If Arby’s is your everything, what’s the best way to let everyone know? What if they don’t notice how often you shout “WE HAVE THE MEATS” during unrelated conversations? What if they’re unaware of the tiny pieces of roast beef that you’re always flossing out of your incisors? What if they never notice the Horsey Sauce smudges on your pant legs, your car door, and your employee badge?
Clearly the next step is getting an Arby’s tattoo. According to some slightly unsettling reporting from ABC7, more than 200 Arby’s aficionados lined up at Port City Tattoo in Long Beach, California, each of them waiting patiently for their chance to get free Arby’s ink. In a promotion that it called “Sandwiches for Life,” Arby’s offered a complimentary tattoo to anyone who would be willing to spend the next several decades explaining why they had a cherub carrying an Arby’s bag on their upper arm.
“We were confident plenty of people would show up to get a tattoo, but I think it’s fair to say we were a little surprised by just how many people came,” Arby’s spokesperson Christopher Potter told MUNCHIES. “Like I mentioned, we had a consistent line from 7 AM—we didn’t start tattooing until 10:30 AM—until 6 PM when we had to close things off.”
“A love of sandwiches takes on many forms,” Arby’s explained. “Only one of them involves a panther with a Loaded Italian in its mouth being permanently inked onto your body. It’s a sandwich for life!” That’s right: getting inked doesn’t get you anything else, other than an excuse to start Googling “cost of laser tattoo removal.”
At least some other thirsty restaurant chains let people use their ink as a kind of loyalty card: earlier this month, Domino’s Pizza in Russia offered 100 years of free pizzas to anyone who got a tattoo of its logo. That promotion lasted less than a week, after hundreds of people uploaded their still-healing pizza tats to social media. The chain then amended its terms and conditions, promising free pies to the first 350 people who responded.
We estimated that if all of those Russians took Domino’s up on its offer, it could cost them $14 million in free pizzas—so if you’re cynical, you might think that’s why Arby’s didn’t offer any kind of sandwich-based compensation for their own event. Potter said no, this promotion was always just about love. “We thought giving a tattoo was the most appropriate way for us to share our passion of sandwiches with those who love our food and tattoos,” he said.
If you missed out on that event at Port City, don’t worry: you can still download a flash sheet of all 15 of Arby’s Ed Hardy-lite tattoo designs to take to your local shop. You might want to floss before you go, though. It looks like you have a little roast beef right... there.