In putting together our new Singing Waiter team in 2016, 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! We provide a minimum team of 2 singers but believe the more the merrier, to provide some unique arrangements and lovely harmonies - 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 good if you're after a very specific genre, or singing in Italian for example. 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 £500 - £900. Most companies charge between £900 to £1600 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 works a little differently to the above, and you won't find better rates than ours! 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. When we perform our 2 or 3 singer sets with guitar, we still change loads of the lyrics to be about the happy couple / birthday person / event guests, which always has everyone in stitches.
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 people 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, our prices begin at a competitive £1200 for our Pitch Perfect package. We also do a version of the set with guitar for those working with smaller budgets, with 2 or 3 singers. Prices for that start at £625 so let us know exactly what you're looking for an we'll happily provide a bespoke quote with advice about what will work best in your venue!