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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Communication with Chinese Restaurant (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicjody
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There is a new Chinese Restaurant that is jumping with business. The problem is that not all of them speak much English so there is definitely a language barrier. What would be the best means to approach the Chinese restaurant manager that I would like to start doing magic and balloons (table by table) to him?? ANy suggestions?
djc89
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Well, being Chinese myself, I have never seen a magician perform in any Chinese restaurant. If it is an authentic Chinese restaurant, most of the patrons will be Chinese speaking citizens. There might be communication problems there too. And from my experience, Chinese ppl in restaurants (I think) want to be left alone to their own group. It is a much different environment than bars, American grill restaurants, etc.

Sorry I can't give any pointers about the problem you explained, but these are just the thoughts that came to me as I read your post.
snowboard
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China Shenzhen
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I am Chinese and living in China. I am curious about the Chinese team in American. Would that doing magic by speaking Chinese in Chinese restaurant be popular? I assume that if one day I come to America, I can do magic by using Chinese.
Kent Wong
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Inner circle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I am a Chinese Canadian with limited Chinese language abilities. If the restaurant is an authentic style facility, you will be faced with much more than language barriers from the manager. You will also be faced with a much louder noise environment than what you are used to in any other type of restaruant. This is especially so if it is busy and popular. Also, the food tends to come out fast and furious at a Chinese restaurant, so you won't get much time to perform before the meal. Finally, there is never much room at the table, so you will have to be able to hold all of your props in your hands.

All of these factors will pose a barrier to table hopping in such a facility. When you combine this with the fact that the profit margins in a Chinese restaurant are extremely thin, the challenges seem to be pretty substantial.

But here's a question that you may want to consider: If the restaurant is ALREADY busy, what is the motivation for the manager to hire a performer? It won't be to create loyalty since Chinese customers tend to base their restaurant choices on two things - the quality of the food and the price. And it won't be to entertain the children since the Chinese culture traditionally values quietness and politeness in children when they go out in public.

I don't mean to discourage you and I do truly hope you are able to find a way in. But sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.

Kent ( aka - banana man)
"Believing is Seeing"
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magicjody
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Most of the customers speak English. The manager speaks very little English and I speak no Chinese so there is a language bearer of trying to explain to the manager about what I do. My question was how do I talk to the manager. Thank you.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Quote:
On 2005-04-29 02:33, snowboard wrote:
I am Chinese and living in China. I am curious about the Chinese team in American. Would that doing magic by speaking Chinese in Chinese restaurant be popular? I assume that if one day I come to America, I can do magic by using Chinese.


Snowboard,

Welcome to The Magic Café. This appears to be your very first post here.

You offer a vey interesting concept. In Las Vegas, we print everything in English, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish. But the shows are all English. However they are not as personal as what you suggest.

It is an interesting question.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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deerbourne
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Centennial, CO
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Quote:
On 2005-04-28 22:30, magicjody wrote:
There is a new Chinese Restaurant that is jumping with business. The problem is that not all of them speak much English so there is definitely a language barrier. What would be the best means to approach the Chinese restaurant manager that I would like to start doing magic and balloons (table by table) to him?? ANy suggestions?


One of the ideas of a magician in a restaurant is to draw business. If they are already swimming in it, you'll need to use other points (regardless of the language barrier) to seal the deal.

Chris
Paul D
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NY
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Why don't you just wait until business slows down a bit and then make your move your chances will be better and in the meen time go to the library and get a book on the Chinese language.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11160 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-04-30 00:17, deerbourne wrote:
One of the ideas of a magician in a restaurant is to draw business. If they are already swimming in it, you'll need to use other points (regardless of the language barrier) to seal the deal.
Chris


Very good Chris! One of the best selling tools to a restaurant that is already covered up in business is pacifying and occupying the time of the hoards that are standing and sitting around waiting for a table to open up. I've worked restaurants with waiting times up to two hours!! With that to look forward to, many people will leave and go somewhere else. If there are kids in the group, you can can take a lot of the pressure off the parents too, as kids get real squirrley when they have to do nothing but wait.

I use to make a list of ten reasons why table magic was a good thing. Then I'd prioritize that list according to how I thought it fit the restaurant I was planning to visit. A custom printed sheet with that list was included in the promo pack and definitely used during the pitch, so the manager was staring directly at his potential benefits. Remember, he wants to know how this is going to be good for him.

Quote:
On 2005-04-30 07:06, Pauly Prestige wrote:
Why don't you just wait until business slows down a bit and then make your move your chances will be better and in the meen time go to the library and get a book on the Chinese language.


If you are referring to the backing off of the initial flurry, then waiting might work. (I hope trying to learn Chinese in a few weeks was a joke!)

However, if the place has been going for more than a few weeks, slowing business may be due to other factors. Magicians can rarely save a sinking ship. People simply will not tolerate second rate meals and service just to see a magician... or at least not often enough.

I have been called and hired to work restaurants only to find out that the manager was making a last ditch effort to save his own job.

As others said, I too, have never seen a magician in an American Chinese restaurant.
Not saying you can't be the first, though. Be aware that some types of restaurants have very defined ideas on how they operate their businesses. If they are busy and not slowing down, they don't need you. You'd have trouble convincing them.

A good indicator is to take note of how many other promotions these places run. Some restaurants change their menus seasonally, some promote kids' night, or seniors' night, or any number of other promotions. These concepts are usually in done an attempt to reinvent themselves, so as to attract a new crowd, or convince the old crowd to come back. Table magic can have lasting power here if the restaurant is holding up their end. Again, you can't often enough undo the damage caused by bad food or service.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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