As I said in my last post, it is possible for you to make it in the restaurant scene using only gimmicks...but I would never, ever recommend doing it. Why would anyone? I've been working magic for over 10 years, and a good handling on sleights is what has saved my butt several times. It doesn't matter what gimmicks you do, its how you do them, and what tools you have in your arsenal to deal with people. In the restaurant scene, you don't only show off a gimmick or two and walk away. No, you have to deal with hecklers, skeptics, the whole bit. Dealing with people requires both people skills and what I call "outs": sleight of hand and other tools to use when dealing with "not so easy" people.
Additionally, if your friend does not do sleight of hand at all, and works only those gimmicks, well then, my friend...he's not really a good performer to tell the truth. Even gimmicks often use or can use sleight of hand to make them phenomenal...and quite honestly, anyone working and getting paid for their magic should be concerned with performing the best they can. Otherwise, in my opinion, your not a magician...just someone who buys a couple things to make a cheap buck.
And why would you ever tell someone who's just started doing magic to get a job now???? That's probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard here on the boards. Someone just getting started may lack the confidence and ability now to really impress an restaurant manager. If that happens, what might have been a great venue and maybe an awesome pay that the magician would have recieved is now gone, probably forever. Screw up once and don't really impress the person hiring you, and you can pretty much forget EVER working in that place....ever. You get one shot, and if you blow it, that venue is done for. Why would anyone recommend an amateur go out and risk that??? So, some guy you know lucked out and landed a job. That's great for him, but I don't advise people on luck. I advise people to be the best they can be. Otherwise, I'm not helping anyone...
So theoretically, yes, you can "make it" without learning the trade or being for real. Anyone here, anyone...even if they are 8 years old can buy a couple gimmicks and make some cash amazing people. But, I'm talking much more about being a professional than some dude trying to make a quick and easy buck while putting in minimal effort. I have respect for the art of magic, respect for the venues I work at, and respect for the people paying me for the magic I do, which is why I don't recommend "the easy road" and encourage people to be the best magicians they can be, for themselves and for their future patrons.
Besides, I know madferit personally, and although he is definately the most naturally talented person I've met in magic...he needs just a little more time. Then, with a little work and dedication, he will be great, and rather than him searching for work and hoping to land a job (and maybe not doing his best and ruining his chances at a good venue), he will be in demand, and be virtually begged to work (and be able to get a great pay too).
I would never steer anyone wrong here...and especially a friend like madferit.