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Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
102 Posts

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I am running into the problem of everytime I talk to a manager they tell me the corporation won't do it and then they just walk away. I get the assistant managers excited and the GM comes up and says "sorry we can't.. corporate rules". But I've seen other magicians at these restaurants in different parts of the country. Could someone help me through this barrier?


Thanks!
Ekuth
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I've hit the same wall, Siraldi; I too, would like some pointers on how to break the "corporate liability" ceiling.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Dannydoyle
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If the person you are talking to needs to ask someone then that someone is who you need to talk too.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
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Quote:
On 2012-10-16 23:35, Siraldi wrote:
I am running into the problem of everytime I talk to a manager they tell me the corporation won't do it and then they just walk away. I get the assistant managers excited and the GM comes up and says "sorry we can't.. corporate rules". But I've seen other magicians at these restaurants in different parts of the country. Could someone help me through this barrier?


Thanks!


Full time Pro, Christopher Lyle answers all your questions here;

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=5&60
dduane
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Bridgewater, MA
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Even if you get hired in a "chain" restaurant, it probably won't last too long. I've worked many chains that change their policy and have to let you go. Also, It's not a good idea to sell that you will bring in business. It takes some time to develop a following, and if the restaurant needs you to bring in customers, they are probably not happy about having you as an extra expense. Go for the successful, family owned or one-of-a-kind restaurants and sell ambiance. You are there to keep people happy - for them to have a good memorable experience, even if they have to wait a long time. You are a good will ambassador - like the manager going around greeting people. Just my opinion after 25 years of restaurant magic.
Christopher Lyle
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Dallas, Texas
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Quote:
On 2012-10-28 21:41, dduane wrote:
Even if you get hired in a "chain" restaurant, it probably won't last too long. I've worked many chains that change their policy and have to let you go. Also, It's not a good idea to sell that you will bring in business. It takes some time to develop a following, and if the restaurant needs you to bring in customers, they are probably not happy about having you as an extra expense. Go for the successful, family owned or one-of-a-kind restaurants and sell ambiance. You are there to keep people happy - for them to have a good memorable experience, even if they have to wait a long time. You are a good will ambassador - like the manager going around greeting people. Just my opinion after 25 years of restaurant magic.


SPOT ON!
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Christopher Lyle
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Gary T.
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If the man/woman in charge isn't someone you can go meet in person, I feel like you're gonna have a fight on your hands, how do you convince a corporation that you're a skilled professional magician who can add value to their restaurant? they don't have time to come to one restaurant to review the slight possibility of an entertainer improving their restaurant (because lets be real, that's what you are to them, if that), I don't really speak from experience but that's the way I see it, if they're corporate that means they're clearly doing something right already, they don't have any reason in the world to listen to somebody elses suggestion on how their restaurant could be better, expecially not when that suggestion involves spending cash on something their restaurant doesn't need. all I'm saying is that corporations look at how much money they're putting out and how much money they're pulling in, the managers of the particular branches might be concerned with customer satisfaction but they don't get to make the decision, seems like your time would be better spent finding non-corporate restaurants than trying to convice a corporation to hire you.
Daz Buckley
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First rule of sales - establish the decision maker. Or put in a much crasser way, don't talk to the monkey when the organ grinder is turning the wheel
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
102 Posts

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The reason that I ask this is because I am working at 2 different Texas Roadhouse restaurants. That's the reason this bumfuzzles me.... I know there is a way. Also... there are very very few family owned restaurants in my town. The ones that are aren't the type of restaurant that would want a magician. Believe me... I've tried. And Zombie Magic... I've read over that. I seem to impress all the managers at the restaurant... it's just when they give the big guy a call he declines. I'm a student and just looking for work that won't interfere with school. So another restaurant or two would be perfect. And Dannydoyle: That's what I've been thinking. But can you just call the corporation and get ahold of the main guy?
I hope this message doesn't seem rude. I've just worked hard at this; as you all have! Just hit a bump in the road. But I sincerely appreciate everyone's input! So glad I found this site! Thank you all!
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
102 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-10-28 21:41, dduane wrote:
Even if you get hired in a "chain" restaurant, it probably won't last too long. I've worked many chains that change their policy and have to let you go. Also, It's not a good idea to sell that you will bring in business. It takes some time to develop a following, and if the restaurant needs you to bring in customers, they are probably not happy about having you as an extra expense. Go for the successful, family owned or one-of-a-kind restaurants and sell ambiance. You are there to keep people happy - for them to have a good memorable experience, even if they have to wait a long time. You are a good will ambassador - like the manager going around greeting people. Just my opinion after 25 years of restaurant magic.


