Books/lecture on resturant magic?

Nov 13, 2019
I'm not looking for some sort of resource to teach me tricks to perform at a restaurant, more the subtleties about when you should approach people - timings, etiquette etc.
Does anyone know of any sort of resource or is it mostly common sense? Even maybe a YouTube video from someone who performs restaurant magic regularly as a professional would help...
Thanks in advanced!
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Aug 20, 2010
Live at the Jailhouse a guide to restaurant magic is available for streaming at Reel Magic Magazine.
In this series, you'll learn the secrets to becoming a professional restaurant magician from some of the best restaurant performers in the U.S.

Not only do these professionals share their tips, they perform for live audiences and teach you some great routines specifically tailored for restaurants.

Well worth checking out, as Reel Magic On Demand only costs $5 per month.


Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
I haven't read it, but Jamie D Grant also has a book on the topic. Not sure about anything good on YouTube. Real Secrets is good and so is Maximum Entertainment. Both books were fantastic with little details and tips about being a performer overall which was very helpful.

I used to work a restaurant years ago. Overall it's very similar to doing a corporate gig in terms of the magic selection. You can probably search up and read in some old threads here for some really great tips.

Basically have around 3 great workable sets of 3 effects (so 9 effects). Like all good walk around sets, the 3 tricks should flow together really well (with regards to your patter).
The difference in a restaurant setting is going with the flow of interruption. Meals come, wait staff takes an order or refills drinks etc.

Effects should be instant/ super easy reset, as well as easy on your pocket space. You should also consider your audience. Doing magic at Chucky Cheese is going to have a different feel than the Keg. What is the target audience of the gig you are after? Routine your magic accordingly.

You also need to be good! Restaurants are an phenomenal place to build your chops, but when being brought in to make a restaurant more money, you need to know that you have what it takes to entertain strangers in a way that lifts their spirits.

You then need to get the job! This is the hardest part. However with some grit, and perseverance, you can do it.
Write a magic related resume. They won't care where you went to high school. They won't care about your summer job roofing with your dad's construction company. Just about magic. Then select EVERY SINGLE PLACE that you would be okay performing magic at. I say it that way because you may have to go through every place on your list, so make it a big list.
Write a cover letter explaining the benefits to the restaurant, both to the owner and to the manager. Keep in mind these two people have different priorities. The manager (who will probably see your resume first) wants the restaurant to run smoothly, and for customers to be happy. It makes them look good. Owners want profit. In order to get that, they need happy customers.
So in your cover letter, explain clearly how your presence will help the dining experience run smoother, resulting in happier customers, which means more profits for wait staff, and ultimately profit for the restaurant. List every single way that you bring nothing but value to the restaurant.

Pro tip: go to their website and find any language theory that seems to reveal the goals, vision, and culture that they want to create and use that same language within the first three sentences of your cover letter.

If you have a website or YouTube channel, make sure it fits the demographic of the people hiring you. Otherwise, don't share it. For example if you do kids parties, don't share that trying to get a job at the Keg.

Then call and get the name of the owners and hiring managers. Drop your resume package off at a slow time (not meal rush). Ask to see Stephen (or whoever the manager/owner is). Apologize for interrupting their day ( eing respectful of their time), introduce yourself and explain that you have a unique opportunity for them that they may have never considered before. Let them know that you have written it down and would love for them to take a quick read and consider they would be interested in inviting you to come on board to help them enhance their dining experience. Don't let them read it there, excuse yourself and ask if it would be okay for you to follow up in three days and arrange a time of possible. (ie: would it be okay if I stopped by shortly on Thursday morning at 10:30am to follow up? Perhaps I could give you and. A few others a free demonstration of what exactly I do.
Use the face to face time to build rapport and give value. Don't use it to sell yourself at all. If they turn you down right away, politely ask if a follow up phone call would be okay, but just asked them to read and consider the offer when they have a moment to do so. Then move on to the next place. Don't try to sell yourself without bringing value first.
There are lots of possible angles here. But each performer and situation is a bit different. Some offer to do a week free, some feel that's a waste of time. Most importantly you must prove to them that you will bring value.

Unfortunately I'm out of time to write more at the moment,and I'm sorry to have written more than I intended, given that's not what you asked for! 😬
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