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Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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Hi everyone! I have been working VERY hard at my restaurant work for the last two years or so. I have been ready for a while now, and have started contacting restaurants.

My biggest dream restaurant was Steak & Stein. I have been working hard to get in there for a long time. I called them about three months ago, when I was finally ready, and I asked when the manager was in, and who he was, told them who I was, etc. I called him a little while later, explained who I was, and just got a simple "no".
So, I was a little disappointed, but to tell you the truth, not too surprised. I should have gotten more advice on approaching mangers before I went ahead and called the restaurant I DREAMED of performing in. Because now, I cant go back. Smile

I worked very hard at getting table, and waiting area routines made. I fixed them, practiced them, and fixed them some more. I practiced them in front of live audiences, and got critisism.

I was all ready, and I called.

What I DID NOT get advice on was dealing with the managers. I never got to work with that like I did my routines.

So that's why I am here. I want advise on how to GET THE JOB!!!
I have one GM who is very interested, and that restaurant would be good for a little while. But it is small, and I don't think it will get me much money. But it will probably be good for a starter.

But there are two other ones at which I would LOVE to perform. And there are only so many around here, so if I don't get one of THEM, then I don't get one that I wanted to get. I want to make sure I approach these GM's the right way, so I can get the job. So I would love it if some of you experienced pros could give me some advice.

Should I call them and tell them who I am? Or should I call the staff and find out what time they are in? Then on a non-busy day, go in, and show them what I can do.
If I call, then I could always make an appointment to meet them, but they could always say no when I ask. If I just find out what time they are in, it would give me a chance to perform for them right away. I believe 99.9% that if they get the chance to JUST SEE ME perform, that I will get the job. It is just getting them to let me have the time to perform for them that is the hard part.

Another thing, how long should I perform my "audition" routine as I like to call it, for them? Five, maybe ten minutes? I know that if I am going to just come in some day, it can't be long, or they will get mad. But if I have an appointment, how long should I perform for them for?

I would love to get some advice here folks. So please help in anyway possible.

Thansk alot! -Cory.
RicHeka
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Hello Cory:

I am curious as to how one 'works on their restaurant work' without actually performing in a restaurant.I am not referring to hit-or-miss opportunities to perform for neighboring tables when you yourself are out in a dining situation. That is fine, but it is in no way comparable to performing real-time at a restaurant.

That said,I noticed from some of your previous posts that you have on occasion given advice to other performers as if you yourself are experienced.(This is not good).

So first and foremost, you must be honest with yourself. (By the way, there is another Café member that carries this to the extreme. Giving advice, when he himself OBVIOUSLY is in no position to provide advice.)

Once you understand that you are personally at a point where you wish to perform in a restaurant,but have no REAL experience,you will be able to approach a restaurant in an honest and sincere way. Meaning, when you approach the GM you will be 'immensely' more credible. Please believe me, they are more concerned with you being a pleasant and positive person than they are in your magic. Though being a good entertainer is important.

Your magic may be excellent, but it is your personna and sincerity that will win them over.

The real magic of getting a gig is having a plan. You are a sincere person, so take all the pertinent materials you have (about restaurant performance), and write out a plan of approach and you know what? I will bet that you get a gig!

Just so you understand, I have been a full-time restaurant performer for two decades,and have mentored several young magicians, who now have their own gigs.

I wish you the very best.

Rich
Mediocre the Great
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Rich Hurley
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Be sure to read some of the excellent books that are out on restaurant magic. I recommend Jim Pace's book The Restaurant Workers Handbook and also Kirk Charles' The Complete Guide to Restaurant and Walk Around Magic. You'll find many practial points about MARKETING and making your sales call.

Rule number 1 in sales, is, it's a numbers game. Chances are you will call on many many potential clients before something clicks. And as you said yourself, it might have been a mistake starting at your top choice, before you had any experience approaching restaurants.

Rule number 2 is to find out what's in it for them. Make sure the reasons they want you entertaining in their restaurant are all about them. Don't focus on yourself.