That's what I've heard before about chains... but the Texas Roadhouse in my town has actually kept a magician for 3 years until he had to quit. And I see your point... that's a good way of seeing it. I live in East TN though... the "family restaurants" here are at a gas station ha ha. Love the culture... but can be rough.
sirbrad
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Cool, a "GAStaurant." Smile
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
102 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-10-31 14:06, sirbrad wrote:
Cool, a "GAStaurant." Smile


yeah... welcome to appalachia! lol
Close.Up.Dave
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I hate to break it to you, but the restaurant industry is changing, and many of them (even family owned) are not keen on hiring someone whose job it is to do card tricks. Most are concerned about keeping their doors open, or (as with chains) keeping within the company standards and maximizing profits.

What worked in the 90's and early thousands won't necessarily work now. You CAN book a restaurant or bar the old fashion way, but personally I say do not rely on it the way people have in the past. There are still many successful restaurant magicians, but its not what it used to be.

If I were you, I would ask myself this very important question: Why do I want to perform in restaurants?

Is it because you see others doing it and you want to too? Is it because you want to make some money? Is it because you want to have a place to be regularly seen? All of the above?

Restaurants most often are a sit down place, who want to highlight their food selection and have a nice ambiance, and each caters to a different type of crowd. Magic and magicians often don't fit with in that frame. So I say start looking for places who fit within the frame of "I have a nice place that people like to eat at, but I could definitely use something to spice things up." Those are the people who could want you. Diners, family restaurants, or bars that seem very "middle of the road" will want to have something different. But, you are competing with karaoke, bands, dinner theaters, etc. So make sure you can highlight why you are a good fit for their place.

Honestly, if it were me, I would take a restaurant, even if it isn't paid. You may need to get your table hopping feet wet, and you should care more about developing yourself than getting paid. Some may think that this would take away from other performers, but I don't believe that. A restaurant who believes entertainment isn't worth much to them will probably have that same view towards another performer, no matter how good he/she is. I know there will be those who disagree with that, but I believe it to be true. Another alternative is to find a local restaurant magician who will take you under his/her wing (again, I say do not worry about being paid)

And, at the end of the day, the biggest benefit to having a restaurant is you have a regular place to be seen and meet people. That will lead to more private bookings than anything else. So make sure the place you land has the kind of clients you want to cater to.

The worst thing you can do is sit at home and do nothing. Or worse, whining about not having anything to do. You need to be out meeting people.
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
102 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-11-01 08:51, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
I hate to break it to you, but the restaurant industry is changing, and many of them (even family owned) are not keen on hiring someone whose job it is to do card tricks. Most are concerned about keeping their doors open, or (as with chains) keeping within the company standards and maximizing profits.

What worked in the 90's and early thousands won't necessarily work now. You CAN book a restaurant or bar the old fashion way, but personally I say do not rely on it the way people have in the past. There are still many successful restaurant magicians, but its not what it used to be.

If I were you, I would ask myself this very important question: Why do I want to perform in restaurants?

Is it because you see others doing it and you want to too? Is it because you want to make some money? Is it because you want to have a place to be regularly seen? All of the above?

Restaurants most often are a sit down place, who want to highlight their food selection and have a nice ambiance, and each caters to a different type of crowd. Magic and magicians often don't fit with in that frame. So I say start looking for places who fit within the frame of "I have a nice place that people like to eat at, but I could definitely use something to spice things up." Those are the people who could want you. Diners, family restaurants, or bars that seem very "middle of the road" will want to have something different. But, you are competing with karaoke, bands, dinner theaters, etc. So make sure you can highlight why you are a good fit for their place.

