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Smoke & Mirrors
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If a restaurant will let you work for tips plus an hourly rate, would you find it "tacky" to wear a badge that reads, "I Accept Tips"?

Family style restaurant.
n3cromanc3r
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Absolutely
Peter Marucci
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No tackier than wearing a badge saying "Will Work For Food" or some such!

Do you tip your doctor, your dentist, your lawyer, your architect -- any professional that you do business with?

Of course not.

So, if you aspire to be a professional restaurant magician -- as opposed to a waiter who does tricks -- then DON'T accept tips.

Sure, there are some restaurant magicians who will tell you that they make a good living hustling tips. And there are some who will tell you that they eat their young.

But do what you will. You will, anyway.
magicsoup
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Quote:
On 2005-04-25 13:12, n3cromanc3r wrote:
Absolutely

What he said except with a bunch of !!!

If people offer me a tip I refuse it. I explain that the restaurant pays me and that tips are not neccessary. If they insist I will accept. They almost always insist. You don't want people to feel preassurd in any way. You want them to relax. If they think they are expected to tip it adds preassure to them. I had a guy once who was digginto his pocket to tip. Very slowly. Jim Pace Calls this the slow reach. When I told him he didn't need to tip you should hve seen the smile on his face! What relief! I'd rather have a happy customer than his dollar or two.
Smoke & Mirrors
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Gotcha.

These responses were my suspicion.
Thanks for the help.
Mike Wild
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Yeah... tips, and pretty much any sign of appreciation from a customer should be shunned and looked down upon. We're too good for that sort of thing, and we should make sure everyone knows that we think we're too good for their ridiculous and insulting "tips". Smile Smile

When we perform magic in bar and restaurant settings, we're entertainers... not lawyers or doctors, but entertainers. If someone wants to give you a tip, graciously accept it and move on. Refusing a tip can come off very insulting, and often times it does just that. If you need to work for tips and a meal here and there to get your foot in the door, do it... if you want to work. Don't do it if you want to do magic for the amusement of yourself and your close friends, and don't really care about being a professional or semi-professional magician.

You know what? I'll tell you a secret. Waiters, waitresses, and bartenders live on their tips. Sometimes we magicians have to "sink" to their level if we want to eat. Anyone who tries to throw absolutes at you like:
Quote:
"... So, if you aspire to be a professional restaurant magician -- as opposed to a waiter who does tricks -- then DON'T accept tips."

is either forgetting his or her own beginnings in magic, or else he or she had a VERY fortunate and unusual start in the industry.

If you want to work, do what you have to do and work hard to make it the way you want it to be.

Mike
<><>< SunDragon Magic ><><>

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Vandy Grift
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I can't comment on the taking/not taking tips things. But I will say this, if you do end up working for a place that allows tips, and you choose to accept tips. Don't walk around with a badge that says "I accept tips". I believe that would look a bit silly. Accept them or don't, but if you do, forget the badge.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Smoke & Mirrors
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Quote:
On 2005-04-25 13:24, Peter Marucci wrote:
No tackier than wearing a badge saying "Will Work For Food" or some such!

GREAT!
Does anyone want to buy my "WILL DOUBLE-LIFT FOR FOOD" badge?
I have no reason for it now!
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2005-04-25 14:27, Smoke & Mirrors wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-04-25 13:24, Peter Marucci wrote:
No tackier than wearing a badge saying "Will Work For Food" or some such!

GREAT!
Does anyone want to buy my "WILL DOUBLE-LIFT FOR FOOD" badge?
I have no reason for it now!

:lol: Smile
The Mighty Fool
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Yes, you can accept tips (if the establishment allows it), but NEVER solicit them either visually or verbally! The only time a magi should ask for tips is in a busking situation, or hit & run street magic. So accept the tips. What you decide to do with them, that's another story.

It's sad but true, that a great many waiters will see your getting tips as 'poaching on their turf'. They see every fin given to you as $5 less that they’ll get from the check. You might consider giving, or at least sharing the tip from that table with the server whose table that is. Your decision to do this will depend heavily on what you’re being paid an hour of course, but if you do this, I promise, the wait staff will SO be on your side it will border on annoying! Rather than seeing you as an annoyance/adversary, they’ll see you as a valuable ally, and they’ll give you a wide berth when you perform.
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Magic Sam
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Don't wear the badge!
Sometimes I wear a pin that says "Yes I do this for a living", not to solicit tips, but so people at an event don't think I'm a waiter, guest, or some such.