Another point, is RESEARCH: find out as much about the restaurant and its employees as you can before you make your sales calls. Know their menu, clientele, peak times, etc.

Next, try to get an introduction. Maybe you can befriend an employee (a server perhaps) and get a great introduction to the "decision maker". This is a warm call as opposed to a cold call.

As for tricks, start off with telling the manager what you can do to enhance his business by entertaining tableside, in the bar, or as people are waiting to be seated. Then show a trick quick. Don't do too much, but make sure it's fast and very good.

Finally rule # 3.... ASK for the sale. Ask when you can start. If you get turned down, ask if he might consider it again in the future or if he knows any other restaurant owners/mangers who may be looking for an entertainer. You might be surprised.

Remember, you may need to call on five to ten or even fifty establishments before you get a bite. Don't give up and you'll find yourself with a great job.
Mediocrity is greatly under rated!
--------------------------------------------

Rich Hurley aka Mediocre The Great!
www.RichHurleyMagic.com
Dannydoyle
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Let's expand on what Rick has said. He has hit the nail on the head quite quickly and correctly.

You are in a position where you have prepared something that you feel is benificial to a restaurant owner. OK, as he said you have figured this out and never done a gig? How is it that you can tell the owner that it is so benificial?

What exactly is your "restaurant experience" or your "restaurant IQ" as I have taken to calling it? Rich knows EXACTLY what I am getting at.

How much restaurant experience to you have? How old are you in the first place? I say it over and over again, get a job in a restaurant as a server, buser, or bartender or host to learn how to deal with a restaurant environment. Up your "restaurant IQ" to coin a phrase. Without this, how is an owner going to take you the least bit seriously?

If Rich came in and I told him I didn't want to use him on Fridays because we like to "turn 'em and burn 'em" but Tuesday we don't serve as many covers. He would KNOW what that means. If you have no restaurant IQ, it will show and you look like a deer in the headlights. This is only a slight example.

Most of the books on selling restaurants do NOT cover this stuff. If you're telling him how good you are for his business, how can you do that without knowing what his business is?

All the salesmen who walk in know this stuff cold and how they will affect business. Don't have a bunch of lofty ideas, like increasing bottom line which can absolutely NOT be proven, and expect to just wow the manager.

If you are about 18, then expect to be treated like a kid. Sorry, it's a fact of life.

I am not discouraging you, but trying to tell you the way to best go about it. Get a job for 3 months as a bus boy, and all your questions will be answered.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cory Gallupe
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Ok, I'll start with PaleoMagi:

I have been working on my restaurant work by:
1.Practicing and rehearsing, and fixing, and practicing some more.
2.Practicing in front of real audiences. Getting help and criticism.
3.Getting practice with people at paying gigs.
and
4.Performing at a restaurant. I wouldn't really call it performing, but here is the story.
I came back from a gig (After performing for 200 people!!) and I went to a restaurant where a friend of mine is performing. He asked if I could entertain a group in the lobby while he had a quick drink. So I did, and it went great. It was definitely a restaurant experience. People were surrounding me, under my legs, etc.
So, I do have some background with a restaurant. Heck, my dad used to own one.
And I have seen this guy perform in a restaurant a few times. Taking mental notes.

And about the posting without experience thing. I do what I can.
I am not extremely experienced, but Im not a beginner either. I don't give advice if I don't know what I am talking about. I help with what I can.

Ok, now onto Mediocre The Great.
I have read a book. I read it, took mental notes, and asked myself, "Can I do this?
Have I done that? Will THIS work?" etc.
So I definitely beleive that I AM ready, but I just have to approach the manager in a way that I will get the job.

Dannydoyle:
As said in my previous post, I have "performed" in a restaurant. I once again wouldn't really call it performing, but I did do it.

And like I also said, my dad used to own a restaurant, and he is in fact giving me advice on how to approach the manager, from HIS perspective. He knows what they want, what they do, and how I should get ahold of them. What I need YOU guys to do, is tell me how to approach them from a MAGICIAN'S perspective.

