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Topic: How to approach people at a bar or restaurant
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (May 16, 2014 03:54PM)
Hi folks. Can you give some advice on how you approach the guests? Do you simply introduce yourself and ask if they are interested in seeing some magic? Or do Ou tell them that you are working here so they don't feel surprised by an apparent stranger? Whats your way here as the first impressision is key.


Markus
Message: Posted by: kumpletoo (May 16, 2014 04:47PM)
One way is to have a name tag that states your name and magician as a title. I personally wear one. It really helps.

This way it tells your potential spectators that you are a magician when they see and read your name tag.

Also, here's a really good youtube video on the topic, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zz0pUZ8Q-Y.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: LeoH (May 16, 2014 05:34PM)
Jamie D. Grant has a wonderful book titled "The Approach" that addresses this same issue.
Message: Posted by: Gerald Deutsch (May 16, 2014 06:56PM)
“Did you ever see a quarter like this?” I ask as I show a group of people talking a quarter held by its edges between my left thumb and first finger.

“Look how weird—” –and the quarter becomes two, then three and then four.

If they want more I will do a “Coins Across” in a woman’s hand and then if they want more I will do one card trick.

And then I stop.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 16, 2014 08:40PM)
When I worked as a restaurant magician I would wait until a table had ordered their food and are waiting on it to prepared. That is when they need to be entertained. For my approach I would just introduce myself, "Hi my name is Greg. I'm the entertainment for the evening. Let me show you something really cool." Then I would go right into my sponge ball routine for my opener. You don't really give them a chance to say no. But if after my sponge ball opener if I didn't get a good reaction then I would thank them and move on. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 16, 2014 09:55PM)
Why not give them a chance to say no?
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (May 16, 2014 10:40PM)
Jamie D. Grant book is a great option and strongly recommend it.

But I will give a rel life example that works for me. I walk up to a table with open friendly body magic. As the table notice me approach 'i say hello my name is Al, I met the owner of this place a few weeks ago and show him something, and he invited me here to show you' At this point I pass out the purse frame I use for my sponge ball or coin routine. As I ask them what it is and pass it around I work on pulling the table together, nothing to heavy but just giving people a chance to relies something going on.

It first bit and the first routine that I gauge how its going to go. A muilty phase routine that gives you chances to pause and chat and cut short if need be.

This approach could be done with a USB stick from Flash, ring for ring and rope. I do believe the object need to be familaure in one way buy slightly unusual. If its a coin its good to have a story behide it. The old English pennies I use I have a personal story behide.

This is not perfect and I don't do lots of this type of work but when I do it works for me.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (May 17, 2014 01:21AM)
I normally just do something visual and they will say '' what was that'' and you can start, that way they have made the first move.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 17, 2014 06:42AM)
Dannydoyle - A friend of mine in Nashville taught that to me about not giving them a chance to say no. I didn't really understand what he meant until I was doing it myself. I guess it's more like I don't wait for them to answer the question before I go into my routine. I have been told no thank you plenty of times. In those instances I simply thank them and move to the next table.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 17, 2014 11:35AM)
Yea I am not at all a fan of this approach. But if it works then cool.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 17, 2014 01:01PM)
What is your approach like Danny?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 17, 2014 03:01PM)
I work after the meal by request. Takes away all those issues.

Not every place can be worked this way. But the idea of pushing your way in without asking or giving a choice seems quite rude to me. I would hate it if I was a patron. Also in places I work it would probably end up getting me fired. I don't do family restaurants and kids nights so the approach and theory might be way different.

As I said if it works for you cool.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 17, 2014 03:23PM)
That may be Danny. I was hired for their kids night at the restaurant that I worked at. If it was more of an upscale restaurant it probably would not have worked as well.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 17, 2014 04:17PM)
Like I said if it is working no need to change it.
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (May 18, 2014 07:28PM)
There are probably as many approaches as there are magicians.

