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Skip Way
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Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
I've had the occassional run-in with the "magic-is-evil" and"magic-is-lame" crowds. Since my emphasis is on comedy entertainment that is loosely centered around magic, I don't get these complaints often. Fortunately, my managers & waitstaffs love my persona and team spirit...so, they generally tell the whiner what he or she wants to hear then blow it off.

I'm also a bit unusual in that I don't hop from table to table. I always approach the tables with children first. Then I visit the tables that are clearly celebrating something or have a loud, boisterous group. Then, I watch the eyes of the adults as I walk by a table...the guests who are curious and WANT you to visit will usually make eye contact with you...and I can just tell that they're hesitant to ask me over...so I stop and ask. If I guess wrong, I simply smile, welcome them to the restaurant and stroll on by. Apologize? For what? Pshaw!

Finally, I visit tables that have specifically asked the waitstaff to have me stop by. If the guests avoid eye contact with me or just seem completely disinterested, I stroll on past. If they want me, they know where to find me.

At any rate, I'm usually having WAY too much fun to let a few holier-than-thou zealots and we're-too-cool-for-magic geeks spoil my nights! Hmmm...wonder if they have street Cafés and Bistros in Hell?

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

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Matthew Bennett
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New user
Louisville, KY
79 Posts

Profile of Matthew Bennett
Thanks for all the replies and advice. As it stands now, he is "thinking about it" regarding keeping the promotion up all week. He said I didn't really need to remove the cards from my promo picture, and that it wouldn't change anything. As long as he keeps paying me, I'll keep working there, but I told him that business won't improve until he helps promote this thing. (I didn't say it that boldly, but that's what I said) So he is "thinking about it"

As for the "I'm Sorry" issue on this thread, with all the differing opinions, I have to say something. I don't think anybody is really "WRONG", it just makes me think more about something I already knew. I said "No Problem" to the lady, because that is what popped out of my mouth, not because I CHOSE to say it. And I think that's the whole point. Words should be chosen, and the words that you normally say, the words that just "pop out" may not be right in some situations.

So, I may continue to say "no problem", or I may start changing my words. But the next time it comes around, I will be choosing to say the words, not just letting them pop out of my mouth. I hope that makes sense.

just a couple of other thing:
Scott, sorry I was unclear - The table that was laughing was the table that I was working at. After I left that table, I went to a "non-laughing" table, and that is where they gave me grief

I have no problems changing my promo pictures for my customers. I design them on Photoshop, save as a jpeg, and take them to Walgreens and print up an 8X10 glossy picture, for $2.50, then buy a frame at the dollar store. So, $3.50 per restaurant isn't that difficult to do, even if they want to change it weekly, as someone suggested.

Because of the "thank you" discussion, I find it hard to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone without sounding like I am making fun of people. So I will say this:

I appreciate all of you and your time, for making these comments.
Matthew A Bennett

fixmytricks.com

twitter.com/matthewabennett
facebook.com/matthew.alan.bennett
Scott Wells
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Houston, TX
993 Posts

Profile of Scott Wells
Quote:
On 2005-06-16 14:19, Skip Way wrote:
I visit tables that have specifically asked the waitstaff to have me stop by.
:o) Skip


I like that idea, but in my restaurant, the manager insists that I go to every table before I leave. Rarely to patrons ask to see the magician. Throughout the evening she keeps asking if I have been to this table or that. She is busy in the kitchen and elsewhere around the place and doesn't always see me work. I assure her that yes, everyone who wanted to see me has been entertained or at least I have made an offer. I know that some people don't want to see me, but she still says, "go over there and do that table." Hey, she's writing my check, so I go. The show may be short if they even let me try to entertain them. I can see that they are engaged in conversation and don't want anyone to intrude. But it's my job to at least ask...according to the manager.

yours,
Scott

Quote:
On 2005-06-16 14:09, Corey Harris wrote:
I can see people being offended by cards if they are tarot cards. Heck I bought a Tarot starter kit at B&N and the first cashier wouldnt check me out because Tarot was of the Devil.


