Guest Author - Dennis Regling
May 13th is Mother's Day. If you are a working magician or a hobbyist who has always wanted to try her hand at close-up magic, this is a Golden Day for you.
Every restaurant in the country is going to be busy Mother's Day. Your family restaurants and your nicer upscale joints are going to be packed. There will be lines as people wait for tables. Service will be slow as kitchens struggle to keep up with the demand.
This is the day the restaurant needs you. As a magician, you can keep the kids entertained during long waits in line or for food to arrive. Your good humor and amazing tricks can ease the tension, both among patrons and staff.
Now is the time to contact the restaurants to offer your services.
When approaching the restaurants there are certain steps you must take.
First, contact the restaurant by phone and get the general manager's name and when he will be in. Do not talk to the general manager on the phone. Do not discuss your desire to work there at this time.
Second, dress professionally. Do not wear a costume to your sales call. If you believe your costume is a selling point, take a picture with you. Always dress like a business person when talking business.
You are going to visit the restaurant during a slow period when you know the general manager is there. After you ask to see the general manager, do a few simple tricks for the hostess or wait staff. They will get excited about you being there and become your allies when selling the idea to management.
Discuss Mother's day with the manager and how your services can help on that hectic day. Offer to give a free demonstration when the GM will be there so he can see what you do.
When discussing price, DO NOT offer to work just for tips. This is one day where you are really valueable. If you can arrange a tryout, it is best to save discusssing fees until after the tryout. Request a nice hourly or flat fee. Double your usual hourly fee if you are a worrking professional. You will work hard that day and earn every penny.
After you have settled on a fat fee, then mention that customers may want to tip you and ascertain it is okay to take tips. Tips will be really good that day. Paradoxically, Mother's day is one of the few days I would be willing to work for just tips in a restaurant and it is also one day you definately do not have to.
You will probably need to visit several restaurants to get booked. Unlike looking for a regular weekly restaurant gig though, you are keying on one day when the restaurant is busy and making money. You will find a lot less sales resistance.
Be sure to offer the manager marketing materials he can use to promote your performance.
Be sure to do an outstanding job when you work at the restaurant. Get there early and work a little late if needed. A great job on Mother's day can lead to continuing work for special events and weekly performances. You can also lower your fee slightly for weekly work and still be making more than you might have if you had not first worked for the high fee.
Go out there, have some fun and have a great Mother's Day.