On the topic of not letting people say no, there's a really good argument to make that they're not qualified to answer, because their perceptions of magicians might be skewed by "Uncle George with his card tricks," and that they have no frame of reference for what we are going to do. I think that argument is absolutely valid. HOWEVER, I also agree with Danny, and for three BIG reasons. First, in my personal philosophy, I find it rude if someone interrupts what I'm doing at the dinner table. If a waiter or manager stops by to see if I have everything I need, no big deal, but if someone comes and starts talking at me, I'm put off. And I don't want to be the guy to do that. Second, even though people may never have seen my magic and might have a wrong idea about it, they need that opportunity to say no, because if I force it when they really don't want it, they won't be receptive to it anyway. And most importantly, I never know why people are dining out. Yeah, I can usually get a sense of whether they're in the mood for fun or not, but if I interrupt a business meeting or make a guy nervous on a date, or otherwise inject myself into a situation in which I'm not welcome, I leave people with a bad experience (which is bad personally) and lose bookings (which is bad professionally).

For me, I see two acceptable approaches. First is to politely approach as a member of the staff and offer them a show, free of charge, and if they say no, thank them and move on. The other is to set things up so that the wait staff sell the magic show and the magician performs only by request. I'm happy with either of those.

And if they do say no, very frequently they'll see someone at the next table have a great time and change their minds. By that time, they're ready for it, and it won't be an uphill battle to get them on board with the magic. And if not, well, that's probably not the table I'd want to work anyway.
Message: Posted by: pepka (May 19, 2014 12:58AM)
It's very important that they know you work there, and are doing your job. That will make it much easier. Either by a lobby board, table tent, mention from the hostess etc. One place I work is very small and I'm there every week, so I'm very visible and everyone knows. My other place is a college bar that I do once a month and my name is on the board when you enter. Other than that, it just helps to be confident, well groomed and well mannered.

"Hello, welcome everyone. My name is Pepka and I'm the entertainment this evening....." That works for me. Please, no more "Did you drop a black knife?" Or setting off flash paper or wallet.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (May 19, 2014 06:50AM)
Pepka, what about, "Excuse me, did you drop this flaming knife I found in my wallet?"
Message: Posted by: tctahoe (May 19, 2014 07:15AM)
I like to give them a chance to say yes. I did restaurant magic almost exclusively for years, my approach...

I walk to the table and said, "hello, I am here to entertain you whether you want to be or not." smile, slight pause and "I am the house magician, I will be here all night, if you would like to a little something just give me a wave or ask your server and I will be happy to come on over..."

Nine out of ten times they would ask to see something right there and then.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 19, 2014 01:56PM)
Like many of the veterans in this game, I have used many approaches over the years, settled on one or two, but I am still very aware that the approach depends not only on who you are, but where you are.

Defining yourself is not as easy a task as it might seem. What you believe you are projecting, and what the audience perceives are often two different things. I like to hang onto the hope that with age comes wisdom, in spite of the fact that youthful exuberance fades at the same time. ;) As such, the approach one might use while in his early twenties would hardly be appropriate when one is say, not.

Where one is, does not only apply to the type of venue, or the caliber of clientele, but also to your own position in that place. In many cases, the magician might be an unexpected (although hopefully pleasant) surprise. In other places he may be well-established. The notion that a place has a magician is already an "in" to a table, even if that table has never seen you before. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are guaranteed acceptance at that table, but your initial contact with that table is less harsh and intrusive by nature.

If you are already well-established at a particular venue, it's not a bad idea to work with them in regard to branding and promoting you. This can range from table tents to lobby posters to wait staff being the liaison, and in fact, your initial approach and point of contact.

If you are a pleasant person, and generally enjoyable to be around, then most tables will be receptive to you, even had you not been doing magic at all...assuming you appear to be working with the venue and not some random person!

Just to get this out of the way... there are many, many reasons why a table may not want you there. These can range anywhere from deep personal discussions, to business dealings, to religious beliefs, to the insecurity that it may cost them more than they know they can or want to spend. (Hopefully, it's not because you come off as a creep!) Accept any of these denials with a smile and move on.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to make that initial contact is having it happen while you are working another table. There are always brief moments when people are reacting, while someone is signing a card, etc. when your eyes can quickly float and catch someone watching you from afar. Sometimes, just a quick smile to those people acknowledges that you see them watching. If they are not going to be receptive to you approaching them, then you will probably get that signal. But, you can also quickly read if curiosity is working on them. If people see other people having a great time, and notice that you seem to be the center of it all, they will usually be cool when you walk toward them later.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (May 19, 2014 06:25PM)
Motley, is it okay if I use your opener?

