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Thread: How to approach a restaurant that has never had belly dance before

  1. #1
    I could get used to this! Zabelly's Avatar
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    May 2011
    New England

    How to approach a restaurant that has never had belly dance before

    Hi Ladies,
    I am trying to get belly dance more visible in my community and I thought the best way to do that would be to approach a local restaurant about having me perform maybe once a month or do a trial run then maybe bring me in once a month depending on how the performance is received.

    I have a few places in mind, but non of the restaurants in my town that are still in business have had belly dancers before. How should I approach them about adding my live entertainment? And how do I talk money with them. I figured I'd go in with a number to negotiate with but keep minimum number in my mind.

    What should I bring with me other than the obvious business card? My performance contract for them to look over? Pictures of me in costume? My whole promotional packet?

    Do I call ahead of time and make an appointment with the manager or owner? Do I drop by for dinner (on a slow night) and then ask to speak with the manager?

    Thanks in advance for the advice/pointers!
    Kathiya likes this.
    Discover the Ancient Art of Belly Dance and Reclaim Your Body

  2. #2
    Just Starting! Aida's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    New Zealand

    Re: How to approach a restaurant that has never had belly dance before

    In this economic climate where most restaurants owners are very close minded about trying new things creating demand is truly an art. It takes a lot of perseverance and out of 20 places you might get 19 "no"s and one "maybe". In my opinions, target all the potential restaurants in an area, park your car and do cold calls one by one. Go in and ask if you can take a couple of minutes of the manager's time (or whoever can make an executive decision!) Then ask If they have ever considered having belly dance entertainment for the guests. If the answer is 'never thought about it, we've never really had that sort of thing" Tell them that you would like the chance to show him/her why its such a good idea to have you dance on a friday night, to create a party atmosphere and make the dining experience really memorable, and because no other restaurant in the area has a belly dancer, it'll set their place apart from the rest.

    If you sense enough interest, show them your promotional material. Maybe have a folder with you containing pictures of you in costume. Say your usual rate is $x but if they have you on a regular basis you will give them a discount of $x. Unlike some other bloggers i don't have such a strong feeling about free trials. You should do whatever you think will best get your foot in the door (you're introducing a novel demand! it takes hard work) and 5 minutes of free dancing is no skin of your nose, esp if it's the chance to rock their socks off with your dance skills, grace and beauty.
    elisheva-dancer likes this.

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