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Money Making Ideas for Restaurants

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benny_pr View Drop Down
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  Quote benny_pr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Money Making Ideas for Restaurants
    Posted: 27 September 2005 at 9:25am

Hey Guys!! (and Gals!!)

I've been going to some restaurants, left information, and an example of my work, but I haven't been getting lucky.... some say that this is a low season, and with the gas, and pretty much everything else prices going up, and up.... they don't wanna spend more that they have to. And that they will call me if they need me.... yeah right!!!

anyway... i'm looking for some ideas to get their attention into how much people I can bring them and increase their $$. I've read out some ideas in the threads, and applied them. but, still no luck...

I'm even giving them the one night free, the "I'll work for tips only for a couple of weeks" (then we'll talk again). I've given them some literature about why have entertainment on their establishment.... and then why Benny.....Nothing, Nada (those cheap, near-sighted, stuck-thinking-inside-their-boxes managers!!!!!)

Anyway, Ive been thinking....Has anyone ever tried getting "free kids meal" vouchers from a restaurant that you work for.... that way when someone books you for, let's say, 2 hours twisting at a birthday, you could give it to them as a compliment... that way they will go the night you are working, it will be just a kids meal, that won't be much of a loss for them, and I get my crowd. and it's a good way to promote the 2nd hour on the birthday... down here almost everyone books me for just one hour.... then at the party they ask me to stay a little bit more.... even though I explained it to them.... anyway, if you have, like four restaurants, the client will also see that you are a high valued entertainer, and well worth of his money.

anyway.... ideas... any other ideas????

Benny

Benny
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www.BennysBalloonArt.com

Life is what happens to You while you are busy making other plans.
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Dale View Drop Down
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  Quote Dale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2005 at 10:37am

Hi Benny

I not up to dated with Puerto Rico culture, but is tipping standard?  Some countries it's not customs or polite to tip.  Maybe polite is not the correct word, but not expected...  I like the voucher idea, would suggest you hand write a void after this date on the voucher.  You would like the people to come in a week after your show.

Restaurants are not easy to obtain, they take a lot of searching, and more failure then success.  But when you get a good restaurant, leads, ideas, and a fun place to work, makes the job great.  Its easy to get discourage, you just have to keep at it.

Dale

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benny_pr View Drop Down
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  Quote benny_pr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2005 at 1:21pm

On Puerto Rico, Yes ,we Tip.... what I don't think is on our culture is entertaining guests on the restaurant  

I saw once a couple of years ago, a Magician that was doing shows on Fudruckers. but I haven't seen him since. and they told me on Ruby Tuesdays, that an employee dressed up as a clown to entertain the guests. and they weren't interested in anything more.

I just went to Señor Frogs and a manager is interested. but this is the sloow season... sooooo..... i just have to wait for them.... probably give them a call next week... it could be great to have that restaurant.. it's right besides the pier, so there are tourists coming almost every day.... i think I'll prepare a señor Frog balloon, just as a reminder of.... "me"...

Benny

Benny
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www.BennysBalloonArt.com

Life is what happens to You while you are busy making other plans.
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twinkles View Drop Down
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  Quote twinkles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2005 at 4:01pm

Originally posted by benny_pr

I just went to Señor Frogs and a manager is interested.

I've been at Señor Frogs in both Mazatlan & Cozumel.... BOTH locations had two twisters working there when we ate/drank there... That is such a super fun place to go to.... Good luck on the Señor Frogs gig ..... Wish we had one up here

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az_balloon_lady View Drop Down
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  Quote az_balloon_lady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2005 at 7:30pm

Benny, I wish you luck on your restaurant prospecting. It's the same courage you use when you walk up to a table to see if they want a balloon, they either accept the offer or reject it. I've gotten some restaurant work from making 'cold calls' but it seems to take about 20 rejections before I get a 'yes.' Sometimes the 'yes' is only for one or two special occasions, but that has more than paid me for my prospecting time. Several people have mentioned that timing is everything, the same restaurant that said no before could now want a twister, and you would be the next twister through the door. Sometimes, it happens like that.

I'm psyching myself up to make more calls this coming week, hoping to find restaurants closer to where I live than a 45 minute drive. (The restaurants further away found me--through referrals, and they've been a blessing.) The referrals usually happen when I'm actively looking for restaurants on my own, too. If I sit and wait, nothing happens. Funny about that.

I'm going to try to think of each call as a 'practice call' to get ready for the 'real one.' Wish me luck, too.

Sara Ward
Phoenix AZ
email: Sara@AzBalloonLady.com
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Gentleman Jim View Drop Down
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  Quote Gentleman Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2005 at 7:56pm

I've made this suggestion before because it worked for me.  I go to the place often to eat, say once a month.  Each time I go I take some balloons with me and when I tip the waitress/waiter I put the money in the balloon and make something for them.  Most of the time a small wrist item like a turtle or lady bug, this way they wear it the rest of their shift.  Everytime I have done this the waitress/waiter goes all around the place showing the tip.  I have had the manager come out to talk to me telling me it is a cool idea.  I then offer my services.  The first restaurant hired me the third time I went there.  The second one called me a couple of months later.  At no time has the manager every told me not to do it.  I normally give the tip to them as soon as they deliver the food, don't wait until time the pay the bill. 