Some great advice and conversation in this thread.
Message: Posted by: jnork (May 20, 2014 03:07PM)
"Hi how's everything so far? My name's Jason, I'm the house magician for (establishment) would you like to see some close up magic while you're waiting for your (main course/dessert/check)??"

Pretty simple.

Jason
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (May 20, 2014 09:46PM)
Pepka yep the did you drop the black knife approach is a bit odd and why any one think throwing flames around will make people want you near is a mystery to me me.

Also tctahoe I like your approach and do use something simular from time to time as well.

But I have played around with the idea of letting people find out your performing magic rather than announcing your the magician or your about to do magic.

i think either way can work. But I feel there is a strength in just going up making it aware your asked to be there but don't make it clear why, get to know them then bang do something magical. This only works in certine conditions but I thougth id just put it out there.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 20, 2014 11:37PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2014, Yellowcustard wrote:


But I feel there is a strength in just going up making it aware your asked to be there but don't make it clear why, get to know them then bang do something magical. This only works in certine conditions but I thougth id just put it out there. [/quote]

If I understand you correctly, I have used a similar idea. I would sometimes approach a table (or even a group at a private party), and tell them that the owner (manager) (or host) had seen me do something they thought was cool, so they have asked me to be here to share it with their guests.

This creates a bit of intrigue, as well as interest. But, it also softens the intrusion by laying off the initiation on a third party... and one whom the guest would surely trust. It works as if you are being introduced by someone else who is closer to them.
Message: Posted by: pepka (May 21, 2014 04:54AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2014, Motley Mage wrote:
Pepka, what about, "Excuse me, did you drop this flaming knife I found in my wallet?" [/quote]
Oh....a wise guy huh?
Message: Posted by: frankieacemagic (May 23, 2014 05:44PM)
Michael's right on about scouting tables while you're having a card selected. I love that method. You do the ol' "show everybody the card. I won't look; I've seen this trick already." I take this time to smile at a few other tables and see who smiles back. You can tell the difference between a polite smile and a "come see us next" smile. With this method, all that matters is getting started with that first table :)

If there are kids at the table, there's usually no problem, right? I've rarely ever been turned away from a table with children. I just say something like "it's Monday magic night here at ____________. Who would like to see some magic?" The kids always scream "we do!" The parents wouldn't dream of saying no. I think a table of adults might be more hesitant because some think "Trix are for kids," but the looking around while the table picks a card works well for me.
Message: Posted by: kumpletoo (Jun 13, 2014 06:27AM)
Dominic Reyes with Merchant of Magic authored an awesome e-book on the topic and it's for free.

The e-book has a wealth of information about how to approach table.

Here's the link, http://magictricks.magicshop.co.uk/magicians-approach-people-advice-guide-ebook.
Message: Posted by: Jade Ferrer (Jan 15, 2015 10:12AM)
A great way to do it is just walk up to them and make a remark about the venue, the weather, or etc. Start a small talk and then insert, "Oh, by the way, I'm (name) and I'm a magician and I'd love to show you my magic."
Message: Posted by: Zephury (Jan 22, 2015 12:49AM)
Jnork's is very similar to mine, but here's what I do:

"Hello, welcome to (name of restaurant). My name is Harley and I'm the house magician (saying magician with a bit of emphasis). As odd as it may sound, would you be interested in seeing a little something?"

Here's some thoughts.

I think it's very important to NOT open with anything flashy, or force someone to watch something. I wont do an ounce of magic until they agree to it. I've heard some very messy stories...

I used this without the "As odd as it may sound" part for a few weeks and everything was okay. I got maybe 1 person a night that would not want to see magic. Ever since I threw in the "as odd as it may sound" part, I get rejected once very 3 or 4 nights.

There's a science to avoiding rejection, I'd say. If you can make them laugh without being too cheesy, that's a great thing. If you can gauge them and they seem like quite a nut in their own sense (very humorous and cheesy) then you can say something cheesy, otherwise I think it's important to avoid being too cheesy, especially in an introduction. If I know I'm performing for a total clown (I mean this kindly!) after saying "House magician" I'll say "NOT the house Salad...... but, MAGICIAN." Different sorts of people like different forms of entertainment. Learn to judge people's character and determining rather it's good to use a cheesy line or not will come pretty easily.

