Hire Santa is a staffing firm out of Dallas, TX, that specializes in finding work for Santa's "friends" each holiday season to bring Christmas cheer to where Santa can't actually be. Hire Santa will send out "professionally trained" Santas during the six to ten week Christmas season to parties, corporate events, and even long term engagements at retail chains to help make holiday wishes come through.
Personal event engagement cost between $200 and $300 for Santa to appear. Retail contracts that involve daily appearances over a longer period (for instance being a store's own Santa) starts at between $50 and $60 an hour.
Hire Santa has not only been in the Dallas, TX, area, the firm has also sent Santas to China and around the Caribbean, among other place.
The entrepreneur behind the business was inspired to start the company after playing Santa for a friend's children and really enjoying playing the role. He began doing more Santa appearances at stores and parades and eventually became too booked up to meet the demand and began reaching out to the Santa "community" to find others to fill the engagements he couldn't fulfill. Santas now reach out to the company through their website and are placed based on location and need.
Two years ago, Hire Santa grossed $189,000 in appearance fees, netting $70,000 in profit. The business finished last year having grossed $331,000 and netting $189,000. The entrepreneur projects finishing the current year between $1,200,000 and $1,400,000 and netting between $450,000 and $550,000. This jump in revenues, when questioned by the sharks, was explained as coming as a result of signing a new contract with a major retailer.
This deal aired on Episode 10.07.
Making A Deal
Mark, Lori, and Daymond all exited the deal almost right away, citing the fact that none of them wished to be involved in a staffing service, which although the type of staff being provided was different was essentially what Hire Santa's business model was. Barbara also exited the deal, citing the name as a limiting growth factor and the fact that there were really only about ten weeks a year in which the business was relevant.
Kevin remained and offered the entrepreneur the $200,000 he was seeking but in return for 50% of the business. The entrepreneur responded with an offer that could have been dreamed up by Mr. Wonderful himself: $200,000 for 10% equity and a 50% royalty on the profits of the business until the $200,000 had been returned and just the equity thereafter. Kevin was almost stunned and countered with wanting 20% equity on top of the royalty.
Daymond jumped back into the deal, accepting the 10% offer plus the royalty briefly until Mr. Wonderful dropped his ask down to 15% at which point Daymond raised his to match. Finally, Barbara re-entered the deal, accepting the 10% equity on top of the royalty and the entrepreneur accepted, bringing her on as his investor.
In the ninth episode of Season Eleven, Shark Tank featured an update on Hire Santa in which the entrepreneur and Barbara went to Bloomingdales with a clown car of Santas and held auditions. It was stated that Hire Santa used Barbara's investment to hire key people within Sales & Marketing which led to closing a deal with T-Mobile. Additionally, it was stated that in 2017, Hire Santa did $331,000 in sales while in 2018 the company booked $1,400,000 in sales. As far as year-over-year sales improvement go, that's a hard one to argue with.