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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Table Management (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EvanMagic
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Manitoba
471 Posts

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Hey guys,

For the restaurant workers out there. I have been doing close-up for quite some time but I am just wanting to get some opinions on how you have a 3rd eye for all the tables that just got their orders taken and are now waiting.

Because once you finish at a table, how do you know which table has only been waiting one minute as opposed to 3? Because those 2 minutes can mean bringing out that dinner or not.

Any ideas would be great guys! Thanks!!

Evan
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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I gotta say this is a question I have had for 20 years! LOL. I work after dinner by request now, but if you watch for servers taking menues back to the host desk, that is a pretty good gague.

Not a perfect one mind you, but pretty good. The menue is the key to this type of thing really. Remember who has them on the way by and see who dosn't when you are done.

As for waiting for 2 minutes or 30 seconds, I am clueless!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
patrick flanagan
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lisle, illinois
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Evanmagic,
Usually the meal goes in a certain order. Menus, drinks, appetizers, soup, salad, entree, and desert. The toughest time to gauge is between salad and entree. I notice the table's body language. If the salad plates are cleared and the guests seem to be just sitting there not talking so much, but more waiting, it is a pretty good indication that they the main course will be arriving shortly. There just seems to be a lull in conversation at the tables at this point. Hard to explain, just through observation.
If all else fails, ask the server how soon the main course will be up, but know the table numbers.
Patrick
Magic_Steve
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Maryland
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Even,

Patrick pretty much nailed it with his post, as with what Danny said about the menus. But IMO, this is something that varies by restaurant. If all depends on how long the food takes to come out, party size, etc. This is one of those things that comes from actually doing it.

I can see by some of your posts that you seem to be asking very specific questions. That's good, but if you just get out there and do it, you'll have answers a lot more quickly, and first hand experience that no one on here can prepare you for.

Just make sure your routines are tight, people skills good, you act professional, and go for it. Taking a few words from Rich (PaleoMagi), "a sincere smile and a twinkle in the eye go along way in a restaurant".

Best.
Steve
MAKMagic
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I got banned for one of my
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Every restaurant is different. Best bet is to learn what happens after the menu's are taken away. Do they server bread and salad? Drinks? I know personally when to approach table at one. I wait until they receive their salads. I don't like waiting until they are done as I'm left with that tiny window of between salad and entree. So I observe who has menu's and note to circle back that way after the next table and what not. Once you know how your place operates (and the restaurant biz in general) you will be able to gauge the best time for approach.
.:Michael Kelley
<BR>www.RandomActsofEntertainment.com
On the Level, By the Square
EvanMagic
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Manitoba
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Hey thanks for the responses guys!!

Magic_Steve:

I agree with you on the most part, the restaurant I am interested in I performed in 4 years ago. It was smaller tricks and it was unprofessional ( I had gotten my mom to do the interview for me lol ). And at that age I was in my 6th year of magic performing, but the restaurant was a new approach for me.

Now that my act has been tweaked since then and I am no longer pulling my tricks out of my red fanny pack, I want to make sure going into it I have the most experience I can have even before I set down my close-up pad at my first table.

I can totally see how the restaurant is something that needs to be experienced first hand, but I just want to see how other magicians handle it to have the best time management skills to make sure what I am doing is okay right now and to allow the longest possible show for the hungry customers!

Thanks guys!

Keep the responses coming,

Evan
sjballa147
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Tennessee
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Well I guess its okay to try to guess what stage of eating and such a table is at, but I think having routines that can be cut short is key. For instance, I used to do a spongeball routine in a restaurant I worked in. It had a huge finish. One day I was getting ready to put the huge load in the spectators hand and what happens... The food comes. And then I am stuck with a half hearted routine with no finish.

I Learned...

Shane
patrick flanagan
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lisle, illinois
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Shane,
In all honesty, the only person that mattered to was you. The guests probably didn't care if your routine was finished or not. They cared that their food arrived. They either liked you and will remember you, not whether your last routine had a killer ending or not, but because of your personality and how you related to them. They probably decided to like you or not within the first 60 seconds of your arrival. Obviously, it would be wonderful if the food wouldn't arrive until after the set is over, or if every routine could be cut off immediately when the food unexpectedly arrives and still have a huge impact. In reality that doesn't always happen, and as I have stated, I believe it isn't going to alter their perception of you as a performer.
But I could be wrong, lol.
Patrick
Dannydoyle
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See here is the problem I have with working prior to the food.

You hit the nail on the head exactly. You and the fantastic magic you do (I am assuming) are completly secondary to the fact that the food shows up. That seems almost to put you into the catagory of elevator music. You never finish listening to the music once your floor arives.

I think we should strive to be far more than this. Just an opinion mind you.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bad to the Balloon
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Trickus Interuptus: When your magic fails to have a climax. Result is lack of satisfaction for the magi.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
patrick flanagan
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lisle, illinois
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Danny,
Your prior experiences are not really the way the world turns for most of us. It would be wonderful if the restaurnat biz and dining experience was set up so that tables didn't need to be turned and hostesses and wait staff were trained to offer our services to the clientele so we could perform after the meal and by request only. Unfortunatly, most of us have to cold call tables and perform prior to the dinner being served. In a perfect world though.....aaahhhh.
Patrick
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