But I definitely DO know how the restaurant business works.

And who said I have never done a gig? I have done lots of paying gigs. Some say I am a professional. (Which I definitely don't consider myself to be...)
But you're saying "how could I know what I am doing if I have never done a gig?"
Well, I have done gigs, and I know how to sell myself.
And, I am only 15. Not old enough to become a busboy, or a waiter.
But I know enough about restaurants, and have quite a background with them. I HAVE worked with them a few times when I was a child. (For no money, of course.)
But I am experienced when it comes to restaurants. As a matter of fact, when I first became a magician,I didn't even know that magicians COULD work in restaurants. The idea first came to me as I could be a waiter, and do magic for extra tips. Then I thought of just selling my services to the restaurants. I then later found out that a lot of magicians actually do this.

So I hope I answered your questions.

Thanks once again.
-Cory.
RicHeka
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Cory:It sounds like you have all the answers... so why would you need my input? Smile

By the way,and this is just my opinion, a 15 year old calling himself a magician seems slightly ludicrous.

Personally,I never referred to myself as a magician until I went full-time,and OTHERS started referring to me as a magician. I always preferred Magical Entertainer. It's sort of like taking some pre-med courses and calling one's self a Doctor. As I said THIS IS JUST THE WAY I LOOK AT THINGS. There will be many others who don't agree,and they are entitled to their opinion.

That is why I said one has to be honest about himself, and where he is at (age,life experience,etc.) Doing so,you put yourself in a good position to speak with conviction to people such as GM's and owners.

Best.

Rich
Cory Gallupe
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Well, I definatley don't know all the answers. I still have A LOT to learn. That's why I am here. To get the pros, (Like you guys') input.

And, I don't think it matters what age the person is. As long as they are good, have experience, and a lot of knowledge, I think you can call yourself a magician. I don't think it matters if you are 5 years old. If you are good enough to be called a magician, I don't think it matters what age you are, you can be called a magician.

I never classified myself as a magician till about last year. Before, I was just learning, I didn't really call myself anything. Maybe a hobbyist, a kid interested in magic. It was just a little while ago that people started referring to me as a magician. So now, that's what I call myself.

And like I said, some people think I'm a pro. But I do not beleive myself to be. A pro in my mind is someone who makes a LIVING off magic. Though I am making money, and doing paying gigs, that is not a living. I am not putting food on my table with this.
So, I am simply reffered to, and call myself, a magician. I don't think there is an age limit as to when someone can be called a magician.
Just my opinion.
Leeman
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In one of your earlier post you mentioned that you have a friend that works at a resturant. You should talk with him, he can give you some great advice, and possibly tell you which of the local resturants he has worked for and which ones he has not had success with.
Leeman
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I just checked out your web site and I have a couple of questions and comments.

First, when you perform do you always, or usually choose people younger than you to be volunteers? In other words how often do you have to control older people, and more importantly people in their late teens to early twenties? It is probably just the difference between people but when I was younger I felt really akward performing for adults because my comedy and intelligence was not at their level and so I didn't know if they were laughing and enjoying themselves because they truely liked my performance or because I was a kid and they were being polite.

I am only 21 but have been in a comedy troupe for three years now and have been around people in their late 20s and early 30s the whole time and I now feel comfortable with performing comedy that relates more to adults. That doesn't mean "blue" humor, but there is a huge difference between the intellectual involvement of a joke meant for a 13-15 year old and one meant for a 25-30 year old.

More importantly there is more awareness of reading people to know what tpye of jokes and attitude will play for different age groups and different genders and classes of people, which becomes more important the fewer people you are performing for. If there is a large group then you just play for the middle of the road crowd, unless your character dictates otherwise. But if you are performing for a small family group the words that you use would be different if you were working for a table with a mom, dad, and two kids, then it would be if you were working for a group of college kids or two couples, etc.

