Singing Waiters 101: Everything You Need to Know

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What Are Singing Waiters?

Singing waiters are a surprise entertainment act, used for a wide range of different events – from weddings, birthday parties, and hen dos to business awards and corporate ceremonies. At first, they appear to be normal waiters, moving around the room, pouring drinks and serving food. But, in reality, they’re highly talented singers. When the moment is right, they attract the attention of the room and burst into song – taking the guests by surprise with a set of their favourite songs.

What does a singing waiter performance involve?

A singing waiter performance typically involves one or more professionally trained performers going undercover as waiting staff at your event. After liaising with yourselves, the performance will begin at a scheduled time and will usually begin with some kind of prepared accident. This could be a singing waiter ‘tripping over’ and dropping a tray of cutlery. This commotion will naturally draw the attention of your guests, at which point the singing waiter will take the opportunity to begin their actual performance. Surprise singing waiters are experienced in the musical industry, having usually come from performing on the West End to working at Disney, they’ve done it all – and their vocals should be absolutely breath-taking. Whatever music genre or songs you have in mind, a professional singing waiter company should be able to have the vocal talent to execute it well and truly impress the guests at your event. The songs that make up the performance are arranged beforehand, so that the audience can get the maximum enjoyment from the surprise. A backing track is often played to support the performance, but instruments, such as guitars, are also commonly used.

What can singing waiters bring to an event?

Singing waiters can bring a sense of spontaneity and excitement to any event. The surprise element of the performance can create a party atmosphere, break down any formal barriers that might exist between guests and, most importantly, get people on their feet dancing. Ultimately, the goal is to create a fantastic atmosphere.  We work closely with you to find out more about the nature of your event and the type of music you like – and, based on this information, we develop the perfect performance. This will be tailored to you and your requests and, if we’ve done our homework correctly, it will ensure that everyone gets involved and has fun together.

How much does hiring a singing waiter cost?

The cost of hiring a singing waiter varies depending on a number of factors, including the date and location of the event, the number of singing waiters you would like and the length of their performance.  Most companies will offer a bespoke quote for your event which should cover the costs of:

  • a personal event planner
  • a high-quality interactive act, tailored specifically to your event
  • a team of professional vocalists
  • sound equipment and technicians for on the day
  • relevant insurance

What should be considered when booking a singing waiter act?

It’s worth considering the kind of performance that you want before booking your singing waiter act. Due to the customisable nature of the performance, it will be up to you to decide the setlist that the waiters sing, when they will start their performance and how they will interact with the audience. Experienced singing waiters have the expertise to make any performance memorable, but it’s your specific input that helps elevate it to become an unforgettable one.

Can a singing waiter performance be customised to the event?

A singing waiter performance can be completely customised, so that it is the perfect fit for your event. You will choose everything from the playlist of songs, to the dance moves, to the level of cheesiness and interaction with the audience. In our case, thanks to years of experience planning and performing at events, we are also able to recommend a setlist and performance style based on your needs.

What kind of music do singing waiters perform?

Singing waiters can perform music from a whole range of genres and styles. Each event and audience will prefer different music, and a well-crafted singing waiter performance will take advantage of those preferences. If you’re unsure which songs you’d like your secret singers to perform, then the company you hire should be able to offer you some suggestions based on your event and preferences.  Most singing waiter firms can draw from a range of popular playlists which they’ll be able to use as a guide. Alternatively, you can leave it to them to create a unique set – with tracks and songs that are perfect for you, your guests and your individual tastes.

How long does a singing waiter performance last?

Singing waiter performances start from the moment your guests arrive. Singing waiters will immediately get into character and blend in with the real venue staff. For the first couple of hours, they stay undercover – secretly getting to know everyone in the room. For example, here at Silver Service, we start the interactive set at a pre-planned time and this will typically include 10-12 songs, lasting around 30-40 minutes on average. The length of performances is ultimately at the discretion of the client. It may be that the event is better suited to two shorter sets of music, instead of a longer one.

Can you hire more than one singing waiter?

Hiring more than one singing waiter means that many more performance options will be open and the set can be more varied. Having two or three singing waiters at your event increases the impact of the surprise, and also opens up options for harmonies, and also means that a greater breadth of genres can be covered.

Can you choose singing waiter performers in advance?

