I cant think of anyone respected in the magic community who just did resturant work, its not to pay the bills
Oh, let's see....Bill Malone, Doc Eason, Carroll Baker....I could go on. All these guys have done restaurant magic in the past.....FOR A LIVING. And yes, they did pay the bills with that magic. Carl Andrews did the same thing. He did magic at ONE restaurant in Hawaii for YEARS. He now does lectures and cruises constantly.
Restaurant magic is certainly something that someone can make a living at. I have friends in the business that do just that. Granted, they're not all "well known" magicians, but nonetheless they perform constantly. The restaurants are not just a place for publicity. If you want publicity then donate your time for a couple hours one night. Then start charging. As Paddy said, if you're giving away your services for free, then your services aren't worth much.
To quickly answer the actual question of the topic....my typical walk around restaurant charge is $75-$100/hour plus I accept tips (I don't ask for them but I will accept them if offered. Average tips is around $30 for a 2 hour job. I've made as much as $100 in tips one night and as low as $5 on another. Just depends on the crowd, I guess). A typically birthday party runs $100-$150.
Hope that helps.