Nobody gets gigs in restaurants here but could it just be that there is a glut of guitarists. If there is more of them out there looking for that type of work, logic would dictate that there would be more of them out and about.
There can NEVER be too many people thinking of pedal harps, in my opinion. I think guitarists work for less, and it is just a more popular instrument, even though they can only play a few notes at a time. If you play your harp in the guitar range (an octave lower), you will find that it is quite different, and more mellow. I think that is a large part of its appeal. And, yes, restaurants do not want to give up tables to have live music.
If the harp is small enough, it can fit the guitarist’s footprint. That would be a selling point for someone walking into a restaurant carrying an Esabel or a Xythara or other such chromatic. You do make a good point about range, though — the guitar is more compact for its low end.
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