Don’t Eat Your Tip – By Joe Bunn, MBLV Presenter

December 20, 2014 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer
Don’t miss Joe Bunn’s presentation, “Every Little Thing You Do Is Magic” at MBLV in February. Click here for more info.

EatingMoneyHopefully the title of this article grabbed your attention enough for you to stop drooling over the ads for new DJ gear, and read this instead! I promise you, it will be worth your time.

Do you know how often I hear stories of “nightmare DJs” coming to my favorite venues and doing dumb stuff? Every weekend. Literally, every weekend a vendor comes up to me and says “Oh man Joe, you won’t believe with DJ Soandso did here last week.” And guess what the number one dumb thing is that these guys do: They flip out about their meal.

Now I don’t want to start a war here about if you should or should not eat at a show, but I will tell you that showing up to a venue and walking up to the banquet captain or wedding planner and demanding to know when and what you’re eating before you even set up your speakers will get you banned from their preferred list faster than you can say “Big Mac and an order of fries.”

I once heard a wise old DJ say this in regards to eating at your events: “Don’t eat your tip!” Now what did he mean by that? It’s simple. A dinner like the guests are getting at a wedding is AT LEAST $50. So, would you rather have a half-decent chicken breast or a $50 bill? I’ll take the dough.

Don’t get me wrong, the majority of my brides are amazing, and ask me, in advance, “Hey Joe, do you prefer or chicken or beef for your dinner?” Am I going to turn this down? No way, but there are some tips that I’ll share now to make sure you come off as grateful and not a diva at your events.

1. Take something to eat in case you are not offered a meal. My DJ bag is stocked full of peanuts, granola bars, and Cheez-Its.

2. If you do get a full meal, and it’s a seated dinner, get out of the room! Do NOT sit down and eat with the guests.

3. If you don’t get offered the same meal as the guests (for instance a sandwich instead of a filet mignon)…GET OVER IT! You are still getting a free meal AND you’re being paid to be there!

4. And lastly, don’t ask. That’s right, don’t ask. If the bride has paid for a meal for you, or the venue offers food for the vendors, they will approach you and let you know when your food is ready.

I get hungry just like the rest of you, but either I, a) eat a late lunch, b) eat some snacks during the dinner at my gig, or c) eat late on the way home. I would never roll into a venue on an empty stomach, without my “snack pack” and expect someone to feed me. Trust me on this one guys. Now go out there and rock those shows!

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Mobile Beat Staff Writer (228 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.


Filed Under: Issue #160, Performing, Weddings