The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Mailing a letter? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
I'm interested in getting a job at a restaurant. How effective is it to send out a letter to all the restaurants in the area (calling ahead of course to get the manager's name) letting them know what I provide and how it will benefit the restaurant rather than going and meeting with manager for an unscheduled appointment? I'm particularly interested in responses from people who have tried both or at least from people who have tried this approach if there are any here in the Café. Thanks everyone in advance
Dann
mrunge
View Profile
Inner circle
Charleston, SC
3717 Posts

Profile of mrunge
Hi Stannmaple,

I would suggest starting slow while trying to break into restaurants and speak personally with the manager of the restaurants your interested in. There is nothing like being "face to face" and being able to make a GREAT first impression.

I bet they get a lot of mail each day and your's could easily get lost in the shuffle. Also, they might read it and only look at the bottom line ($$money$$) and think it is not worth it to them.

By meeting them in person, you can create a good rapport, answer all of their questions quickly, show them several effects to give them an idea of your skills and even offer to work a night for FREE, just so they can get an idea of the reaction you can create within the restaurant.

I know several magicians who have tried this approach and been successful using it. Then, once you have one or two under your belt, you can contact others, impersonally, through the mail. Just make sure your correspondence is professional in appearance, spelled correctly, proofread by someone else and is neat and clean. After all, that will then become their first impression of you and you want it to be a good one.

Best of luck...see you in the food line! Mark. Smile
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
Thanks.
I was kind of hoping for an "out" I think. I'm so nervous of just walking into a restaurant and asking for the general manager. Do you think I should at least set up an appointment? Maybe I'll just have to do it. Thanks for the advice.
Dann
mrunge
View Profile
Inner circle
Charleston, SC
3717 Posts

Profile of mrunge
Hi Dann,

Appointments never hurt. They show one is respectful of another's time. Just another way to show how professional one is.

You might try it once or twice to see how it works out. You might also try just showing up once or twice and then compare the response you get.

In either case, it would probably be good to call ahead and get the name of the manager before you arrive. People like to be called by their names. Hello Mr. XXXX, my name is Dann, instead of Hi, I'm Dann, who are you?

Don't feel the need to explain to the person answering the phone why you’re calling either. People are always asking what the manager’s name is. Keep in mind that sometimes there are different levels of managers and each handles different circumstances, or operations, of a business. There is the general manager who oversees the entire company, then there are shift managers who handle the floor, managers who oversee the kitchen etc.

Being nervous is OK. It is normal. Being in sales myself, it is always "uncomfortable" cold calling on someone because of a fear of rejection. Just know that is expected and things work out.

It gets easier with time, and practice, just like learning that new effect your going to be doing at the restaurant!

Let us know what happens. Mark.
Hart Keene
View Profile
Inner circle
Eugene, OR
1486 Posts

Profile of Hart Keene
I personally do a combination of both. I call ahead and get the name of the "big dog" (this is not always the manager). I send them a brief letter of who I am and what I do. At the end of the letter I tell him/her that I will be stopping by during a convenient time to talk business.

I then show up at the restaurant (sometime Monday-Thursday between 2 and 5 pm) and give the main man/woman my presentation which lasts around 10 minutes. If they look unsure then I offer them the "classic" free evening (don't do this unless you must)
to see how you fit the restaurant. If you do the free evening don't go over 1.5 hours. Leave the head honcho wanting more. Tell every table that likes you to mention something to the manager and "you just might keep this job". One more dirty little secret - if you do the free evening tell a bunch of people you know to come eat at the restaurant and go crazy over your magic. Or you could just do really good magic and you won't need any "plants". If that doesn't work, threaten to burn the place down. It would be in their best interests to hire you.
-Hart

Check out my website:
Magician Portland Oregon
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
That may be a good idea.
I went to a restaurant today and was not able to go through all the benefits and it was very rushed because she had another appointment in 5 minutes. So maybe I will try mailing a letter out to let them know I'm coming or at least call and set up an appointment. Thanks for the advice.
Dann
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Send the letter, then follow it up in about a week with a phone call to set up an appointment, when you will actually meet in person with the manager.

That's one way.

There are others.

It all depends on who you are, who the manager is, what kind of a restaurant it is, what kind of a crowd it attracts, what kind of act you do -- in short, every case is different!

I know that's no help, but it IS reality.
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
Peter, as I've said before, your advice is very much appreciated (and very funny a lot of times) Thanks for taking the time to reply! It IS helpful.
Dann
Paul D
View Profile
Elite user
NY
455 Posts

Profile of Paul D
I think that sending a letter or calling is the fastest way of getting shot down. In all my experience I have always just walked in talked with the host and met with the Manager and it's worked for me everytime.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
It seems to me that at least at the particular restaurant I visited, I manager would have liked me to call ahead and she actually had another appointment. I think I'll try a letter or at least an appointment and see how it goes, if it doesn't work, I'll try something else.
Dann
cardfreakhk
View Profile
Special user
Hong Kong SAR
585 Posts

Profile of cardfreakhk
I think there are some sneaky technic in Bill Malone's DVDs!
Go check them out!
Don't just dream, stay awake and action!
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Pauly Prestige writes: "I think that sending a letter or calling is the fastest way of getting shot down."

