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Profile of luke

I would like to hear your opinions on what you would say to restaurant managers when applying for a regular restaurant job, whether it is in a phone call or a written letter.
And also what important points would you say when you get an interview.

This has most likely been covered before in other topics and sites, however, once again what do you think are the vital points that have to be said in a letter or phone call to catch the attention of the restaurant manager. To make him/her think that the restaurant needs you as a performer for their benefits, and can assist the restaurant in numerous ways.

Jim Sisti has said that people come to restaurants to obviously eat, and also for the atmosphere. Having a house entertainer can add to the atmosphere and make the patrons have a more enjoyable experience and also tip the scale to tell their friends and family about this restaurant in comparison to other restaurants they may have been to with out house entertainers. This point may not be stated in a letter, but could be very beneficial to you at your interview.

In my opinion points to add in the letter/phone call are:

- What you do and more importantly what you can do for them.

i.e. assist waiters if an order is mixed up, by going to a table and making time fly when they are non-the wiser that something has gone wrong with their meal.

-Also mention if a time could be organised for you to come to the restaurant and give the manager a demonstration of what you do.

- You can also increase clientele in the restaurant.

Also mention in the interview that you are prepared to come in free of charge one night and perform for an hour or so, so the manager can see you in action.
(Some may agree or disagree with this point.)

What are some of your ideas and opinions that you would state and would fit into this situation?


Magique Hands
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Lincoln, NE.
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Profile of Magique Hands
Personally, I will do a face-to-face 'First Impression' approach. I simply walk into the establishment (during a very slow time of the day), and ask to speak with the manager. My 'sales pitch' (benefits to the establishment) is then only 1 minute... sort of a teaser. I don't perform any effects or routines during this first, quick meeting. I do hand them my brochure and business card.

Now, if the manager wants to talk more in detail at this time (as is usually the case), we sit down at a nearby table, and go from there.

I am not one to do 'cold calls' over the phone, as most of my cold-calling is done in person. This approach works VERY WELL for me, and works to the advantage of both parties involved.

Have Fun!
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character."
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Inner circle
Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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Profile of RiffClown
I do much as Troy. If the manager seems a bit chilly on the idea, I offer to do a 1 hour demo for FREE during a late afternoon slow period. The slow period is so that the manager is not so busy that they can't observe and make an informed decision. On several of these demos, I've been booked for the dinner hours afterward so the demo turns into a booking with the first hour (a slow one) free.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
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Profile of variable75

Many great sources out there that cover this topic extensively.

The complete guide to Restuarant and walk around by Kirk Charles

Real World Magic--McGregor

these are two of the best in my opinion
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Profile of luke
Thanks for your replys and opinions.

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Inner circle
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Profile of PaulGreen

I would also find, and purchase, Scott Hollingsworth's book CASHING IN ON CLOSE-UP MAGIC. It is a great resource for the restaurant performer.

If I was to give any advice for the "audtioning magician", it would be after finishing a set at a table. Tell the guests to let the manager know how much they enjoyed themselves. This comment is better than a tip!

Good luck in you quest for some work.


Paul Green
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Frisco, TX
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Profile of knightmagic98
I do not have any help on this subject, I just want to relate a nightmare experience dealing with this exact same thing.

I have had the great opportunity to perform in 11 restaurants over the past decade in Dallas and Denver. I never had any problems getting a manager to agree to use my services. I just recently moved to a small town in VA with a restaurant around every corner. You would think with that many restaurants, I could get a job. I called/wrote/visited all the major players in town, and could barely get ANYONE to talk to me, let alone hire me. It seems as though there used to be a magician or two in town that did restaurants. Whatever they did just about killed the market. So, the point of this story is...if you are going to do restaurant magic....please, for all the people who make their living doing it, please be VERY good at what you do. Thank you.
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Orlando Florida
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Profile of Kardenni
I think reading The Resturant Workers Hand Book by Jim Pace is one of the best ways to learn about becoming a resturant magician. Thats how I got in!
Plus if you hand out your card with the Afterburn the GM or owner will drop their jaw. Its just plain cool!
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Profile of p.b.jones
I have no experience in restaraunt gigs as such (over here very few restaraunts would pay enough most work is privates parties, banquets ext). However, if I did decide to try and get work in them I would if possible to try and identify how my magic could stop the manager from losing money or increase his take.
Don't just go in and try to sell magic in the restaraunt with no thought to the establishments needs. Do some research first, Put yourself in the position of the manager if you have a good business why get someone in just to entertain?
It might be great for the customers, but will it bring in more customers..allow meal prices to inrease...or inrease the average spend of each customer?