People have made some very good points above. Try to figure out why somebody is out at the restaurant? A business meeting? A family dinner? A Birthday? Is everyone eating out and in an easy going, happy mood? Gauge the types of people and ask yourself if they seem like the type of people who'd enjoy some magic. Birthday dinners, and family dinners with kids are almost always a sure hit. Stay away from people who look like their on their lunch break, or having a meeting with a client, unless you hear their conversation and it seems dull, or lacking of conversation. It helps to ease drop and figure out if they seem like they could use some entertainment. Just don't be too obvious.

Good luck to all!


-Harley Salas
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 30, 2015 08:53PM)
I've talked about this (at length, I'm sure, lol) but even more important that what you say, or what you do, is how you physically approach and come across.

Is your head up and looking confident, or are you staring at the ground?
Are your hands by your sides, reaching forward, or in your pockets?
Do they think they know you somehow, or are you a complete stranger invading their space?
Etc.

I would devote a few months, yes, months, to walking into rooms of people and starting conversations. The most important thing about my approach to people is the tone of my voice when I say, "Whaaaasup!!!!" It takes a while to get your head around that, but when you do, you'll begin to experience what it's meant to "own" a room and to have people thankful that you do.

My 2 cents,

jamie

P.S. And thanks for the kidn words about my book, guys! Too kind!
Message: Posted by: Zlwin Chew (Feb 13, 2015 12:36PM)
What I would do -

With a piece of !@#$h paper in my right hand, I approach a group of people and boldly ask, "Does anyone have a lighter I could borrow?"

Most of the time, someone would hand me one, if not, I would search my pocket quickly and get one out. Then I would ask a person to light the lighter for me.

I burn the paper and produce a money bill.

The bright flame catches everyone's attention and the sudden appearance of money in my hand oftentimes make someone exclaim, "Oh you are a magician!"

Let the show begin.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 14, 2015 04:32PM)
When you say "what I would do" does this mean you have done this before and it works or you are guessing? I can't imagine that happening at every table and a manager being happy about it.

But again it is all about environment.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Feb 16, 2015 11:54AM)
I find the old "has anyone lost a red penknife......no.......how about a black one?" so passé. Nowadays I walk up and ask "has anyone lost a chop cup".
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Feb 17, 2015 01:22AM)
Markus
I (like many others) start the interaction in a assumptive manor. "Joe told me to show you this puzzle with this 20. You do like money don't you?"

I don't think your question is about the exact patter to useor what effect but more along the lines of the best way to not get rejected.

Think of it this way. you walk into a shoe store and the sales person says "Can I help you?' If you aren't there to specifically buy shoes you'll probably say "No. I'm just looking" - Sale over -
If you enter and the sales person says "You look like a 10 and a half. Want to see out newest cross-trainer, it's got that jell in the sole, it's right over here". - Game on -
You might not be looking for a pair of shoes but you end-up buying them on impulse.

So what kind of a telephone solicitor would you rather be/ Are you the type that says " Hello. my name is Markus Hollingsworth the third and I'm not selling anything. This call is a survey that my boss is offering as a free service. Is the owner of the business there?
Oops. I just hung up.

Lets say you're at a party making balloon animals
You say "Do you want an animal or a hat?"
Would you ever say 'Hello. Ms. Butternutter hired me to walk around and make balloon animals. I was wondering if you, as a guest, might be interested in one... because trhat's what I do"

Nike has a great motto.

People can always say no, and they do. That's why you learn to read body language. Obviously, if they are all wearinmg black armbands and crying, I'm not going within five feet of them.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 17, 2015 08:15AM)
I have always approached this differently. Jay is 100% right and his post is very insightful.

I simply never approached it as sales. I do not want to have to sell them on the idea. This is why I work after meals and have servers ask. I am expected and invited. It changes the interaction throughout the performance.

Not everywhere can do this. I understand. In a very real way it is sales just as Jay described.
Message: Posted by: Dorian Rhodell (Feb 18, 2015 02:27AM)
Never been a fan of just going up an into a routine.

