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Smoke & Mirrors
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Profile of Smoke & Mirrors
Could we please get a list going of known chains that hire magicians?

I know about:
Max & Ermas

Who else?

(sorry if this has been done before, I did a search and got too much off-topic junk)

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Old pervailing wisdom said that it was easier to approach individually owned establishments because your chances of speaking directly to a decision maker were greater. When approaching a chain, you really need to speak to the GM, if you can get a regional VP, that's even better.

Now as for who is hiring...?

That soley depends on your ability to sell yourself. Remember, when you pitch... benefits to the establishment is what you should focus on.
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Profile of pikacrd
Vmendoza is giving you some good advice, you should take it to heart. If I can add anything to what he has already said is that you should put more focus on what it is that you are going to say once you have made contact with a restaurant than who the restaurant is. If you have a good approach the name of the restaurant is really just an after thought. Now that is not to say that you are just going to walk into any restaurant give a pitch (even if it is the best ever) and get hired you may have to go through several layers of management before you get to the person who is going to hire you but you really want to make sure that your pitch is up to par before swinging away at the ball if you know what I mean.

I posted about my approach and pitch here;forum=5
I think that it is about 7-8 entries down but I have been told by a lot of people that it was helpful you may want to give it a look.

Good luck
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
Smoke & Mirrors
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Thanks mendoza, I am working on my pitch now!

Great post Kris, thanks!

Let me clarify why I asked what I asked:

Because I live in a BIG city and there are lots of restaurants, I'm overwhelmed with where to begin and I was wondering if there are some restaurants that are already pre-conditioned to the idea of having a magician.

Example: Applebee's, they appear to be rather open to the idea of a magician.
However one I went to already had a magician and I was NOT going to even think of stepping on his toes.

Most smaller joints I have talked to find it an odd sort of thing to have a magician, not negative just, odd. I am not giving up on these, I am just trying to fill each night of the week, and my search might go easier if I knew which joints were "more commonly open" to the thoughts of a table-hopper.

Just wanted to clarify that.
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Profile of magicsoup
Any restaurant that can afford you and thinks magic is a good idea will hire you if they think you are good. I approached many places before I got hired at one. Most places wouldn't even give me the time of day. They have never heard of this or yoku'll be in the way yadda yadda yadda. This close mindedness was especially true at greek places. The restaurant I've been at for 7 years reluctantly let me do a free night. After I was done the assistant manager had a chat with me. He said he was discourageing the owner from having me. He thought the idea was dumb and I'd get in the way etc. After seeing me perform he said he'd reccommend me to the owner.

You just have to go out there and try as many places as you can. I always show up without an appointment. Don't go during a busy time. Be dressed and ready to perform. The important thing is to get a demo night!
The Mighty Fool
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Ever notice how there never seems to be any cut & dried straight answers to some of the questions in this forum? Often the asker gets some bit of sage advice, or the 'philosophical runaround'. Everything the above posters have said is true, and that link will definitely do you well, but to answer your question:

Don Pablo's Mexican Cantina has kids’ night every Tuesday, and though many use twisters, at least 2 use magicians.
During the summer, Pizza Hut has outdoor parties for kids and they take all sorts of comers. Don't expect to be paid a high rate though.
Ruth's Chris steakhouse, at least 2 employ magicians, but in this case, you need to have classy attire and high-power effects! (They’re about as 5-star as it gets!)
Levy restaurants: they’re all over the country under many different names (Portobello's, Gooey Louie's, Bistro 110, Café Spiaggia, etc.). They’re big on kid-satisfaction, in fact they have an entire portion of training for kid-friendliness which their servers and managers have to go through. Many of their places use entertainment.

My only bit of advice is that you shouldn’t be scared off by the ritzy 5-star places. They pay the best! I'd rather go to 5-stars, get rejected 1000 times, then finally get hired in a gig which pays $600 a night, than go to 2-star places and get hired right away at $150 a night. Remember, it's hard if you sell easy. It's easy if you sell hard.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
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Profile of wizardofsorts
Hey great post Mighty Fool. I'm digging it. I'm working on getting a resturant gig myself and I didn't have a definative answer. So, I didn't answer. But I like yours. I would also add to the list, Chi-Chis and TGIFridays.
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event.
steve j
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TGI Fridays is a good one, I am currently working at one of them.
Paul D
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TGI Fridays, the Outback, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, American Café, Chucky Cheese, Charlie Browns, Cosmos. I've worked at all these chain restaurants at one time or another but the best gig of them all was at TGI Friday’s. It has the best atmosphere for table-hopping the energy is high in that place. Happy Hunting.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
Smoke & Mirrors
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Thanks all! Just what I was looking for!
I have a Pizza Hut 2 blocks from me, but never thought about them ( I guess I was thinking deliveries), now I will try them!
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Profile of magicsoup
Smoke and Mirrors, by all means go and pursue the places people have named. Don't limit yourself to them though. Neither place I work at was looking for any entertainment. In fact both places had very unsure managers or owners. Be prepared to approach many places and get rejected. Keep on trying and eventually you'll find an open minded place that will give you a chance. Perform a free hour for them and make sure you make their customers really happy.
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Profile of kumpletoo
I like to throw in a few more establishments that no one has mentioned yet, O'Charley's Restaurant, Macaroni Grill, Twisted Fork. These restaurants are in Raleigh NC and they are receptive in hiring magicians to entertan their customers.

Great advice, magicsoup! That's what I exactly did and got one...
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Profile of markmagic
If you have a Golden Corral, they may hire you for kids night, but typically do not pay much. I have just started back at TGIFridays after a 2 year layoff, was there for 13 yrs prior to that.
ed rhodes
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On 2005-04-26 07:32, Smoke & Mirrors wrote:
Thanks all! Just what I was looking for!
I have a Pizza Hut 2 blocks from me, but never thought about them ( I guess I was thinking deliveries), now I will try them!

Pizza Hut only started deliveries a few years ago. There were two pizza places side by side in Middletown, a Pizza Hut and a Papa Geno's. Pizza Hut is done up in reds and blacks and feels like a sit down restaurant. Papa Geno's was done up in oranges and yellows and felt like an Italian Food McDonalds!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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Profile of thegreatgeorgio
TGI Fridays and Frankie and Benny's pays well
Lord of Illusion
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I did a Pizza Hut's kid night for almost a year once (Long time ago, and yes, I did bizzare for kids). BUT! They don't pay much. Just think of it as a venue to practice your kids' show and book birthday parties.

Edward Wolfgang Poe,

The Necromancer of the South
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