Lets say you have a restaraunt that has a fairly quick turnover of customers, no booking required each customer spends about 45mins in the restaraunt. when customers arrive they are shown to a bar area where they wait for a space in the restaraunt.

One strong point that you might have to sell yourself is that. some people get fed up waiting for a table in the bar area and leave. This is lost revenue to the manager, you could help to lower the amount of loss here by entertaining in the bar/waiting area
They would not in this case benifit from entertainment in the restaraunt as this is likely to increase the turnover time.
A little research and thought about the specific needs of each restaraunt might help both of you reach a win win situation.
J R Thomas
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Champaign Illinois
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Profile of J R Thomas
Speak the restaurant language.

Eugene Burger talks about being " extension of the hospitality." This means something to restaurant managers. You have a value in their world rather than just being the guy who does tricks.

P.B. makes a good point. To paraphrase Woody Allen....if you were a manager would you want you performing and representing your restaurant?

Make sure to patronize the restaurant several times before approaching the manager, so you know alittle about the clientele and such.
Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
Bascomb Grecian
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Redding, Ca.
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Profile of Bascomb Grecian
I would like to put my opinion in as well.

I have had twenty years experience in restaurant performing. I have worked in 40 different restaurants.

That being said, I have noticed a "hostile" atmosphere at corporate restaurants in the past six months. I do not know the reason.

Case in point, some establishments will simply refuse to let you speak with the owners or managers. They have been approached by every type of salesman selling ad space in the bathrooms to seafood salesman. This is very true for large well run restaurants with large cash flows. To them, you are no better than the last guy that walked through the door.

I do not know about all areas, here in Northern California, we have thousands of restaurants.

My advice is to focus on local business owned by your friends and neighbors. They compete with the corporate restaurants. It has been my personal experience to make friends with people who like you and care about your career. They support new ideas and business strategies like having a magician! The Large Chain restaurants of the world think they have the key to sucess, otherwise they would not be a chain.

Let me know what you think.
Welcome to The Magic Cafe'!
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Seattle Magic
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Profile of TOBIAS
Are you guys crazy?!?!
Look at all the books you guys brag of having, Put those tapes in the VCR. I mean come on pay attention to what it is you buy.
I was bull headed getting into magic because I knew what I wanted to do and that's where I was going to learn it from. Young new fresh magic, for a younger working corparate class. They working class keeps getting younger and we all keep getting older. So it was hard for me to learn from my elders...
Ya stupid me!!! Although I broke that block and after a few years into magic now I am one of the top guys in Washington.
Becuase I listen, not becuase I keep looking for the best tricks.
I would go in person to the restaurants and let them see you. First thing's first, go into that place and have dinner on the nights you want to work there and see how it runs, the wait for the food, if they have a host, how long people stay there, most important how busy are they... If this is some thing you are not doing that's one.
Two come dressed to impress. Look as sharp as possible, you have no clue who you will be talking to. If you go up in your jeans you will get paid as much as a person in jeans gets paid. If you look the part you will get paid for the part.
Only talk to the people in charge. What good does it take talking to the dish washer? When you talk to them take their card, this way it takes the control out of their hand and puts it in yours. Now you don't have to wait for them.
I feel strongly about not doing what some others say about doing an hour of demo at a slow point there? What? You want the boss to see what it is you are going to do for them right? Plus you will get a better feel of the restaurant.
WHAT A FREE NIGHT??? Yes a free night, are you doing any thing else? NO! Do the free night it is like practice anyway. Plus you get some tips out of it most of the time. Remember the no thank tell the manager on your way out thing thou.
NO fire wallet!/NO FIRE AT ALL!!!
Don't stick those little cards to the roof!
No geek tricks!
No animals of any sort.
Sell the fact that you are helping on the cook time that the people have to wait for.
If an order is wrong or droped they call you over.
Just go in there knowing what you do best and sell it.
Be true to your art, and it will be true to you
Bascomb Grecian
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Redding, Ca.
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Profile of Bascomb Grecian
In my experience a simple direct approach to a restaurant is best. Only call to find out who you need to speak with, then go in person. The restaurant "owner/manager" needs to see you and your magic.What you are looking for when trying to sell magic is a business relationship. They need to see it. That has been my problem, I cannot even get in to "see" the "one" who makes the decisions.

I have always been hired on the spot when I can talk with an owner who can see me perform. Like I said though, chain restaurants are usually reluctant to even speak with "magicians".
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