True story;

I was working a banquet with another magician.
Boom, goes right up and starts going into the routine.
Reactions were awful.
I guess he never took the time to introduce himself and take notice of the people he was performing for...or the white canes with red tips at the ends that were under the table...
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Feb 18, 2015 03:19AM)
Walk up and "hi, I'm Rolyan, I've been booked by the management to provide a couple of minutes free entertainment. You don't have to do anything just sit back and enjoy".

In 10 seconds you've introduced yourself, explained what you're doing, confirmed that you're a paid professional, that's been formally hired by the management, it won't cost the guests anything, it will only take a couple of minutes and they don't have to do anything. Their questions answered in 10 seconds.

It's worked for me for decades, after learning it from John Hotowka.

Simples.
Message: Posted by: frankieacemagic (Feb 18, 2015 03:59PM)
So much good advice here. It's almost stupid for me to repost...but I will :)

As I mentioned earlier, I say "It's Monday Magic Night here at Francesca's restaurant." I like this approach because it puts the focus on the restaurant immediately. The restaurant has deemed Monday "magic night" and this officially authorizes the magician's presence. If you're good, YOU will authorize your own presence momentarily. But in my experience, that initial statement shifts the attention to the restaurant and its desire to have you perform on that "magic night." It feels less intrusive to me. Probably all in my head though!
Message: Posted by: Dimitri Mystery Artist (Feb 23, 2015 11:38AM)
I think they should have the chance to say ¨no¨ (especially if the act is not perfectly polished).

I usually say ¨Welcome to ___, my name is Dimitri, I am the house entertainer, can I show you something really special...?
However what you say is only part of the approach, the nonverbal communication is not less important, people could feel when I was not confidante or nervous, and I was rejected more frequently, so when I approach a group I try to smile, be relaxed and believe that what I am about to do is worth seeing (if they say ¨no¨, I feel it is totally their lost and move on).
There is nothing wrong to get rejected from time to time, it is worst to do magic for people that are not in the mood for entertainment and to put them in an awkward situation
When I work in a restaurant I don´t consider that my job is to do as many tables as possible, I prefer to think that my job is to do magic for all the tables that want to see magic.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Mar 14, 2020 01:39PM)
We produced a 3 dvd set back in 2005 on the theory of working restaurants with 6 guys who really do work restaurants. Garrett Thomas, dan Fleshman, Kirk Charles, Justin Miller, Paul Green and Dan Tong and me. Tons of great content on these dvd's and you can see all 3 DVD's on Reel Magic for $5

www.reelmagicmagazine.com

No long term commitment
Message: Posted by: Yash Pataskar (Mar 16, 2020 09:11PM)
‘Hallo! Did any of You lose a wad of 100s secured in rubber bands?’ Wait for someone to reply, usually someone will say yes as a joke. ‘Here are those rubber bands.’

‘Sir, is this Your wallet? I found it right here.’ Open it & it bursts in flames. ‘Oh man! It’s really hot, it looks like it’s mine.’ Let me introduce myself, I am ... (Later do C2W and their jaws will drop! It also looks like a complete circle when You end with C2W and I love to end where I started. Remember we started with the Flaming Wallet and their Signed Card Appearing Inside the wallet is how we end. ✨
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 16, 2020 09:41PM)
Yea I hope I live to be as old as that joke.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Apr 17, 2020 07:53PM)
Tim Ellis on 1 of his dvds has a great section on how to approach groups & as mentioned not to give them an
opportunity to say No. Tims observations at corporate events which is my market for 20 years, I now use for every event
and it is very successful I think its Ellis in Wonderland dvd. Check it out
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 17, 2020 08:44PM)
I never understood the idea of not giving them a chance to say no. How arrogant and unfair is this?

At a corporate event it makes some sense. Having been hired and the guests possibly not knowing and them being at a corporate event gives you some leeway.

At a restaurant it makes NO sense at all. Maybe people want to talk, maybe they came from a funeral, and maybe they just don't give a hoot about your little 4 acre trick. Forcing them to watch you, which is the real way of saying don't give them a chance to say no is very performer centric thinking. It leaves out what the guest may want. After all isn't that why we are there in the first place?
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 17, 2020 10:00PM)
This topic has been discussed ad nauseam over the years. Pros and cons on both sides.
For me I rarely asked if the patrons wanted to see magic. Like Jay Sankey said on one of his videos,
"They are not qualified to answer that question" if you really think about it they aren't.

