Matthew Hampel is a St. Louis based magician. He’s previously written on iTricks about the importance of owning a good suit as a magician. Today, he gives three tips to those trying to find the right restaurant work for them…
Some magicians today are trying to figure out a good time to go and start performing at a local restaurant. With summer just around the corner, this is a great time to get out there and pitch a restaurant and give them a trial run through the summer and see what happens.
Getting into a restaurant is not as easy as it used to be. One, times are lean and they do not have a lot of money to waste. If you are going to work there you have to make yourself worth it. Two, magic has a “kiddie” reputation. That a challenge you have to deal with at, for example, a high-end steak house.
Below are three questions to ask yourself about a potential restaurant that will lead to better gigs.
Does this place need a magician?
This is a very big question. Some magicians say that every restaurant needs a magician and this is so wrong. Before going and talking with the manager go to the restaurant and ask yourself the question does this place need entertainment.
If the answer is “yes,” sit and study. Ask yourself the second part to this question: would I fit well here? I know some places around me that I could start working at tomorrow, but it would not be a good fit. If that is the case do not try to force yourself. It will not work and ultimately you are saving yourself more headache than any money you might make is worth.
Speaking of which…
Do they have the money for me?
This is a big question for me and the reason is I do not work for tips. Some guys do, I do not. The places I work pay me for what I am doing. When I am scouting a place, I always take a look at my bill then look at how busy the place is and ask myself, “can this place pay me my fee and not take a hit?” You are there to help the restaurant and not take away from it. Also, if you see a place that’s really doing well, don’t try to double your fee because you think they can handle it. The management will see right through and you will have blown an otherwise good opportunity.
What are the servers like?
I want to work with the wait staff. I am there to help them so ask yourself, “are they rude? Do they seem happy? Are they working well together?” This is a huge area for me. I have a great relationship with the wait staff at the gigs I work. This is another reason I do not work for tips. It takes away from them. Work with them and have a good time. Some of my best nights have come because I included the staff.
There are many more questions and thoughts on this topic and I cover more in my Restaurant Work DVD. Now go out and get yourself a good restaurant!