Sometimes after they get the balloon I make some balloons for the other waitress's even some of the kids close by the table get some too.

Jim

My prices do not go up due to inflation.
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  Quote benny_pr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2005 at 12:06pm

when I go to a restaurant (or to their offices) to talk to somebody, y always take an example of my work... I've done the Chilli, the beer mug, the bouquet, superhero, etc....  on Longhorn I'll probably take a Longhorn Bull....(duh!)

But I think I need more than a good sculpture to "show off", I mean.. even if I tell them I'll work for free, they hesitate....

I need a real option for them to see that they can make $$$ from having me on their rest.

I believe that someone on BHQ mentioned that the % of income that a restaurant makes  is 33% of the amount of what the client spends... so if I charge them $1 for a night, i need to get them an additionl $3, just to pay me... (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

So in what ways i can help the restaurant gain those extra $3. a night.... it's not gonna be on my "good looks" or on the magnificent balloon sculpture alone. I mean my good looks will help... but i got to offer something more.... $$$$

Benny

Benny
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www.BennysBalloonArt.com

Life is what happens to You while you are busy making other plans.
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CharlesDolbel View Drop Down
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  Quote CharlesDolbel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2005 at 9:22pm

My first recommendation would be to NOT offer free work or work for tips.

The idea is to build a high opinion of your services, and their worth.

If you feel a free night is the way to go, make up an invoice with the actual cost you would charge, and put on a one-off discount type reduction so they know you are worth a lot.

Tip wise, if you get tips, put them in the tip jar for all the wait staff, so that they appreciate the extra tips, rather than feeling you are taking money off them.  This is often the reason a restaurant won't book an entertainer, as the wait staff think they are losing money.

And trust me, wait staff are essential to any restaurant! 

Of course, this is all my opinion, and feel free to not listen at all if you don't want..

Charles Dolbel
Corporate Entertainer

Auckland - New Zealand
http://www.CharlesDolbel.BalloonHQ.com
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  Quote Tip Top Tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2005 at 8:50pm
I've had the same experience as Benny.
 
I tweaked my introduction letter for about 6 months until it sounded just perfect, updated my costume and business card, learned some cool magic tricks, joined the Australian Society of Magicians, all so I could impress when I went in. So I made a huge sculpture of a teddy bear holding a bouquet of flowers, presented it to the restaurant,  made an appointment with the manager, and she said that after their renovations they would definitely be interested in hiring me.
 
I went back after the renovations and I found a different manager who dismissed me as a pesky annoyance.
 
So I'm still working just for tips in some other restaurants. One offered to hire me for peanuts.
 
 
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YourBalloonMan View Drop Down
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  Quote YourBalloonMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 4:11am
Okay... Maybe I shouldn't say this... But I really want to help...
 
On the first time in, do not make a huge sculpture. Make a small sculpture AS YOU ARE TALKING TO THE GENERAL MANAGER and explain what it is you intend to do. The first meeting is meant to do only a few things:
 
1) "Look, I know what I am doing and can do it competently"
 
2) Set up one, ONE, only one, not two, not three, a single, one-time free trial.
 
3) Put them at ease. "If you like what you see, we talk. If not, we part friends"
 
 
THEN, and ONLY then, do you show up with something amazing for management. If they think you are going to be making huge things for everyone, then they will think you will be slowing down the over-turning of their tables... that would be a LOSS for them.
 
So, show up for the free trial with hair cut, nails trimmed, looking sharp (not too sharp or you'll pop a balloon)...
 
Then, approach the general manager who you've especially asked to be there that day and hand them the sample sculpture explaining that they can either put it on display at the hostess stand or keep for themselves as a souvineer... And tell them that they can either speak after the allotted time or say that you can give them a call if you don't see them around when you are done for the evening.
 
I personally asks for any special requests... then begin...
 
I make simple, fast, figures and pepper everything I do with clean, family-orriented humor...
 
My goal for this second meeting is to show only a couple of things:
 
1) I know how to smile and can get clients to smile as well
 
2) I can stay out of the way of the wait staff
 
3) I know what I am doing.
 
(Notice how impress with crazy large sculptures is not in the list... it doesn't have to be... that comes with time and as you land the gig and begin working there for a while, you can increase the difficulty of your figures, perhaps as you grow as an artist, and then raise your prices...)
 
So... Hope that helps...
 
oh, and in closing...
 
Some people will find closing hard to do when, in fact, it is really easy...
 
All you have to do is the following:
 
1) find or ask for the general manager
 
2) make sure they are not busy and have a minute or two to talk
 
3) "So, what did you think?"
 
4) SHUT YOUR MOUTH..... and then wait... They will either ask when you can start or have an objection. If they have an objection, try to answer it as acurately and shortly as possible. If they ask when you can start...
 
5) Tell them when you are available and what times and then tell them the price you are looking for...
 
 
 
Good luck... And I hope that some of you land some awesome gigs...
 
 
Oh... and last bit of tips...
 
-Coorporate owned places are sometimes difficult to deal with...
 
-Talk to the GM - the general manager
 
-Trim your nose hairs  and brush your teeth  ;-)
 
Best of luck!
 
 
YourBalloonMan,
Mr. Fudge

Balloon Animals
Tampa Balloon Guy
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