Experience teaches you to observe patrons before approaching. Are they engaged in deep conversation?
Don't interact. Is there lively, on going conversation going on? I leave them alone to enjoy each other's company. Then there are the "many" other tables I politely engage at the proper time.
Depending on the responses and body language, I'll go in certain directions. Yes, "sometimes" I will ask if they would like to experience some magic, but "most" times I do not and engage with an effect that creates curiosity. I won't go into detail but this has worked for me for a very long time.

Many people have gone out of their way when leaving the restaurant to thank me and tell me I made their night. One lady told me that she really didn't want me to stop by their table but was very glad that I did. All this is to say, be polite and friendly but don't give them the opportunity to say "No" (for the most part) Also, many times those tables I didn't approach because of the reasons mentioned asked me why I didn't visit them.

Many will diagree and think the approach is arrogant and forcing yourself on people. That has not been my experience. If it was my restaurant magic career would have been short lived.
Well it is now due to circumstances beyond our controll. Mr Covid-19 to be exact. Imho
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 17, 2020 11:05PM)
I don't think 19 years at one place is "short lived" LOL!

But the idea that somehow a patron is "not qualified" to answer the question is actually a very performer centric point of view. It never takes into consideration for a second what may be going on in their head.

Now to be fair every situation is different. Every performer is different and even within each performer every environment is different. NO way one size can fit all. This is why this discussion is so difficult is that so many have trouble accepting that their way is not the only way. (Not you David.)

But this very issue is THE reason I am not a fan of having to call on tables cold. I prefer to work by request. This takes away ALL doubt. Not all situations can be set up in such a fashion, so obviously it is not THE way to do it. It is ONE way to do it.

I tell you one reason I have such an aversion to the idea of "they are not qualified" is I have experienced first hand, unfortunately more than once, the exact opposite of what you describe. The guy who thinks his version of Twisting the Aces is far more important than anything happening at the table. Mind you nothing was happening that was not able to be interrupted by a good performer. These were not good performers. And isn't it usually THOSE guys who are the problem?

One reason I am not a fan of not letting them have an option is what happens when you DO run into the guy who really doesn't want to see magic? What happens when you have sort of "forced" your way in by not letting them have an opinion? You have invaded their night unasked. You have creatd a situation that could have been avoided easily by just letting them answer.

Is that the crime of the century? Heck no. But it is not cool to do if you ask me. Also at a TGI Friday's it may not be as big a deal as it is at a place that has $50 apps. At family restaurants (I don't know but I am guessing because I never worked one.) an interruption on the assumption that they are not qualified to answer may not be such a huge intrusion. The $5 apps place might see things just a little bit different. Every one I have worked in they would defiantly see it differently.

I think it is the blanket idea that "they are not qualified to answer" that gets under my skin. I get the sentiment, I guess it is just expressed pretty poorly.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 18, 2020 07:44AM)
"Not qualified to answer". Seems like that statement is the sticking point. What Jay Sankey's statement, I have found to mean (through experience) is that "most" patrons have never seen a close-up magical entertainer in a restaurant setting. They don't know what to expect or know what I will do. They are not qualified to answer and if asked, human nature is just to say no thank you. I agree it depends on the restaurant. (It wouldn't work in restaurant with $50.00 appetizers.) (Maybe?)

I don't give them the oportunity to say "No" depending on my read before I approach and the intitial interaction. I and they would have missed out on an opportunity for a very unique and fun experience

Quick example and a marketing example as well. My wife I were walking in a mall with many kiosks selling various goods. This one lady, very friendly, engaged us as we were walking by her kiosk. Our first instict was to say no-thank-you, we're not interested. BUT we were not qualified to make that statement because we had no idea what she was offering. Turns out we did stop because of her personality and she did a quick demonstration on my wife's fingernail that made her nail look like glass. WOW!!! We couldn't believe it. It wasn't nail polish but a unique 2 sided emory board, nail file.