By all means, accept tips, but choose them. If someone's doing a slow reach or muttering to their spouse, bid them good evening and walk away immediately after performing. If they want to give you a tip, they'll find you after. You'll quickly learn the difference between the obligatory tip (the slow reach, they've seen someone else give you a tip, or they're part of a group) and the enjoyment tip. I normally refuse the first kind and happily accept the second. There's nothing worse than offending future clients by turning down their money, and no, they won't think they can hire you for 5 bucks because that's what they tipped you at the restaurant.

Above all, never refuse a tip from someone trying to impress a date or a group of friends! Just my advice. Smile
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trilam
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Best advice yet on the subject Magic Sam.

Spoken like someone who speaks from experience. That pretty much closes the subject for me (not that I am in a position to accept tips, but if ever I am, I will remember to make a distinction between the obligatory and the enjoyment tips).
Eric Jones
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I only work for tips for the first couple of nights when working a new establishment during my "trial period". This is of course two weeks back to back that I work at no charge to the business just so the management can see how magic can not only curb the patrons stress on long wait times for food, but other ways to increase repeat business.

At these times, I often incorporate magic with "borrowed" bills, coin magic, and betting games that incorporate magic such as Garrett Thomas' Stand Up Monte.

However, once the gig is landed and I'm either added to payroll through corporate, or payment is secured at the beginning of the performance from the register, I keep a satin box with my contact information and business cards and has the word TIPS written on it. The hostess and cashier both are able to explain what the box is for and patrons are left to decide if my performance was worth a tip without my having to hold my hand out.

Some discussion has been raised as to whether I would trust the wait staff with the box as they could easily steal the money from me. This is where having a good working relationship with the wait staff comes in. By getting on their good side, I've never had any problems with theft, and I often tip everyone waiting from that box at the end of the night for promoting me.
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kinesis
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Smoke & Magic, when you hit the tables don't forget the 'I've been paid, just enjoy the magic!' lapel badge
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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Smoke & Mirrors
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Quote:
On 2005-04-25 16:11, Godhandz wrote:
... I keep a satin box with my contact information and business cards and has the word TIPS written on it. The hostess and cashier both are able to explain what the box is for and patrons are left to decide if my performance was worth a tip without me having to hold my hand out.


Wow, I really like that idea, subtle, voluntary and private.
Thanks.
Vick
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I haven't worked strolling in restaurants but if I was getting paid by the restaurant itself. I'd graciously turn down tips (know that sounds crazy not to accept $), the reason being, that the wait staff may view that as you taking money that they could have gotten and have to think you want the wait staff on your side or at least to have a good relationship with them.

Also Godhandz has a good idea about giving some of the tips to the staff.

Restaurant workers, what do you think?
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Peter Marucci
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Mike Wild writes: "If you want to work, do what you have to do..."

I certainly hope no one I know EVER needs a job THAT badly!!

And I never said you shouldn't accept tips if the refusal would be seen as an insult or rebuff; please don't put words in my mouth (it's very unsanitary! LOL!)

He continues to post: "Refusing a tip can come off very insulting, and often times it does just that." It can, but only if the performer is a dolt and doesn't know how to handle a crowd.

And Mike says, "When we perform magic in bar and restaurant settings, we're entertainers, not lawyers or doctors, but entertainers."
True. So at least TRY to be good ones -- that is, professional ones -- and leave the begging to the beggars!
The Gentleman
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If I worked in a food setting with no interest in magic, and a bearded cretin with a funny hat kept getting £5, I think 'jealous' is the word for what I'd feel. That jealously would turn to admiration if he shared some afterwards, though .
kinesis
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I love working in the UK. We don't have a TIP culture here. I work for a good fee and don't expect tips. Tips are infrequent, any that do come my way are a surprise bonus. I don't have any worries about do's and don'ts when it comes to the delicate subject of tipping. Smile
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mtmagic
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I don't hustle tips but I do accept them, an extra $50 to $150 a night is hard to turn down. I think wearing a lapel badge would be tacky and it's something I could'nt do. How many of you have talked to the wait staff about how their tips are when you work? My experience is they love it when I'm there because their tips increase.
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