I learned a lot about adjusting style to fit the crowd while I was doing some street magic. Because I did a bunch of short shows I did not have huge crowds and I have to change how I performed the tricks to fit the specific group. Just like you treat your volunteer differently if they are a child, male or female adult. It depends if they want to play along, then you can joke with them, or if they might be a little uncomfortable. It also depends on what trick you are doing as to what type of spectator that you want.

I have found that when performing a trick like "licence to thrill" I want a spectator that I can intimidate a little bit so that when I ask them at the end if the licence I am holding is theirs they will say "no" right away because that is important to keeping the flow of the trick going. All of this takes time performing.
Another thing that I noticed from your pictures, and I don't know if you have done other gigs besides the few that are shown on your site, but all of them are more like parlor or stage shows. Which is a big difference compared to a table hopping or strolling show. It is easier to control your crowd when you have your own table and the audience is a few feet away. You don't have to worry as much about grabby spectators, or bad angles.


Lastly I would like to know more what your performing character is like. In all your pictures you are wearing a suit and tie, which I personally find odd for a 15-year-old kid. I would find it odd if I wore a suit and tie, and I'm 21, but then again I know my performing style and character, but I don't know yours so it may make perfect sense.
Dannydoyle
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Funny how younger people are the only ones who believe that experience and age that wisdom brings counts for anything.

So you're saying by extrapolation that there is no difference in you and those of us with our nose right in it as professionals for 20 years? Kind of arrogant, my friend.

But you're 15 so it comes with the territory I guess. You will NOT find a job as a magician at your age without already knowing all the answers. EVERY answer you have been given, by the way by some long term pros such as Rich, you discard as not worthy of consideration. You have an excuse for it all.

OK, so stop asking, go out and do it then. See how far you do get. I worked a restaurant for years, then BOUGHT it. I know how to sell from a magician's perspective and from a owner's perspective.

So forget your questions. Just go with your preconceived notions of what is needed, and remember, we tried to be nice at first. We offered help and only when you slapped it away, did it turn to this.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
reminis16
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Hello,

I am 17 and have been doing magic for about 2 years now. How I got a job at a restaurant at which I will be working very soon is through a magician. Ask older magicians that have done this for many years. They will tell you what works and what doesn't. You say you know how to sell yourself and know how a restaurant works. So why you need help? Smile. The only thing I can say is, take it slowly. I've been wanting to work and do magic for a long time now before I even started magic. I am doing restaurantss not for money but because I love doing it. Hopefully it's the same for you to enjoy it.
mc_magi
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Come on, this sentence just tells you..

Quote:
I have one GM who is very interested, and that restaurant would be good for a little while. But it is small, and I don't think it will get me much money. But it will probably be good for a starter.


I don't know if that was a slip or not, but it's a really bad attitude to go into restaurant-hopping business with. Sure, it's a business, there's still a great deal of business in table-hopping etc, but to me it seems like you'd care more about how much you make in tips each night rather than concentrating on the performance that you are having on a particular night.
Cory Gallupe
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Crap, I was just typing a huge post, and it bloody went out on me.
Anyway, that was a misunderstanding. I don't accept tips.
So that's not what I meant.

Anyway, I will try my best to duplicate the post I was trying to make, with the time I have. This is how it went:

I will start with Leeman. I will put this in short form, because I have no time.
I have done shows for both kids, and adults. Both close up, and stage. I can handle both well. About the suit, I approach magic with professionalism. Perhaps that's why some refer to me as a pro. (Yet I DO NOT!!! So those of you who say I think I am a pro, I do not!!)

OK, now with Dannydoyle. I am NOT saying I am at the same standard as you pros, because I am not. That is what I have been saying. Read my posts carefully. I say OTHER people refer to me as a pro. But I don't think I am. I KNOW Im not!
And I don't want to "slap the answers in your face", I am just simply asking how to get the job. I am not asking If I am ready, or if I can do this or not. You guys don't know me, I don't expect you guys to be able to tell me that since you have never seen me. I am just asking how YOU approach the managers.