Honestly, if it were me, I would take a restaurant, even if it isn't paid. You may need to get your table hopping feet wet, and you should care more about developing yourself than getting paid. Some may think that this would take away from other performers, but I don't believe that. A restaurant who believes entertainment isn't worth much to them will probably have that same view towards another performer, no matter how good he/she is. I know there will be those who disagree with that, but I believe it to be true. Another alternative is to find a local restaurant magician who will take you under his/her wing (again, I say do not worry about being paid)

And, at the end of the day, the biggest benefit to having a restaurant is you have a regular place to be seen and meet people. That will lead to more private bookings than anything else. So make sure the place you land has the kind of clients you want to cater to.

The worst thing you can do is sit at home and do nothing. Or worse, whining about not having anything to do. You need to be out meeting people.


I agree that it is changing. The stories I hear from magicians I know that are older than I seem to say that. But... c'est la vei (spell check on that!)

And right now I am "worried" about getting paid. I'm a student and do magic to get through school (though I hope magic takes off for me). I work 2 restaurants already and have since feb. So I'm not "experienced"" yet... but I have gotten my feet wet. I'm looking to make it through school; though. I may have some bigger opportunities coming up (Cross your fingers for me guys!) but until then gotta keep above water.

And I do try to get out meeting people. When I ever have time I often go to the bar and do as much magic as possible. Everyone knows a kid! But I really enjoy restaurant work right now. I do want to get into bigger shows... but until then Restaurants have been my favorite venue to play to so far. The money doesn't hurt though! ha ha
eatonmagic
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Orlando, FL
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Yes, there is a way but most magicians aren't business minded...they're magicians. When I read people's post on topics like this I usually shake my head and chuckle because SO MANY magicians dive into the restaurant the wrong way. There are ways to work with corporate but you will have a hard time doing all the work by yourself. Trust me, it's a LOT of work but luckily our company was able to land a national contract with a major fine dining chain three years ago and we still have guys gigging there. Was it hard? HECK YEAH! Was it tedious? Yes. But by working directly with corporate and becoming brand compliant with their marketing efforts our relationship is still going strong.

Remember, there's a HUGE difference when one magician goes in and tries speaking to the manager as opposed to an "area rep" for a nation-wide company specializing in "magical marketing" and "in-house promotions" doing the same thing. Having the decision maker speaking to you and firing away questions is one thing. Arranging a consultation to address their needs is another. It's really a matter of business vs. "having fun". The faster magicians realize that it takes a bigger community of professional and business oriented entertainers as opposed to the ones who gripe about the guy in their town undercutting them and being greedy and arrogant, the more of a positive impact we can make on elevating the perception of magic and those who consider it "cheesy".
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2012-11-03 00:09, eatonmagic wrote:
Yes, there is a way but most magicians aren't business minded...they're magicians. When I read people's post on topics like this I usually shake my head and chuckle because SO MANY magicians dive into the restaurant the wrong way. There are ways to work with corporate but you will have a hard time doing all the work by yourself. Trust me, it's a LOT of work but luckily our company was able to land a national contract with a major fine dining chain three years ago and we still have guys gigging there. Was it hard? HECK YEAH! Was it tedious? Yes. But by working directly with corporate and becoming brand compliant with their marketing efforts our relationship is still going strong.

Remember, there's a HUGE difference when one magician goes in and tries speaking to the manager as opposed to an "area rep" for a nation-wide company specializing in "magical marketing" and "in-house promotions" doing the same thing. Having the decision maker speaking to you and firing away questions is one thing. Arranging a consultation to address their needs is another. It's really a matter of business vs. "having fun". The faster magicians realize that it takes a bigger community of professional and business oriented entertainers as opposed to the ones who gripe about the guy in their town undercutting them and being greedy and arrogant, the more of a positive impact we can make on elevating the perception of magic and those who consider it "cheesy".


Exactly. Things have changed, and restaurants (especially chains) are smarter about the way they do business. Offer something more than just magic and you will do very well. People don't hire magicians so you can have a place to perform, they do it for the sake of their business.
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