Resturaunt magic is only one side of it. It's not suppose to be used as a person sole income. It's suppose to get you contacts to do other shows.
From who, the people who come there to dine? So you end up passing out your business card to some Jew who's waiting for his pastrami and the next thing you know you've got a Barmitzvah gig? Puh-leeease. You are only proving my point: it's hard work, for little pay. How many barmitzvahs do you have to perform to get enough money to buy a house? And don't forget--you have no medical coverage or anything like that, so you have to pay for all your "benefits" out of your own pocket.
Don't get me wrong -- I love the guys who are so obsessed with the art that they have to do it for a living, because to them there is nothing else in the whole world. God bless em, without them there would be no magic.
But for most 15 year old kids who are into magic, it's obviously just a "phase." Then they grow up and their perspective changes.
I agree, for most 15 year old kids, it's just a stage. However, I don't agree with your first paragraph. Resturaunt magic is basically nothing more then a way to get connections. Either for birthday parties, private parties, barmitzvahs, coporate gigs, etc. It's lets people see you perform, and it makes many of them interested. So they hire you for there own parties, or recommend you to others.