You may be able to request certain singing waiters for your event ahead of schedule, but whether or not you can book them will depend on their schedule. Sometimes singing waiters’ reputations precede them, or you may have spotted a particular performer that you liked at a previous performance. If you’ve spotted a singing waiter in one of our videos that you’d like at your event then let us know and we can try to accommodate your request.

What other services can singing waiters offer?

Singing waiter companies often offer additional services alongside the waiters themselves. This could include the hire of a dancefloor, lights, or a stage setup. For example, we can bundle in a DJ service into your package, in order to cover your entertainment for the day and night.

What equipment do singing waiters require?

Singing waiters will bring their wireless microphones and a PA system to professionally perform. A small mixing desk will also be used to play the backing tracks and to properly balance the singers’ vocals. Our singing waiters arrive with everything that they need to deliver their performance. They’ll be able to discreetly set up their equipment ahead of their performance, so that the surprise will have the best impact possible.

Do singing waiters need dress rehearsals before performing?

Singing waiters do not usually require dress rehearsals before performing at your event, so they should not be required to be present at any of your preparations in the lead up to the event. However, this doesn’t mean that they will be unrehearsed.  Our singing waiters are highly trained performers who understand the importance of private rehearsal and also have excellent improvising skills that help them make each performance as unique as the next.

Are there any health and safety risks with hiring singing waiters?

There are little to no major health and safety risks involved with hiring singing waiters, however the usual risks involved with performances still apply. Electrical equipment must be properly tested and other staff at the event should be made aware of the singing waiters, so there is no confusion as to why sound equipment is where it is.  Our singing waiter service includes the hire of an event organiser who ensures that only that equipment is as it should be, but also makes sure that the whole event runs smoothly and safely for all involved.

Are singing waiters covered by public liability insurance?

Singing waiters and the companies that operate them should have public liability insurance in place to ensure that the performers are properly covered in the unlikely event of any damage being caused.  For example, our company and all our singers have Public and products liability up to £5,000,000, as well as Employers’ liability up to £10,000,000. This can be increased if your venue requires it, although we have found that this has been more than enough for hundreds of venues in the past.

Does a deposit need to be put down for a singing waiter performance?

In most cases, singing waiter performances require a deposit to be paid in advance. For example, we tailor our packages to each party and customer, but usually charge a standard deposit of £500 which can be paid in instalments if required.

How do you book singing waiters?

Hiring singing waiters usually involves requesting a quote from a company first. Many singing waiter companies have schedules planned out over the next two years, so it’s important to make an enquiry sooner rather than later.  An enquiry will involve you either sending an email, filling a form or making a call and giving details about your event and your requirements. The company should then get back to you with a quote for the service. If you’re happy with the price, you can then make your booking, which might involve putting down a deposit to secure a date. You can start the booking process with Silver Service Singers by filling in the booking form on our website.

We booked the silver service singers for our wedding on Saturday. And it honestly was the best thing we had booked all day. Our guests all got up and had a dance and sing, it was honestly worth every penny. It was the perfect way to start the party.

— Georgia Spavins

This made our wedding!! All our guests were completely surprised and were blown away! Our step mum was completely sucked into the “falling over”. Everyone was up dancing and we were laughing so much (and sweating!) thanks so much!

— Helen Nunn

Wow, 5 stars is not enough. This absolutely made our day. Zac was fantastic, he is so professional and has a world-class voice. Our guests are still raving about it now. Genuinely can’t recommend booking Silver service singers enough, it was amazing!

— Claire Lonergan

Oh wow! Our waiter at our wedding on Friday made the day!! He was hilariously funny, entertaining and a great singer!! He had everyone up in the daytime and on the evening, and everyone is still talking about how excellent it was!! Thank you so much, can not recommend silver service singers enough!! Emma and Jake

— Emma Cotterell

Absolutely amazing, can not recommend them enough absolutely made the day, all our quest was soo shocked and amazed. Everyone did not stop speaking about it the whole night ? and still now everyone is still talking about it. Thankyou so much

— Danielle Smeed

I had the silver service singers as a surprise for my groom and my guests at my wedding. Alex was amazing, he got everyone up and dancing. It really got everyone talking and involved, all the guests said they loved it! Thank you for your excellent service!

— Kylie Warner

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