Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Restaurants - 13 Magican - 0

Well, my restaurant job search was remarkably unsucessful. I made my pitch to 13 separate restaurants, and none of them accepted. Explanations included:

* We're a new restaurant and aren't ready to hire entertainment yet.
* We don't have the funds.
* Call back tomorrow (repeat 7X).
* It's not the direction we want to take the restaurant.
* People who come here just want to sit down and eat.
* We're part of a franchise, and providing entertainment at one location, but not others, would clash with our business model.
* We just aren't interested.
* We used to do that, but we're just not interested anymore.
* We're definately aren't interested.

I'm disappointed, to say the least. I had five places express genuine interest, only to be shot down by the final decision maker. One general manager said he was "jazzed" about having me, and that he had seen magicians work sucessfully at restaurants before. Unfortunately, this was the franchise establishment where I was incompatible with their business model.

It took more than a week for most places to explain why they didn't need me. In the future, I plan to skip the managers entirely, and make my sales pitch to the real bosses. It should save me a lot of time and trouble.

I don't give up easily, and would gladly continue searching until I get a job. But I can't. Here's why.

I recently moved from from a big city, with hundreds of potential prospects, to a small college town that has far fewer. I've already visited most restaurants in the area, so the numbers are working against me from the start.

Also, as you may know, college towns are empty and boring places during the summer. My parental overlords, tired of having me sit around the house, want me to find a job. I told them I wanted to do magic in restaurants, and my dad gave me a week to look, after which point I would have to find another (boring minimum wage) job. That week is now up. Negotiating for more time is not an option. And I need something to do other than sit around and shuffle cards.

So this marks the end of my search. For now. I'm going to resume next summer and I'm not gonna stop until I'm turning away offers. You don't want to have me, Mr. Manager? Your loss.


Blogger C. J. said...

Nothing would piss me off more than some jerk walking up to our table while we were eating and asking if we wanted to see a magic trick. I would call the manager and ask why they allowed peddlers and solicitors to wander around in their establishment and I'm quite sure that "Mister Magician" would be out of a job the next day. Magic and people trying to eat and converse simply don't go together. Forget that as a bad idea!

10:13 AM

Blogger MagicEnigma said...

I don't think any decent resturant magician would bother someone while they are eating. It's ok during drinks before dinner, or waiting on the first course. Asking for tips is vulgar. I would recommend getting paid by the resturant only.
Also, busy resturants that have people waiting for a table might welcome some entertainment.

6:43 PM

Blogger MagiFeller said...

My wife and I live about an hour away from the closest movie theatre, and the other night we went into the city for a show. On the way, we passed by a Wendy's which proudly declared that "MagicMan the Balloon Guy" was there that day between 4 and 6pm.

This comment probably isn't helping your self esteem, but I wanted to share the cringe.

11:04 AM

Blogger Glenn Bishop "Bish The Magish" said...

I have made a living doing close up magic in restaurants for more than 30 years. There is a right way to do it and a wrong way.

The right way is to offer magic to the customers in a friendly way. if they say no then you do not bug them. The best way to do this is have it offered by the wait staff and they sort of order the magician at their table like they do the meal.

Then when the time is right the wait staff will go and get the magician and then they come in and do their bit.

To advertise it is good to use table tents and a nice sign so that people see you are an employee of the place and not some bum off the street.

When you are selling a restaurant you are collection NO's until you get a yes. One of the hardest things is to get a job when you do not have one. I would suggest to get your first place for just tips. And use if for tips and business contacts.

Then add more restaurants on other nights of the week for money.

Good luck and get out there and pound that pavement! That is the only way to sell it and be successful at selling it!

5:35 PM


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