I don't see how "drained" comes into it. But again, if you know your drained, then it is best to work within that goal post.

Brian is right, if your drained, you will begin to see it in your performance, worse yet so will the client. So quit.

I always answer questions of this nature with the following and am told I am mean. But here is a little less edge to the answer, hope it helps.

YOU know what your time is worth, you know what your skill level is, so YOU know what yoru worth overall. It has nothing to do with the establishment. IF they can't afford you they can't afford you, or at least that is what the Ferarri dealer told me when I mentioned I wanted one.

So then we look at other factors. Do you feel you will get a lot of outside work that pays quite well from working there? If so your fee can be smaller. Is it close to the house so commute cost is down, if so then you can work for less. Are you able to schedule time off to do better paying gigs? If so then you can work for less. Are the tips great or good? If so then again you can justify a smaller fee.

See the point is to figure what your time is worth for the night, and figure out how to get THAT amount SOMEHOW. Many places that are in the habit of paying a server $2.10 an hour really take notice and jump back at $100 per hour! Talk about shocking!

So think big picture. I hope this didn't come off as crass or mean spirited. I really didn't mean it too. I think this is a better way to just get a flat fee in your head, and go for that alone.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Feb 25, 2007 03:11PM)
Whatever the high end party menu entree price is at Caffe Uno, I would double this, or at least use that as a guideline, for an hourly rate.
That's the cost of two meals which is reasonable for both you and the restaurant.
Message: Posted by: ldl1017 (Feb 25, 2007 05:28PM)
I usually charge anywhere from $100 to $150 for a two hour shift. I agree with Mike...tell them your private party cost and get them to commit to at least 3 months. If a restaurant won't commit to at least a three month contract, I give them the higher price.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 25, 2007 05:41PM)
Dress lightly too. I tend to get hot, and a little dehydrated under my suit which lends itself to lots of water and pit stops.
Message: Posted by: disgruntledpuffin (Feb 26, 2007 10:38AM)
Just out of interest, where is this branch of Café Uno? I know of one in Hornchurch, and one near Covent Garden. I always like seeing other Magicians, and there are not enough restraunt performers in Englad by far. I'd love too see you work if its near my area.

Message: Posted by: benlewis2004 (Feb 26, 2007 01:39PM)
It's in Barnet, Hertfordshire. Not too far from London, 20 minutes by train.