How do you get people to tip you at restraint gigs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seth Hughes, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. i got a gig at a popular burger place working for tips and I was wonderingif there were any ways to get tips without having to ask for them. thank you
  2. You have to put the idea of tipping into their head during the performance. It can be tricky to do this tactfully. Most commonly I see folks say something along the lines of, "That's why I work for tips", and then be sure to do a trick using a borrowed bill at the end so they're more likely to say "Keep it!" or something like that.

    Good luck.
    010rusty and obrienmagic like this.
  3. Me personally I avoid mentioning tips at all. Not that asking for tips is bad, but the idea of a tip is that they are offering their money out of gratitude for your time and entertainment. If you ask for a tip it kinda defeats the purpose of the concept. You may as well just charge them at the table for your service lol. I know ill get flack for that thought process but i just feel icky soliciting for tips.

    I usually do my best at every table i work and try to connect with the audiences as deeply as possible. This will usually get them to tip you anyway. And since they dont feel obligated they will prolly tip more than if you asked them to. People tip based on emotion so if they are still buzzing at the end of your performance they are more willing to tip you and tip more than if they are just sort of satisfied and you are asking them to pay you.

    I usually make about $50 in tips after a 3 hour restaurant gig. Keep in mind this is a paid gig already for me and i do not at all ask for tips in anyway. In fact when someone offers a tip i say “thank you but it isnt mecessary. They are paying me very well to be here.” They will 99% of the time insist I keep it anyway and i graciously accept it. I got a $26 tip just the other day and told the person it was too much. They said “what you just showed us is worth more than $26 but it is all i had left in my wallet.”

    Moral of the story is i would focus less on clever ways to get people to tip you and focus more on making your magic as strong as possible and connecting on an emotional level with your audience. The tips will come naturally.

    Disclaimer: The above example is meant for formal situations like restaurant magic or private events. If you are talking about street magic or Busking, that is a completely different story and my thoughts on that are much different lol
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  4. I agree with this, actually. I hate asking for tips - which is a big reason why I never do that well at busking. I've developed "hat lines" that work for me when I busk (extremely rare these days), but if I am hired to perform somewhere I get paid a flat fee. When people offer tips I do the same thing Michael mentioned above - politely say no once, then accept if they insist.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  5. Having said that all i said above, lol here are a few examples from others that i have seen and hear work well depending on individual circumstances.

    -Asking for tips directly: explaining at the end of your set that you are worling for tips and anything they can spare will be appreciated

    -dropping hints: using patter or one liners to encourage them to tip without directly asking. “Can i borrow a $20 bill? Dont worry ill give it back, unless of course you want to donate it at the end.”

    -using money in your act: using money in your performance or more importantly borrowing their money during performance.

    -signature book: david stone talks about leaving a book at the table for them to sign. Leaving bills in the pages to encourage tipping.

    -thanking a table for their tip so other tables can see it. (This one i feel is kinda disrespectful but i have heard of it being used.)
  6. I'd love to help with advice regarding restraint gigs but my hands are tied here.

    Typo puns aside, You can either flat out mention it, implant the idea into their head that you're working and not just free entertainment (See above for good ways to do so), money tricks to reinforce the idea they should tip, etc.

    Most importantly, tips come because people enjoyed the show and appreciate the work you've done. Focus on the magic, maybe do a little suggestion, and let it roll. Have you ever had wait staff ask for a tip? Probably not. I'd also consider mentioning that you're so glad that the restaurant let you do your thing there and that you aren't being paid by them. I'm not sure how, but you can probably figure out how to work it into your patter.

    However there will be people that despite how great you do will just cold shoulder you afterwards.

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