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 Post subject: How can I encourage TIPS without being offensive?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:24 pm 
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003
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Location: Nanaimo, BC
I got my first magic trick 6 months ago and I have been addicted ever since. I've advanced enough now that I was hired to do magic on friday and saturday nights (5:30-8:30) at a local restaurant. To my knowledge I am the only restaurant magician in my town here in BC, Canada. So from my first month of working I've noticed that people are surprised when i come to their table to do magic. They enjoy it but they have never seen anything like it. I only get about 3 or 4 tips for 3 hours of magic a night. MY magic is good but i feel that since people have never seen this before then they don't know if they should tip or not. Allthough i think that if they were presented with the idea they might tip me. But i don't know how to present that idea with out seeming to eager. Any suggestions? SHould I just mention it towards the end of my show? Should I make some kind of joke about it? SHould i work it into one of my routines? Here is what i thought about saying, "Let me just say that i hope you enjoy your meal. Secondly, tips are appreciated but not required. And lastly, have a great evening!" How bout it?

Jason the Magic Guy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:36 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Jul 2003
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Location: Canada
http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?t=27859
http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?t=28165

Hope this helps a little. Do you mind saying what restaurant you work at? I've been to Nanaimo many times. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:53 pm 
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jamberry wrote:
Do you mind saying what restaurant you work at? I've been to Nanaimo many times. :)


I work at the new Whitespot Restaurant on the north end of Nanaimo right next to the Woodgrove Mall.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 10:06 pm 
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HakSawJak wrote:
jamberry wrote:
Do you mind saying what restaurant you work at? I've been to Nanaimo many times. :)


I work at the new Whitespot Restaurant on the north end of Nanaimo right next to the Woodgrove Mall.


Sweet. I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in the area. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:36 pm 
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Joined: 17 Jul 2003
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Location: Greensburg PA Ring 158
Take a shower????
J/k

Wear a tips button....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:28 am 
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Adammcd wrote:
Take a shower????



ROFL!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:08 am 
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I wear two BIG buttons (3" in diameter) one says "I WORK FOR TIPS" and the second is "SUGGESTED TIP $2435.80" There is a reason for that number and it works!

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 5:03 am 
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Hmm whats special about that number?

If you don't want to reveal.. at least give me a hint ^_^ ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:27 am 
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If you don't want to go as far as to boldly say "I work for tips" on a badge, you can always soften it by saying "Tips Accepted" or "Tips Appreciated." I have made badges that say all three of those and switch them out depending on venue and crowd.

Works like a charm and never offended anyone by them. I think most people know that, especially if your magic is strong.


Extra emphasis on "your magic is strong." If it isnt, you shouldnt be working for cash.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:07 pm 
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paraboL wrote:
Hmm whats special about that number?

If you don't want to reveal.. at least give me a hint ^_^ ?


There are no "ones" in it. I do not let the person think in $1 amounts. Also if a person only has a 50 or a 20 the .80 says "change is all right." Every time I get change it is always more than $3, don't know why but it is, also tips average between $3 to $4.

Just useing a little psychology on the spectators.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 7:24 am 
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Good thinking!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 12:26 pm 
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In my opinion I do not think you should wear a tip button. It makes some people feel uncomfortable, and they won't be responsive to your magic. This is going to make YOUR night more uncomfortable, because your audience won't feel at ease with you. If you can show them that you're there to make them have a better time, you will make money. If you really want to make more money, show the manager how valuable you are to the restaurant and negotiate a higher guaranteed pay each night. It's nice to know that your money is guaranteed as opposed to having to count on tips.

I've also found that by giving them something that was used to do some magic they will give you a better tip. For example, I center many of my card tricks around their signed card. I do an ambitious card routine or an anniversary waltz and give them the card to keep. Often times I will sign the card with the date and restaurant name to remind them of the great time they had. I am always surprised at how many customers I see months later that still have that signed card tucked away in their purse.

I hope this helps. Good luck in the future.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 12:40 pm 
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
From my experience, as as well as talking with other fellow magi- tricks with money reiterate the fact that you are working, and need some. Money, that is. When you do a trick with a one or five dollar bill- the old shtick- "who gave this to me? You did? Oh! Thanks", and pocket their money, and then ask for another bill from someone else, seems to work well. Of course you never keep their money without them letting you (you try to give the $ back).

Get them opening their wallet towards the end of your act by doing $ tricks. Get them thinking about giving you money. Ask for a one dollar bill and chnge it to a 5. While you change it back to a 1, explain that it's just a trick- if you could actually change ones into fives, you wouldn't have to work at ________.

Most people don't mind paying for entertainment, they just don't know what is acceptable for a tip, or when to give it. Without being rude, you can gently force their hand, so to speak, in them giving you $$.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:36 pm 
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cjmagicman03 wrote:
In my opinion I do not think you should wear a tip button. It makes some people feel uncomfortable, and they won't be responsive to your magic. This is going to make YOUR night more uncomfortable, because your audience won't feel at ease with you. If you can show them that you're there to make them have a better time, you will make money. If you really want to make more money, show the manager how valuable you are to the restaurant and negotiate a higher guaranteed pay each night. It's nice to know that your money is guaranteed as opposed to having to count on tips. .


I know with your 90 days experience you are somewhat knowledgeble. However I have only doe restaurant work for 6 years, the last 4 years full time, so if I may just put in my opinion.

You are OUT OF YOUR MIND! I average $1000 a week income, more than half is tips. So why cut your income by just taking the "performers pay" from the restaurant.

Tip buttons do not in any way make people uncomfortable. In the six years I have worn my buttons only 2 people ever said anything negative and that is because they lost thier sense of humour in the war, I think. My buttons say "I WORK FOR TIPS" and "SUGGESTED TIP $2435.80" I explained the reasons above for that number. When I don't wear the buttons my tips are down by more than half. With buttons you don't have to drop hints about money.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:51 pm 
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I agree with Peter. Like I said, I have 3 different buttons which all say that I accept tips in some way or another...and I switch them out depending on venue and the crowd. I been working restaurants for years and have never had a problem...not even once. In fact, most people I perform for are all too willing to hand out the bucks, saying that of course magic that I do should be supported financially.

If your not going to wear a button or something to that effect, I'd suggest making sure your sufficiently paid by the venue your working for...because that is what most of the patrons there are going to assume...that you a hired help and already taken care of. Even people who think they should tip but don't want to come up off the dollar will use that as their rationale for not paying you.

Basically, I feel in many cases the best approach is the direct one, and most people respect and value that. To beat around the bush trying to make tips but not trying to say it because you think your going to hurt someone's feelings...well, in the end only hurts you. The fact is, people will honor your being direct by wearing a button that says "tips accepted" (which isn't a harsh staatement) and if they don't want to tip or whatever...at least your being upfront with them in the beginning so they have that choice to make right from the start. All this, "get a money trick and do it at the end and hopefully they will give you the money" stuff is too manipulative, unclear, and indirect for me, and honestly doesn't work all that well.

In fact, even just doing Misled at the end of a routine and asking for a high bill (I wasn't trying to get it, just always use a higher bill for the effect) a spectator ASSUMED that I was trying to manipulate him into giving me the money...when I wasn't. He gave me the bill (a $10) and said, "Oh, now I see why you asked for a high bill. Interesting psychology." That's not the impression I'm trying to give my audience, that I will try to manipulate them into giving me a tip. I'd rather just let them know upfront that I work for tips, and leave it to them if they want to see the magic or if its not worth it to them.


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