*Featured Side Hustle*: Ride sharing companies like Lyft and Uber have made it easier than ever for anyone to start a profitable side hustle. If you have a reasonable driving record, a smartphone, and a car that’s less than 10 years old, you could be making serious side income (from $20-$40 an hour) within minutes just by driving around your city!
Yep, I’m a cow and it’s fun! About a year ago, I showed up to an open interview for becoming a Chick-fil-A cow mascot. Now I am called in once in a while to put on a the Kid Cow Costume, and then I allow myself to be assaulted by children and some adults.
How I Got Started
I honestly just wanted to get out of the house more, and hopefully make some money doing it. Self-employment can be time-consuming, unstable, stressful, fulfilling, fun, etc. But my online business is not very social. I did not want to become that anti-people stereotype that friends liked to tease me about when I first quit my day job.
So when I received one of my weekly texts from my local Chick-fil-A, I was surprised that it was asking if anybody was interested in being a cow mascot. I called in immediately. It sounded fun! The manager let me know that I should show up for the open interview that was about a week later.
I thought I stunk during the cow practice stuff, but I received a call back about a month later asking me to fill out the paperwork so I could get started. Now I am called in once in a while to be a Chick-fil-A Kid Cow at church and school functions when the main cows have after school practices (hahaha). I love being their only mascot over the age of 22.
How Much You Can Make
I don’t know the national average, but the going rate here in Houston, TX is $10 an hour with a 2 hour minimum. Most events are 1-3 hours, so I make about $20-$30 per event. Yeah, it’s not life-changing money, but it gets me out of house.
I don’t get called in that often since I’m just a backup cow, but I’ve been to about 8 events so far. I have earned about $225. It’s paid for a couple of really nice dinners. It also is a great conversation starter – people always perk up and ask questions when I mention being a very part-time mascot.
How To Get Started
It seems that there are bunches of ways to become a mascot. You can apply through a regular job application at a ton of restaurants. I was on the text list of the local Chick-fil-A for weekly specials, and that opened the door for the mascot text. Some of my fellow cows just knew the Chick-fil-A manager from their everyday lives. Also, there are a few frozen yogurt mascot jobs are listed on Houston Craigslist right now. Just keep your eyes and ears open if you think it sounds fun.
Once you have the connection and are going after a mascot position, make sure to really act out every gesture in a big way. Remember, you are in a cow suit (or whatever), so you have to make every action stand out. I lean all the way over to look sad if I scare a kid on accident, or I hide behind something and cover my fake eyes to look scared too. If someone is eating a hamburger, I act crazy, play dead, then pop up and point at all of the words on my tshirt (remember, I’m a cow and want them to eat more chicken… my shirt even says “Eat Mor Chikn”). Every movement needs to count in a big way. The rest of your job is to give hugs, pat heads, shake hands, dance like crazy, and take pictures with people.
Benefits and Drawbacks
This will be pretty easy, lol.
- It’s fun to dress up and act crazy!
- It’s great exercise! The dancing around is pure cardio and I also sweat out like 5 pounds of water.
- Hugs from random people are nice on a bad day.
- Sticky kids only get the sticky on the suit. Oh, and find a job like mine that washes your suit for you between all uses.
- $10 an hour is $10 an hour.
- You meet a ton of people with whatever organization that you are a mascot for – yay networking!
- You can be the center of attention without actually being the center of attention I’m one of the few extroverts out of the dozen mascots that I’ve met. The introverts love being able to act nuts and nobody knows who it really is… then they go out the back when they are done. On the other hand, I walk sweaty and proudly through the crowds to leave and get some high fives from the adults that can put 2 and 2 together.
- It is freaking hot!!! No one gets in a suit and gets out without being drenched in sweat. Period.
- It’s hard to see in the suits and glasses are tough to keep on. Getting contacts made everything way easier for me.
- Some teenagers and a few adults suck. Little kids want hugs and high fives. Teenagers trying to be cool may try to put their hands over your only space to see out from. Or adults will roughly pat you on the back or accidentally push you over a little because they do not think about you being top heavy. Most of the time, you can deal with this by “accidentally” stepping on all annoyances…
- $10 an hour to be hot and around kids and crappy teenagers is not for everyone.
- You will get a ton of attention. Don’t become a mascot if you don’t want to be surrounded by people.
As hobby jobs go, this is probably the weirdest one I’ve ever done. It’s also the coolest to talk about. Would you ever want to be a mascot?
Crystal Stemberger is the owner and author over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. She also manages blog advertising for others and is a paid staff and ghost writer.
Have a cool side hustle of your own? Let us know and maybe we’ll feature it!