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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Tips please! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Smoke & Mirrors
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Hi,

I am going to contact a specific restaurant and try to get a job table-hopping. (magic and animal balloons) Please tell me from your experience:


Question 1: How can I help them increase business? (selling myself)

Question 2: Should I have two rates: (one rate with tips, one without tips?)

Question 3: Should I have a separate (cheaper) rate if they will give me a 6 month contract? And, how would I make such a contract?

Question 4: What is the one thing you did that you think nailed you the job?

Question 5: What is the one "off-brand" trick you love to do? (in other words, something that not every other magician is doing out there)

Question 6: Do you suggest the restaurant invest in a banner or signage? Do you offer to help with these expenses? (if your working for tips, it could benefit both of you)

Question 7: Do you bring at least one new trick each week for return customers? Do you show repeats your "normal set" frequently?

Question 8: How many balloon animals should one know to twist? (I do 6 well, and numerous not-so-well!)


Thank you soooooo much for your time and answers. I numbered the questions so if you only want to respond to one of them, let me know which one!

-aaron
Mercury52
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Kevin Reylek
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I'd definitely recommend you check out the books by Kirk Charles and Jim Pace on restaurant work, if you haven't already. Lots of great tips in there, and answers to many of the questions you've just asked.

Kevin
Kevin Reylek
Paul D
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NY
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You got a lot of questions Im gonna help you with a few of them ok.1)How can you help them increase business? One way to increase business is to make sure that you impress the people you perform for enuff that you make them want to bring more friends or familiy members back with them next time to enjoy your magic.2)Rates depending on your area and venue and your experience/Before you go and ask for a contract you should offer them an hour audition and get there feed back they might even give you an offer better than you think.In a restaurant If I were you I would say somthing like $75-125 for hour or so or say for a whole evening of service say 3 hours ask for $200-225 don't get too greedy your trying to get a contract and on contract work you make less than if you were to charge hourly.4)To nail the job?Be friendly smile see I'm a very touchy feely person so this gives me a little advantage if you can try to load a card or whatever in his/her pocket a really good peice of advice is too be a few steps ahead of everybody get dressed up in disguise and go in and plant a card under a chair or stool or whatever you can think of that when the magic happens there was no way you could have done that I think you know what I mean.5)Your gonna have to PM me for this its a killer.6)One time I had a club get me a closeup pad with my name on it just because I told them they'll never forget my name or the club they went to.7) Your going to need an arsenal of tricks and perfection of sleights and second and 3rd ways of doing things.You must have many card effects coin effects mental effects gimmicks/whenever you have a repeat customer act like you just don't quite remember what you showed them last and they will relive the story for the rest of the table and yes say you have been working on something its kind of like this reacuring dream youve been having and you want to put it into reality tonite with your table8) I hate balloons and clowns they scare the crap outa me so I cant help you there but A nice effect for restauarants is Kevin James Animated Card through balloon of death its a really great effect and it works good in all venues good luck man .PM me for #5 this will land you the job.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
Quartin
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aaron, try this link,http://julianfranklin.com/updates.htm
it will help
Fernando
Smoke & Mirrors
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Thanks everyone! Great help.
magicsoup
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2. I would only have one rate. I see no reason for two.
3. I have a cheaper rate for regular restaurant work. I don't do contracts. If qa prospective employer is unsure the idea of being bound to a contract may scare them. Also if a place dosen't want me anymore I won't force myself on them. I worked once for a contract for 3 months. When it ended I remainded there for a year longer before I quit (I didn't like the buffet aspect of the place).The other restaurants that I am at I have never had contracts. I've been at one for 7 years and the other for 2 years.
4. I offered a free hour and got very good remarks from cutomers.
6. Take care of your own signs. If they think they need to get you signs it's another obstacle. Hiring you should be hassle free. If they are unsure about you they won't want to spend $$ on that.
7. No. In time you should have enough material that you could go to a number of different tables and not repeat anything. And it sould all fit in your pockets.
8. I don't do many baloons. My advice is to learn a good hat and a good small animal. Don't do really large animals. Definitely don't do swords! I almost exclusively do one animal. A turtle braclet for girls, and a turtle wrist band/communicator for boys. It is small and can be worn. They can even eat with it on. I find big things will have a better chance of knocking things (drinks) over. Swords are an accident waiting to happen.

I have exceptions for rules but stick to them most of the time.
sbays
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Burbank, CA
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I would suggest you NEVER tell them that you are going to increase their business! that's a false promise in almost every case. What happens when they see that you have NOT increased their business? buh-bye!!! But you can sell the fact that you can make their customers happy by providing them entertainment, and taking the sting out of long wait times for seating/meals. If you are good, you can create a really fun atmosphere for everyone. But if you think that you are going to all of a sudden increase that establishments revenue with customers that are coming just to see you ...well, I just don't think that's realistic thinking.
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
Acextreme
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I have the same thoughts as sbays. Usually, a business doesn't straight away see the benefits of increased business. I don't deny that's not one of the benefits, I just thought that it will take some time to prove this claim to the restaurant. If that's the case, some restaurants which does not see an increase in say 1-2 months might just say goodbye to you.

Any comments? I am still figuring whether I should include this into my list of benefits but in theory, it does sound very possible. However, reality often turns out so different.
steve j
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Long Island, New York
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The two things you should use to sell yourself are to try and get more people in on slower days during the week (but this may be as mentioned a false promise and might cost you in the long run), the other is to say that you help the time go by on busy days when the people are waiting for their food. That second point is a big one. One last thing, you should only have one price, not one with tips and one without, whether you can accept tips or not is the managers call, not yours. To protect yourself just have the one price that will give you a good income but also as mentioned before don't be greedy, remember this isn't a once and a while gig for an hour. This is a weekly gig that always pays the same and is a garauntee to be there, don't loose it because you want to make some extra cash.
Turk
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Portland, OR
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Smoke and Mirrors,

Mercury52 made a suggestion that you get both the Kirk Charles book ("The Restaurant Manual") and the Jim Pace book ("The Restaurant Worker's Handbook"). I own them both. Both are excellent books, but, if you can only afford one at a time, I'd get the Pace book first. I don't do any restaurant magic but I bought the book just to see what all the hub-bub was about. WOW!! What an excellent book. Full of humor, well written and LOADS of practical advice from a man who has worked in the trenches for many many years. 12/10 rating.

Mike
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
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