You should have see the looks I got when I inquired at the book store's information desk about buying the books necessary for Brad Henderson's "Satanic Book Test" Smile Smile
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
5266 Posts

Profile of Larry Davidson
Scott, the manager in your restaurant sounds like a buffoon who's lacking social skills, not that I have an opinion on the matter. Smile
Steven Steele
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Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
1904 Posts

Profile of Steven Steele
Larry,

You took the words right out of my mouth. I'd be looking for another restaurant ASAP. Yes, for every person that says something there are ten that do not. Here's a couple of more statistics. One person's voice doesn't constitute a majority opinion. And here's another a customer with a bad experience will tell 15 people about it. A person with a good experience will tell 3. How many of us go up to a business and thank them for a job well done?

I do it occasionally and in every instance, the owner/manager just about passes out. The comment is "we never hear any feedback about how good we are doing." Keep the comments in perspective and if your manager can't it's time to look elsewhere.

As I tell people, I have bills to pay, I don't have time to play games. If you want a business relationship, let's do it, but let's not pretend. They're wasting their money and I'm not using my talents in the best use.
Allan
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405 Posts

Profile of Allan
I agree, it is a gereration thing "no problem" I personally think it is rude, but I do understand that the person saying it is really sincere.

As far as the comment about the cards, ask the restaurant manager how he would respond if a vegetarian made a complaint about having meat on the menu. Would he take meat off the menu to please a few. The vegetarian (Indian name that means bad hunter) should just pick the items they want to eat and not worry about what other people want.

As far as the person who did not want to be bothered. They have a right not to see magic. They probably pre judged your performance by other bad performances they have seen. They have a right to be wrong but telling the manager about it is as stupid as something a waitress told me the other day. She had two complaints in writing. The first was because she served water to someone with a lemon wedge in the water. The person went off the deep end because she did not like lemon. It was changed in a second but a letter of complaint was sent. The other was a complaint that the menue beeing too large and they had trouble deciding. This moron actually made a written compliant about the menue.

I am in my 13th year in the same restaurant. I have only had one complaint. A guest was in a back party room & wanted me to come into his room to entertain. The problem, he did not tell anyone about his request until 30 minutes after my performance hours were over & I had left. Instead of realizing his error, he demanded that I be fired for deminishing his party. The manager approached me because he had to get back to the customer. He told me that he knew in advance that I had not done anything wrong but just needed to touch base because of the letter. We had a good laugh about the non problem. He then called the customer & pacified him as best he could. He just explained that the magician has set hours & the client should have mentioned his request earlier

There are some people out there that are crazy & love to complain. They look for any reason. A smart experienced manager should be able to tell the difference between a valid complaint & one that comes from a raving lunatic.
Lee Darrow
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V.I.P.
Chicago, IL USA
3588 Posts

Profile of Lee Darrow
With regards to the lady who referred to you as a nuisance, the response could well have been "Then please accept my apologies and I will take my leave of you. Please enjoy your evening." It's a bit more formal and people with attitudes like hers tend to be a bit more accepting of the more formal response than a simple "I'm sorry," with all due respect to my colleagues.

Regarding the Manager, the response is to get people clapping more, if you can, and, as you leave the table, tell them, as I often do, "If you liked my work, please make sure that you mention it to the Manager on your way out. That way, they'll keep me!" Done with a wink and a smile and a nod at the hostess stand, you increase your chances for a positive result there.

I've also sometimes used a small feedback card that I will drop on the table as I leave, but only in extreme situations. These can come in handy. You tip a waitress to pick them up and to give them to the Manager (she will if she wants the money) and the positive comments will help you out, lots. Just three or four check the box items like - "Did you enjoy the magic?" "Was the magician funny?" "Was the magician well dressed?" And a place for their name and address, so, if the Manager gets them , you are helping him build his mailing list (which he will appreciate) and shows your value to him as well. You also have every right to get copies of them as you provided them, but don't push that, for obvious reasons.