Unfortunatley, I am indeed 15. As soon as people find that out, they automatically say I'm not ready. They have no knowledge, but they sure can say I'm not ready. I don't want to complain, but for example, Leeman: his first post was helpful. But as soon as he saw my website, and saw that I was a kid, he started questioning. Do you have experience performing for older adults? YES.
Do you always pick young kids? NO.
Have you dealt with hecklers? YES.
Can you read what people want? YES.
That's why I am not asking for your guys' help on how to work in a restaurant. I have been there, I have done my research. I know you guys are just trying to help, and I respect that, It's just that it gets frustrating because kids in magic are put down so easily. This is not the first time I have been through this. Now, I've got to make this quick, I've got to go soon, but I will be back tomorrow, and I will try to explain a little more about what I mean.

Thanks. -Cory.
Dannydoyle
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You're showing your inexperience here, my friend.

Do what was posted. Slow down. Take it easy. Sometimes realizing what we don't know, is more important than knowing a lot.

Settle down, don't get mad at what is posted and think a little.

First off, it is great being young. IF that is the only problem, heck think of it like this, you will grow out of it eventually. VERY soon. That is a good thing.

Do what Rich said. Be honest with yourself. You're 15. Just how many years of experience can you have had in anything? Magic or restaurants for example. Who cares if your father owned one so what? Mine was a carpenter and if I swing a hammer I hit myself constantly. It's not like it is genetic. Neither is the restaurant business.
Were you working and managing things at 12? I doubt it. So that would be 3 big years. Not even a drop in the bucket, friend.

At 15 you're learning. Accept that.

You need to crawl before you can walk. I think at 15 you are needing to crawl for a while. Sorry. This is a fact. Be realistic. I am not saying you can't work. I am saying to learn your place is all. In 15 years you will be very experienced and that is a great thing. It is just you are not that now.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
RicHeka
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Along the same line as what Danny just said, and referring back to what I had said earlier: Cory,you are a nice looking but very young-looking guy. Here's my last tip.Take it or leave it.

Humble yourself!.When you speak with a manager or owner do not say you are a MAGICIAN. These folks have in their minds an image of a magician and it probably is not you at this time. (Or Me for that matter!When they hear magician they usually conjure up an image of Copperfield, Burton, Angel, etc.)

Introduce yourself as a 'Magical Entertainer' who has worked very hard at what you do, and you would like a chance to show what you can do to make the restaurants' guests have a great time. Of course you should put this in your own words. That is why I suggested writing out a plan of attack. Study and revise this plan as needed, and know it intimately.


IMHO the title of Magician is the kiss of death especially for a young performer. When you say you are a Magical Entertainer,you may just pique their interest enough to give you a shot. Good luck.

Rich
Leeman
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Quote:
On 2006-06-18 20:04, Dannydoyle wrote:
"Funny how younger people are the only ones who believe experience and age that wisdom brings counts for anything."


Do you mean that you don't think experience and age count for anything? It doesn't sound that way in the rest of your post. I don't have very much experience and I am but a wee lad of 21 but the experience that I do have has really helped me become a better performer, magician, and person.

I was just hoping that you could clarify why you don't think that age and experience is beneficial, unless I misread your intent of the sentence.
Dannydoyle
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You're right, I missed putting in the negative.

Younger people DON'T seem to think it counts for anything, age or experience. Sorry.
And he goes on to prove the point.

Heck, read Mark Twain, "when I was 16 I realized how stupid my father was, but when I was 20 I was shocked to see what the old man had learned in 4 years".

Sorry, Cory, but there are things that simple experience can teach you. I KNOW you're not ready to be at the level you seem to think. It is a fact that you seem to be the only one disputing.

I am not saying don't start immediatly, go out and get jobs and such, but you want the respect garnered by years of experience, and don't want to put in those years. It can't be done. You've got to pay the dues to be in that club. Like it or not.

Frustrating? Yeah, I'll bet it is. Like I said, luckily for you your going to grow out of it anyhow.

