What You Need to Do to Land Your First Restaurant Gig

Restaurant Gigs for Kids Entertainers Part 4 with Andrew Cox: What You Need to Do to Land Your First Restaurant Gig

In the last post in the Restaurant Gigs for Kids Entertainers series, restaurateur Andrew Cox shared what value entertainers give to restaurant owners and customers. In this latest installment, Andrew gives tips that can help you score your first restaurant gig.

What do you need to put in your bio?

Don’t waste your time preparing a 10-page bio. No restaurant manager has the time to read such an overwhelmingly lengthy document. A succinct one-pager will do, according to Andrew.

In the bio, include:

  • A little bit about yourself, as well as the usual essential facts like your contact information
  • A brief description of what you do
  • References – venues and/or restaurants you’ve performed at, as well as reference persons whom the manager can talk to. This is the most important part of your bio, and will largely determine your success in getting hired.
PRO TIP: If you are already performing for a variety of hotels and restaurants, develop a rapport with the manager because his or her recommendation will get you more gigs along the way.

If you are just starting out and this is your first time to be doing this, would restaurant managers give you a trial run?

Magicians or roving entertainers looking for their first restaurant gigs may approach restaurant managers to ask if they can come in, say, at Saturday night and do a free gig. Andrew believes there is no restaurateur in the planet who will turn down a free gig.

The manager will of course need to see if the entertainer is a good fit for the restaurant. They will get feedback from the staff and customers, and if the feedback is good, they will ask the entertainer to come back for paid gigs.

PRO TIP: Check with each individual venue about indemnities or insurance. Large corporate hotels and restaurants will be very specific about this.

Could you hand out your business cards during your restaurant gigs?

For Andrew, he has no issues with performers doing this so long as it’s not obtrusive.

People are in the restaurant first and foremost for the dining experience, and you as a roving performer are part of that experience.

As long as you’re not putting people off or on the spot, or trying to persuade the parents to book you for their kids’ parties then and there, you can by all means hand out your business cards. Just feel where it seems appropriate to hand out your cards.

Have more tips to add that can help fellow entertainers land their first restaurant gigs? Share them in the comments section below.

Don’t miss the other posts in this series. Check out:

How to Approach a Restaurant to Get Work as a Magician

Understanding the Magician’s Role at a Restaurant

How Entertainers Can Help a Restaurant to Run Smoothly