You don't give the manager a business card. If you have intention of being hired, you likely made an appointment to talk to him. If you did that, you likely sent a promotional package ahead already - that's just how the business works.
As for fire - terrible advice. If you want to turn a manager off really fast - produce open flames in his place of business. This is especially true in states where candles and smoking have been banned from use in restaurants due to inhilation issues.
I'll have to agree with you about the "Amateur mistake" comment. If an amateur performs this, it could very well be a mistake. However, not being an amateur, I have done it as an opening after explaining to a manager/owner why I'm there or even if I just happened to be there for dinner or something. It is a great eye-opener.
As for appointments, if it is a chain restaurant, good luck on getting an appointment with someone at the restaurant who has the power to actually make a decision about hiring a magician. But you're correct, if at all possible, it would be best to have an appointment. But again, how is that appointment going to be made without meeting them in person first?
All-in-all I agree that fire is not a good idea in a public place. However, it works for me and I take all the necessary precautions as I am all too familiar with fire and its capabilities.
Ok, maybe that's not a good one unless you already do it.
I still say that if you can present your business card in a magical way, then it gives purpose for you giving it to them.
Keep in mind that I wasn't advising him to do "Hot Leads". I was saying that I use that and there are no mistakes when I do it. I was also saying that you wouldn't want to do that unless you are extremely aware an familiar with its capabilitys (in so many words). Even if it is not fire, I still say that performing an effect with your business card is a good idea. And there is nothing wrong with giving them another business card even if they already have one from before.
Creecy, let the kiddies do the "hot Leads" to a manager. then take bets on how long their butts will be in the air as they get kick out the door. Using fire is a sure fired way to lose the job before it begins. Yes, I know that Kozmo does it in "At The Jailhouse" but remember that when they made that DVD they were in a closed restaurant demonstrating effects with actors as "customers." In the real world if you set off flash paper you could cause someone to scream and startle other customers. Then the fun begins and your job ends.
This is THE REAL WORLD, not a screen set.
You're right about scaring customers/owners or making managers feel uncomfortable. However, I think there are some restaurant atmospheres that it works perfect for (at least in my experience), though some of them won't necessarily be your family with kids style restaurants. Anyway, good advice about the fire and I should have thought about it before I posted.
NO FIRE! IT'S NOT GOOD!