The thing you have to learn is that some things, like respect, have to be EARNED. You want it handed to you. It's not going to work that way. What do you have that I as an owner of a restaurant can see as benificial? Some kid walks in and starts telling me what is good for my restaurant. How does this kid know more than me when I have been doing this for longer than he has been breathing?

You also need to learn, in my opinion, that respect is something you have to give to get. You haven't exactly done that here and we can only imagine how you are in public.

Long story short, you should try to USE your age instead of trying to deny it.
Find an owner excited about having a "kid magic protegé" or whatever. Get them behind the idea that you are only 15 and, wow, watch him! You're really taking an advantage and turning it against yourself. But again this is experience talking.
So be young, be the best young performer arround for the next 5 years. Then with that experience, you can continue.

But don't expect that after a mere 2 years in magic, and your daddy owning a restaurant that you should be treated as a pro.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cory Gallupe
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Actually, I have been into magic for 6 years, and counting...

And I know that just because my "daddy" owned a restaurant, doesn't mean I know all about it. What I am saying is that I know more about it than you guys are saying. What amazes me is how quickly you guys can judge me, not even seeing me perform, or meeting me in person. You were just saying that these posts show how unexperienced I am. Well, I have yet to meet a person who hasn't thought, and most even comment about how mature and professional I am. You probably wouldn't even know it was me if you saw me in person. Since you all seem to think that I am immature, and easily peed off.

From your posts on here, I am seeing that you guys SEEM to be quick to judge. But, I have never met you, so I don't judge that way. That is once again why I was not asking if I am ready, or if what I am doing is right, etc. I ask that to people I know, and have seen me. You guys haven't. That's why I was simply asking you how to just get the job. I thought it would be something for you guys to talk about, and maybe I could get some advice that I have not heard before. I want to know how you guys do it. But, this certainly doesn't seem to be working well. So, I will just deal with it myself.

All the best.
-Cory.
RicHeka
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You are overly defensive. That is a sure sign of immaturity. You have a right to be immature,you are only 15.

You know, Cory, with all the suggestions that were freely given to you by guys that have been there, done that, you have not once acknowledged that you will give even one suggestion or tip a try. NOT ONCE!

This tells me that you may have a HUGE ego problem. Hopefully, if you do, you will grow out of it.

I think it was Doc Eason who said it at the end of one of his tapes (I paraphrase).
"DON'T BELIEVE YOUR OWN PRESS"!

He wasn't talking about newspapers. He was referring to the things folks say to you because they are trying to be nice. I think this goes double for young performers because you could be their son after all.

Best.

Rich
Jonathan Kelly
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I'm sorry but I have to jump in here. First off, I have no experience in restaurant work so I'm not going to give advice. People here are giving great advice, but dare I say, in a bit of a condescending way. The man is only asking for a few tips on how to approach managers of restaurants to get a gig and a few tips on how to routine his restaurant act if he does get a gig. Instead of telling him how he's not ready, he's immature or doesn't have the experience, which may well be true, how about actually giving him what he wants? A few simple tips, maybe share a story about your first time trying to get a gig, the little things you've learned along the way. Danny maybe you could explain to him some of the restaurant lingo to help him improve his "restaurant IQ", something that might help him. Then your job is done, it's up to him to decide if he's ready and is willing to use your advice, ALL of your advice including the advice he may not want to hear.

If he tries and fails it's not your fault. You've done your best, you've tried to guide him, you can only provide the knowledge, you can't do anything to make sure it's applied properly.

Personally I think everyone here is doing they're best to help him in the long run, and this advice is excellent, but at the end of the day he's not getting what he's asking for. I work in customer service and we have a motto "Give the customer what they want. They're always right, even when they're wrong!"

And here's a little food for thought. Keith Barry, who recently had his own special on CBS, was doing restaurant work in a place just down the road from me when he was this young man's age. He worked there for quite awhile with glowing reviews. Now he's made it on the big stage. I know this may be the exception to the rule but it shows that there's no reason why this young man can't do the same.
"But where did the lighter fluid come from?"
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ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL