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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » Stuff for Staff? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mishel
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Israel
100 Posts

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From my short but extensive experience, I found out that when I sit at a restaurant and take out a few balloons and make a balloon sculpture, just to give to a friend or to give away to the waitress at the end along the tip or to a kid in a near table, useally I will be asked by our table's waitress if I can make her a balloon, which I sure can, and then it spreads out and other waitresses dare approching and commenting on how much they would like one and then the bartenders and the general staff of the restaurant and usually once I make a balloon or two to the staff people from other tables will dare come up to me and ask for a balloon as well.

But this is not work, it's just hobby time.
I wonder, when you work at a restaurant, do you make balloons for the staff as well?
I mean, you are there to entertain and make balloons to the restaurants patrons, but I am pretty sure, at least at the start, that the staff will also want some balloons.
I guess with time they may get used to it and not be excited that much anymore with the balloons once they know your "repertoire".

So, do you make stuff for the statf?
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
Stevethomas
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Southern U.S.A.
3727 Posts

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In Pizza Hut (Tuesdays, Kid's Night) I'll make a wrist corsage for the server (the women only...DUH) and make sure they wear one of my stickers, so the tables she serves know what I'm doing and why I'm there...even though it's pretty obvious!

Steve
Patriot
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112 Posts

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I always make the staff small, wearable balloons if they ask and once the customers have been taken care of. The staff understands that the customers come first and respect this. Like Steve, I'll make simple wrist or corsage-type items that complement their nametags or corporate pins. Sometimes, I'll make a hat for staff members with birthdays. If they want something to carry home to their children, I'll make those and set them aside at the hostess station just before I leave.

The restaurant staff is your strongest support unit. In my opinion, their praise or indifference can make or break your stay at any restaurant. I always give my staff members V.I.P. treatment...right down to the 2 LB bag of candy that I carry in to them every time I perform.
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
2116 Posts

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I must be a jerk!!!

I don't make anything for the staff, unless it is a special occasion. Be honest I am busy from the moment I hit the door to well after I was supposed to leave. I don't have the time to make stuff for the staff and they don't need to be hanging around while I make them something.

Usually the staff gets stuff if the customers get it for them and then they tip me for it.

I look at it this way ....I got a job to do and so do they.

When I do make the special occasion balloons the staff does tip me well. I tell them the first ones on me, but they usually insist. I take the money ... it is what I do.

My average restaurant has a staff of 25+ employees.... are you going to make everyone one? Where do you stop, the dishwasher?
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
musicgutbucket
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South east UK
44 Posts

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I've not come across this before. Who pays you for your time, the restaurant or the patrons? I know close up magicians get paid by the restaurant.
Patriot
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I personally consider it promotion. My focus is on the children present. I only go to adult tables that invite me as I walk by, by making eye contact or as a request through their server. When a server is wearing a lady bug on her wrist or a flower on her lapel, the all-adult tables (especially those celebrating a special occasion) are more likely to ask for me...and the tips are generally better. I, personally, never accept tips from the staff...I'm paid much better and often receive better tips than they do so this is my way of leveling the field and keeping them happy. On busy, busy nights the customers always come first and the staff may do without. But every restaurant has its peaks and valleys. During the valleys after I've visited every interested table, I occupy myself with making small items for the staff. If I have to stay an extra half-hour on my dime making a few balloons for the kitchen staff's kids & girlfriends once in a while...well, its all part of marketing myself through a word-of-mouth campaign. This type of positive, friendly exposure has resulted in a massive reduction in advertising costs over the years with a marked increase in job offers.

Another benefit from my perspective is that the managers are happier. They never have a problem scheduling labor for my appearance nights because the server's tips are usually better and they enjoy a happier staff and clientèle. Happy managers translate into job security por moi.

Like everything else, Mark, it's a personal preference based on our working environment, styles and goals. Smile
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
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Hi Patriot,

I agree mostly. I just don't want it to become a habit for my staff. Yeah ... yeah I create a positive work environment too. Smile

Weekly balloons get to be a pain after a while.

Same with that kid that comes in every week and asks for something stupider that the last ..... toilet, chair, bottle of water, ect...
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Mishel
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Israel
100 Posts

Profile of Mishel
And how about the staff getting to know your repertoire?
Don't they get used to the balloons you make and get indifferent to them after a while?

I find that I really like the enthuziasm and appriciation that someone who has never seen any of my balloons gives me when they first get something.
I've been twisting every week in the same location for two month now and the regular kids who think they know me and get buddy with me kind of stopped interesting me since they don't get so excited anymore. That's why I am thinking about finding a new place to twist.

Do staff members keep their excitement?
I understand Mark, since it can get tired to get a balloon everyweek. I think.
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
Patriot
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112 Posts

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I understand completely, Mark. Fortunately, the staffs I deal with aren't at all demanding so the "habit" hasn't become an issue. And I had NO doubt, reading through your posts and knowing your DVDs, that you create a FUN experience.

Mishel, I've been at the same restaurants for nearly four years now and the same families return week after week to visit. They keep me constantly on my feet (and buying books & videos like Mark's) constantly coming up with new and fun stuff. As for the wierd requests...some of my best creations came from wierd requests like this...a pocket fishing pole, ballerina, football & basketball goal hats, Green Goblin hat. MAN, these kids can challenge an old guys fingers! Smile

But, it isn't the balloons that bring them back, Mishel. It's the entertainment that accompanies every balloon. The little bits of comedy, the personal attention, remembering names, the touch of magic that accompanies my arrival at a table...it is a blending of entertainment.

I view the balloon as a temporary keepsake of a fun time spent with an entertainer who shared a smile and a few special moments with you. I have one family that has been coming to the restaurant 2-3 times a month for over two years. Not for the balloon...the little girl ALWAYS gets a pink 160 poodle and I always find balls, eggs, ladybugs, suckers, candy kisses and what-have-you in the big puffy hairbow she always wears....every week..and still they come. I'm running out of things to pull from that bow!! It's you...not the balloon...that will keep the excitement alive.

Just my lowly moderately experienced opinion... Smile
Mind_Magic
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The Sunshine State USA
1230 Posts

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I completely agree with Patriot.

Most of the time I only make balloon hat figures and magic at restaurants, it’s my stile and I not only make hats for staff, I perform magic for them and sometimes share my giveaways.

After a while I noticed that they see me as a member of the crew and it’s easier my job.
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