In putting together our new Singing Waiter team last year, we realised just how difficult it is to get an idea of how much these types of surprises cost. So we decided to do some research and put together a little guide for you, not just on Club Mob's singing waiter team, but on the many available out there - to give you an idea of what to expect to pay, how services differ from group to group, and the right questions to ask when deciding who to choose.
1. What are you paying for?
Any great entertainment doesn't come cheap - remember, you are not only paying for the time that the artists are at your venue on the day! You have to consider all the rehearsals, equipment, marketing, insurance and other factors that go on behind the scenes. That being said, it's still good to ask your singing waiters what they include in their quotes to make sure there are no hidden extras. Various companies include the following in various degrees;
- Bespoke elements, including your favourite song/s for example
- Time acting as waiters to ensure the guests are really surprised
- Sound engineers
- The surprise set, and any extra sets after the surprise
- Public Liability insurance
- Travel to your venue
Make sure that your chosen company knows what restrictions your venue may have and what your exact requirements are so that they can quote you accordingly - and if you're not sure, it's best to have a 10 minute consultation over the phone so that they can use their expertise to ask the right questions, and possibly make suggestions that you'd never even have thought of!
2. What type of show are you looking for?
Whilst all Singing Waiters have two things in common - they wait on you, then they sing - the type of singing show varies from one company to the other. This can also be affected by how many singing waiters are supplied - many companies supply one or two man shows, whereas others provide a trio or more.
If you're looking to hire just one singing waiter, make sure you check out videos of your exact performer, so you know who you're getting - a lot hinges on the personality, showmanship and talent of that one individual! As an acapella act ourselves, our minimum team is 4, to provide the depth of sound and lovely harmonies that are required - not to mention the chemistry and fun had between the group.
Some companies bring along a guitar and play the music acoustically (these types of acts are normally a little more comedic) and others will perform to backing tracks, which is better to get the guests up and dancing. Whilst performing to backing tracks makes tracks easily recognisable to your guests, a little more freedom is allowed when performing acoustically or acapella, so that the singers can change the music up and make it unique to your day!
A few companies out there even perform in an opera singing style, whereas most tend to be more musical theatre, rat pack, or pop like us. But let's get to the nitty gritty - how much should you be thinking of budgeting? Here's an overview from our research...
3. How Much Are Singing Waiters?
At the more affordable end, 1 standard singing waiter with equipment is likely to cost you between £600 - £1250. Most companies charge between £1200 to £1700 for 2 singing waiters, and at the higher end of the spectrum, a very established opera singing group is about £2300 for 3 waiters including equipment hire.
Club Mob, being a group act, works a little differently to the above. Look into our package fees below...
4. How Can I Stand Out from The Crowd?
The singing waiter phenomenon has been around for years now - so when Club Mob decided to set up our own team, we didn't want to just copy everybody else. We wanted a challenge, and to play to our strengths, which was our creativity! And therefore an acapella group was born - and with the recent popularity of 'Pitch Perfect' and 'Pitch Battle' on BBC1, everyone is starting to see the joys of mash-ups, medleys and making songs your own with beatboxing and vocal harmonies.
We keep most of our surprise set modern and fresh, and then throw in a few oldies for good measure as you've NEVER heard them before - we've even been known to throw in a rap about the happy couple, birthday boy/girl, or CEO we're surprising. We also include at least one song of your choice, arranged intricately just for you, into every performance.
And because we know that we need at least 4 singers (including a beatboxer) to make it sound fantastic and make a huge impact, we provide 4 singing waiters at the competitive price of £1200, including all equipment. To essentially act as your wedding band and do an awesome evening show with your DJ later designed to get the party started, will only set you back an extra £200 - we think your should get your money's worth and love getting your guests up and dancing!