The Magic Menu contains an article titled the Ten Commandments of Restaurant Magic. Here’s one of the commandments I disagree with:
“Thou shalt not blow off your restaurant gig for a private one unless you have a prior agreement with the establishment. Sure…the private ones pay more, but there’s more security and regularity with the restaurant. Don’t risk it!”
Restaurant magic is marketing you get paid for, it’s NOT the gig. The reason you work restaurants is to get private parties. Are you really going to work your restaurant for $100-$200 instead of doing an hour of strolling magic for $1,500.00? By clicking here we get info about Restaurant
When you try to get hired to work a restaurant, they obviously want to know your fee. One of the ways you can sell yourself if by telling them what you get for private parties. Next, you give them the bargain of a lifetime. You aren’t going to charge them your private party rate as long as they use you on a regular basis and allow you to promote yourself.
This is part of selling dollars for dimes. They get a huge discount and you get a steady gig that will help with your private party business.
Explain upfront that if you get booked for another job, that you’ll attempt to find a replacement. Whether or not to use fill-ins is a whole other topic. I’ll address that in the future.
If you work five restaurants a week, the days you work will probably be Wednesday-Sunday. Those are the same nights most of your private parties will happen.
Let’s say you’re making $200.00 for your restaurant shift. If you don’t take any private parties, you’ll only make $50,000.00 for the year.
You’ll never do any better! You’ve given yourself a salary cap.
Now, let’s pretend you average two private parties a week and you charge $500.00 (low fee on purpose for example). You’re making $50,000.00 a year just on the weekends!
Here’s the bottom line: If you’re happy working restaurants for the rest of your life and you don’t have any ambition, then don’t ever miss a night.
On the other hand, if you’d eventually like to get the hell out of the restaurants and perform at tradeshows, colleges, liquor promotions, comedy clubs, cruise ships, or be on TV, then take a night off and make some money!