A popular question: What are some quick balloon designs to do at a restaurant?
A quick answer would be, “go to the facebook line twisting group,” but that’s terrible advice. Let me show you why-
First, I need to explain the restaurant environment.
- Typical restaurant seats 150-175 people.
- According to the US Census, the average US family is two kids (1.9 to be exact).
- The average person takes 1.15 hours to eat.
Secondly, with over 30-years of entertaining at restaurants, I only experience restaurants at full compacity on special holidays (St. Patrick’s Day) or store promotions (Pizzas for $1.58 a pie).
Thirdly, 75% of restaurants entertainers work off nights. Kids night, typically Tuesday in my area, is slower because it is on a weekday. The other 25% of entertainers work Fridays and Saturdays which vary in audience makeup.
- 3:1 ratio Adults > Kids
- 1:1 ratio Adults = Kids
- 1:3 ratio Adults < Kids
Fourth, we must consider customer interaction. Do you talk to the kids, tell jokes, or socialize with the adults? Then interactions time with customers need to be added to the equation.
Sophisticated design vs. easy design is a reflection on the entertainer’s skill level
Fifth, sophisticated design vs. easy design is a reflection on the entertainer’s skill level. Have you heard clients comment on – “You’re not looking at what you’re twisting, and you’re still carrying on a conversation.” If you have that type of entertainment skill — combining twisting and talking you are reducing customer interaction time. If not. You then need to add time to each customer interaction.
Sixth, unlike line twisting where people stand in line waiting for a balloon (one and done), restaurant entertainment is about building relationships (keep the customer coming back). The focus is on customer service vs. speed.
Conclusion: Seasoned restaurant entertainer would love to have a 100% capacity filled room each visit, but the reality is restaurants are at 50% compacity on the weekdays. Factor in the kids to adult ratio and you need to remove 2/3 of your audience because they are adults with no kids.
Lastly, is customer interaction, which may go from very little to a full ten-minute conversation as you work to better customer service or build customer relationship.
After considering all that, I would recommend creating three to four balloon creations. Simple designs with a high visual impact, while interacting with your customers.
My calculation is two to three minutes a person. In two hours at three minutes a person, you will interact with forty kids or twenty kids an hour, at a ratio of 1:1 (1 kid to 1 adult). Ten tables an hour. Keep in mind this is a weekday where restaurants only fill to 50% compacity with families.
Remember, restaurants are different each week, will bring a new challenge every time and are affected by the seasons. No two restaurant are alike.
I recommend you focus on time management and learn to adjust your entertainment style to meet your audience compacity. When you achieve this, you will be comfortable working in any venue at any location.
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