Entertaining at a restaurant gives the entertainer a big advantage over their competition. The entertainer has the ability to practice his/her craft in front of an audience each week. If the trick or routine does not work at one table, the entertainer can quickly correct the routine for the next table. As the evening progresses, the entertainer can work on timing, delivery and presentation of a routine.
Another great benefit is the contacts made while performing. Customers will ask for business cards, booking availability and inquires about your entertaining background. A prime example happened while working a train themed kid’s restaurant. A customer asked for my business card. This is nothing new and I gave him one. He asked me if I have ever worked for the Chicago White Sox. I happened to have and said “yes, many years ago”. He said he was the Tick Sales Manager and would drop off my business card to the promotions department. Now, I have heard this many times before; someone’s going to pass on my business card and I should expect a call. Most of the time, it goes nowhere. But every now and then you hit gold.
I received an email two days later that said, “My brother-in-law was in a restaurant with my niece and saw your work and recommended you. What is your availability to work opening day and five kid’s day events for the Chicago White Sox?”
If you are just starting out, interactions with customer can be difficult. Beginning entertainers are insecure about talking to customers and need to learn how to develop a dialog with the audience. This dialog with customers will improve the entertainer’s communication skills, and enhance the entertainer’s public speaking ability and give the entertainer confidence.
The financial gain by working at a restaurant is twofold: first, you can get a steady base pay from the restaurant. This insures you will cover the cost of your supplies. Secondly, tips will give you a steady income that keeps you coming back to the restaurant.
As you can see with my White Sox story, restaurants are great for passing out business cards. Next to that, the best advertising is word-of-mouth. People will see you performing and they will understand what you do. Unlike an advertisement in the Yellow Pages where people call to ask what you do. These people have seen you and if they are asking for a business card, they are seriously considering hiring you for an event. I go through five thousand business cards each year. I estimated that 75% of these cards are passed out at a restaurants and to people inquiring about my balloon service.