Hope this helps.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Mesquita
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917 Posts

Profile of Mesquita
Quote:
I have to add something here...
In the UK if you say 'I am sorry, will you forgive me?' you are highly likely to get punched! or you will get many more complaints! and lots of people that think your arrogant and stuck up.


In Brazil I think this can work the same way as in the UK...so this can't work here.
Just my little thought.

Thanks for this enitre topic, I realy like all the comments.

All the best,

:bikes: Mesquita Smile
"Siempre somos tres me acompańa la luna y me sigue mi sombra" René Lavand
James Munton
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Dallas, TX
1199 Posts

Profile of James Munton
Larry, I disagree! I think the manager sounds reasonable. He had complaints. He brought them to Mathew's attention. He discussed the photo and said it wasn't necessary to remove the playing cards. All in all he sounds like a good guy.

My contribution to this thread is that I beg you not to change the promo picture. This is getting scary when a small minority of religious fanatics are imposing their beliefs on everyone else.

C'mon people! This is America not Iran! It's a slippery slope. First you have to change your promo picture, next thing you are only allowed to do coin tricks - god forbid!

Live and let live!
James
JeffWampler
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Regular user
Bristol, TN
191 Posts

Profile of JeffWampler
The manager is unreasonable because he's bringing unreasonable complaints to Matthew's attention.

If he says not to change the picture...that that the picture is fine, then why did he bring the complaint up in the first place. Why would you tell someone there's a problem, then when they solve it tell them that it doesn't need to be solved? It doesn't make sense, that's unreasonable.
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
5266 Posts

Profile of Larry Davidson
Quote:
On 2005-06-18 10:31, James Munton wrote:
Larry, I disagree! I think the manager sounds reasonable. He had complaints. He brought them to Mathew's attention. He discussed the photo and said it wasn't necessary to remove the playing cards. All in all he sounds like a good guy.


James,

My comment wasn't about Matthew's manager, it was about Scott Well's manager. As I stated in my post, "Scott, the manager in your restaurant sounds like a buffoon who's lacking social skills...."

My characterization of that manager is based on Scott's statement that the manager insists that he approach every table in the restaurant including those tables that clearly do not want to be disturbed.

If I were in this situation, I'd explain to the manager at the end of the night that I didn't initially approach certain tables because I perceived that they didn't want to be interrupted, and my perceptions proved to be accurate based on their reactions when I did approach. If the manager still insisted, I'd tell her to find another magician.

Larry
Smoke & Mirrors
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506 Posts

Profile of Smoke & Mirrors
Learning a lot here!

I never thought about it but I am going to try to stop saying "no problem".
Both words are negatives, "no" and "problem"

If they tell me they want to be left alone, I will use positive words, "yes, absolutely", and then I will leave.

I will not apologize because I would not be sincere, it would just be trying to pacify her.

But next time I am sorry for something I will take the advice given earlier and instead ask for forgiveness.

You gotta put these people out of your head. Make it automatic, DO NOT let them get to you. Say, "yes absolutely" as you are walking away and deleting the memory from your brain. Go find a table of enjoyable people who WANT you, that's it.

Also, I am always asking people to let the manager know what they think, he must here 20 compliments a night, if he heard 1 complaint a week I doubt he would even come to me about it.

You are a good guy and you have good talent, a moment in time will never change that. Move forward!

aaron
James Munton
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Dallas, TX
1199 Posts

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Larry,
Oops! Now I see. And I totally agree! Yes, Scott's manager is indeed a nincompoop. And your solution is what I would do.
Best,
James
Scott Wells
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Houston, TX
993 Posts

Profile of Scott Wells
James (and everyone),

I agree that my manager is a nincompoop, but she writes the checks. Indeed there are other places to work, but the four of us who alternate on Thursdays and Saturdays are all past or present performers at Houston's Magic Island (the exact opposite of working in restaurants ,... there they WANT to see magic). I also kind of look at going to some tables as a challenge. Most times it works and people enjoy the show (that they weren't planning on getting or wanting) but I have also learned how to be more courteous to those who say no by my saying, "I understand, please enjoy the food and your evening and we hope to see you here again."

yours,
Scott
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
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