And I write, earlier: ". . . every case is different!"

Prestige's post simply confirms that.

If there were ONE best way of doing this (as PP suggests), then we would all have equal success with it.

But -- bottom line -- there isn't and each has to work out what's best for him or her.
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
Thanks again Peter.
Cardfreakhk, I've got the Bill Malone DVDs- great stuff! The only problem is I've never worked restaurants before so the "this is how I got started- I used to work restaurants a long time ago" is not going to work for me unless I lie which I doubt will start me off on the wrong foot with the manager. Luckily though, after I get my first restaurant job, I may find myself using this as a way in. Thanks for the help.
Dann
Kozmo
View Profile
V.I.P.
5418 Posts

Profile of Kozmo
Its so easy to say no on the phone and a letter gets tossed. Most people lay people have never seen a good close up magi. Go there and show him what you can. offer to do a couple of hours for free. Kick some ass and you will get the gig. I PROMISE you sending a letter or a package is ****in into a forest fire. It aint gonna work.
koz
stannmaple
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of stannmaple
Yeah, I can see that point tedb,
I've been thinking a lot about it this weekend. I think I'm going to give it another shot with just stopping by. I guess I just don't want to be rude and come by unannounced, however I can understand that by calling ahead, and asking to set up an appointment, an "I'm not interested" response will be very easy to get. I'll see what happens. Thanks
Dann
ithomson
View Profile
Veteran user
330 Posts

Profile of ithomson
The point of direct mail is to identify real leads, thereby reducing the time and effort involved in attracting a sale. Cold calling can work well, but the success/effort ratio is usually a lot lower (and you don't want that because it reduces your profits). Identifying valid prospects and then hitting them with a visit is often the more efficient way to get a booking.

Take a look at Dan Dee's site. There's an awful lot of information there on direct mail.

And if you're serious about this, take a look at the mountains of literature around on PR and marketing. Some of it is aimed specifically at magicians, but even the stuff that isn't can be extremely valuable.

In particular, you will learn methods to avoid the "I'm not interested" response to a mail shot. That alone is worth its weight in thumb tips.

Hope that helps.

Ian
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
When I hear about a restaurant or bar that I may be interested in performing for, I always take the Mrs. and visit the place as a customer first...on the weeknight I'd like to perform. I watch the table turn-over, length of wait for a table, general service style and clientelle type. If I think I can benefit the restaurant I'll hand my server my card...do a quickie, fun, yet impressive little trick...and ask to speak with the manager. If it's peak service time, I'll ask for the manager's card and ask the server what would be the best time to call tomorrow to speak to the manager. I leave the server my promotional package for the manager...along with a generous tip. I always call the next day during the non-rush period to ask the manager if he received my package.

I explain how I can best benefit the restaurant. The only thing the manager is interested in is "What's in it for me and how much is it going to cost?" I provide all promotional materials, appearance listings in local papers, posters, menu inserts and so on. I'm insured. I have glowing references ready to be faxed. Since I visted the restaurant, I can explain how I can reduce lost customers by making waits for tables pleasurable, reduce customer complaints through humor, limit dissatisfaction due to food delays, provide an extra pair of eyes and hands for customer service and draw customers back week after week. You have to show the manager where you're an asset and not a draw on his profit line.

Then I offer a 100% Free, no obligation, no strings attached two hour in-house audition. "Let me show you and your customers what I can do." No charge! If you don't like me, no more pitches! If he likes me...let's run it on a 30-day trial. If it doesn't work out...no hard feelings! Managers, like most people, hate conflict...and firing someone, even someone who sucks, is conflict. Offering him an easy, guilt-free out prevents the "If I say Yes I'll never get rid of this guy" syndrome. If you're erally good...you won't have to worry.

The point is...Don't let the restaurant choose you...you choose the restaurant. You'll do better face-to-face and as a customer-in-place than through shotgun mailings and cold calls. Better yet, you'll be happier because you chose the environment. Give it a shot.

:o) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Laughing Otter
View Profile
Loyal user
Behind you!
205 Posts

Profile of Laughing Otter
Quote:
On 2005-05-15 19:20, tedb wrote:
Its so easy to say no on the phone and a letter gets tossed. Most people lay people have never seen a good close up magi. Go there and show him what you can. offer to do a couple of hours for free. Kick some ass and you will get the gig. I PROMISE you sending a letter or a package is ****in into a forest fire. It aint gonna work.
koz

What you mean, I think, is that it hasn't worked for you.
For many successful (meaning paying the bills with restaurant gigs) years we used direct mail followed by phone contact for an appointment with the GM. No, it doesn't work every time, but NOTHING does that.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Mailing a letter? (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.15 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL