Thursday, September 29, 2011
If you are going to work a restaurant, you should receive compensation for your time. It is difficult to get a restaurant to part with cash on a trial night. However, a restaurant can compensate your restaurant entertainment with a certificate good for a meal. Restaurants feed staff and families for a reduced rate, if not for free. So, it is easy for them to give you a free meal rather than pay cash. Clever managers can expense it under advertising, which the accountant will not question. Negotiate for a certificate, not a free meal at the end of the night. By negotiating for a restaurant certificate, you will have one year before you need to use it. This way you can give it away or give it to a good customer. Use it where it benefits you the most.
By taking the meal at the end of the night, management will try to convince you to take a reduced pay with the free meal. The restaurant is negotiating a better deal for them, not you. They will give you $25.00 in food, which their cost may only be $5.00. Always take the cash and leave the food! Better yet, take the cash and get a meal free at the end of the night.
I work an Aurelio’s restaurant on Saturday nights and the original agreement was that I receive an hourly wage, tips and one free meal. I negotiated this settlement because it was on Saturdays, I have been entertaining all day and, by the end of the night, I am looking for a good meal. I negotiate meals only on restaurants that are too far from home and the meal would benefit me. All other restaurants I take the money and run!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Trial nights do not have to be free. You can offer your service for a reduced rate. Rate reduction is a one time event and you let management knows right up front. In your brochure, provide an introductory coupon that reads “50% OFF on Restaurant Entertainment”, but add a disclaimer that this restaurant entertainment, not valid or transferable and is not valid for birthday, anniversary, grand opening or holiday parties and is only one hour. Trial time is determined by entertainer’s availability. Introductory discount is for restaurant entertainment only.
When presenting a reduced price to management, make sure they understand that they are receiving a special introductory rate and the nightly price is XX dollars a night. Otherwise, tricky managers, will try to negotiate lower prices. It is critical that everyone understands your entertainment price structure. Make management aware that your restaurant entertainment rate is different for your private/corporate event rates. If the restaurant would like to hire you for an event other then restaurant entertainment, a higher entertainment rates will be charged.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I never have been a fan of giving away my services, but I always offer a new restaurant the opportunity to try my restaurant entertainment service. There are places out there that will take the free hour and say “No thanks”. If you’re a smart restaurant entertainer you will have passed out several business cards to customers and the opportunity to leave a stack of business card at the register for future customers. Look at the trial night as advertising for your entertainment business and not a waste of time.