We ended up talking to this lady for several minutes and walked away with the product in hand. I use it too especially because my hands and nails are noticed while performing. This was several years ago and we still buy and use it. IF WE WOULD HAVE SAID NO-THANK-YOU and just walked by, we would have missed out on a product that is beneficial for both my wife and me.

Just as an aside, my going on 19 year restaurant experience was not at one restaurant but many. Mostly bar/restaurant and family friendly, not suit and tie valet parking establishments. That is your expertise. When I get back to my restaurant gigs, I'll be doing the same thing. Not asking, for the most part. Well that may change due to Mr. Covid-19
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 10:58AM)
I think I'm absolutely qualified to answer and so are patrons. It is the equivalent of asking them if they want squid and they've never tasted it. They are qualified to say no. Maybe they will like it. But nobody forces them to eat squid. Why is magic so much different? This is why I use the word arrogant. It is perhaps a bit strong and I don't mean it to be, but I can't think of another word.

I know we all think we provide a unique and enjoyable experience. If you didn't then you wouldn't have been at it for the better part of 2 decades. Clearly you know what you are doing.

It just might be that at certain places this way of doing things might be more acceptable than others.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 18, 2020 01:51PM)
I hear ya Danny and I'm NOT saying that people have stressed they were'nt interested when I interacted without asking BUT it really is the exception and not the rule. I remember that happened one time and the people said, sir,we really aren't interested. I smiled, wished them a good day and hoped they enjoyed their meal. They have now become fans and have brought other friends in to see me almost every other week. They are restaurant regulars and over time they relented and ask their waitress for me to stop by their table. Well that has been several years and is on going.

They now call their restaurant visits "Magic Night". Well not now.
I take the risk when I see fit and find the approach to be very beneficial. But that's just me.
I really enjoy and find it very enlightening inteacting with you. I know you are very professional and you do know your stuff. We just have different points of vue that is colored by our respective experience. I appreciate you.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 02:21PM)
Oh I have no doubt of your experience. It is obvious from your posts.

The thing that is worrying is guys without that level of experience forcing themselves on unsuspecting members of the public.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 18, 2020 04:15PM)
Point well taken....
Message: Posted by: David French (Apr 20, 2020 09:24AM)
I always ask. As Danny said, I have interrupted funeral dinners, divorce proceeding and other non pleasant events. If I don't ask I am being rude and not attentive to the guests needs. This works well for me. I am NOT at a restaurant to annoy folks nor make them uncomfortable. Yes, it would be rather rude for a server to just start putting drinks and food down that no one ordered. "Here, you have no idea what you like, I have taken the liberty to tell you"

Just odd to me...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 20, 2020 11:41AM)
Yea that is sort of where I come down on it. Thank you for illustrating it so well.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 20, 2020 08:22PM)
[quote]On Apr 20, 2020, David French wrote:
I always ask. As Danny said, I have interrupted funeral dinners, divorce proceeding and other non pleasant events. If I don't ask I am being rude and not attentive to the guests needs. This works well for me. I am NOT at a restaurant to annoy folks nor make them uncomfortable. Yes, it would be rather rude for a server to just start putting drinks and food down that no one ordered. "Here, you have no idea what you like, I have taken the liberty to tell you"

Just odd to me... [/quote]

I've done the same, funeral dinners and once a family just got back from making a decision to take a family member off life support. You know what? The funeral patrons thanked me for for changing the mood and was very glad I stopped by their table. The family that made the very difficult decision regarding life support made a point to seek out the manager to tell her how appreciative they were that I took their minds of the circumstance for a few minutes. I had no clue what they were going through. I found out through the manager. So everyone has their respective opinions, I'll continue to do what has worked for me. You, meaning those that disagee, well do what you feel appropriate for you. I just know that so many opportunities would have gone by the wayside if I just always asked and waited for a "NO" answer.

As I've said numerous times I always try and evaluate the patrons. Body language, facial expressions, conversation intensity etc. My initial approach and the few seconds of interaction is a determining factor as well. Yes, sometimes I'll ask depending on the vibe I get. One of those tables that I mentioned in a previous post that definatively said "NO" hired me for a huge party at their home. Sounds odd to me too.
Message: Posted by: David French (Apr 21, 2020 08:09AM)
David Paul -

Exactly, we all have different styles. You do you, it works for you.

Be well.