Inked Dopers - Would you get a coupon tattoo?

There’s a local restaurant chain called Melt that specializes in big, fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s owned by the heavily-inked Matt Fish.

The restaurant runs a deal that if you get Melt artwork tattooed on your person, you get 25% off for life. So far over 400 people have done this.

I can see getting this done as one in a dozen random pieces of a sleeve but that’s about it. Some of those more elaborate stand-alone tats…wow, I just don’t get it.*

I’m not a huge fan of Melt as a restaurant but I’m sort of a picky eater, and everything on their menu has chipotle-this or jalapeno-that so I stick with the peanut butter & banana. I actually like the idea of Melt (the atmosphere, the pro-Cleveland feel, the limited-time specials) more than the food, if that makes sense.

I can see eating there enough to want 25% off for life but at the cost of a permanent tattoo? Woah!

So would you get such a tattoo? Would you get something stand-alone or only part of a sleeve? What restaurant or other company would you do this for?

Are you familiar with similar promotions anywhere else?

Bonus question for people with sleeves, or working towards sleeves - how do you decide what is tattoo-worthy? Are you super deliberate about it or do you do art on a whim?

*I have a visible tattoo myself and am VERY fond of ink on others. I love it as an art form. I would prefer this thread not turn in to tattoo bashing and instead be a discussion of people who have tattoos or want one/some themselves.


I have tattoos and love them, but I like that they are meaningful to me and look cool and I don’t like any business enough to tattoo something for them on myself. Maybe if I was a die-hard grilled cheese fan, or a founder of the business, or I’d met my husband there, or a Melt employee had saved me from choking to death and then hosted a fundraiser or something. As it stands, no. Only 25% off, and what happens if they close their doors in ten or fifteen years? I plan to live a bit longer than that, and then what–I have a grilled cheese on my arm for life?

My husband, on the other hand, has a half-sleeve nearly done, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and it’s about half and half done-on-a-whim and cool-and-important-to-him. I don’t think he’d get a restaurant tattoo either, though he’s out of the country right now so I can’t poll him. However, I do know friends of his who WOULD do this–especially if there was a promise of free or reduced-price beer involved.

I’m not an inked doper, so I don’t qualify for main question. I did catch a story about this on NPR a bit ago, however:
NYC real estate agents get 15% raises for tattoos of firm’s logo.

Normally I would feel like that was a cool idea, both to get media buzz and highlight your most committed and loyal staff.

But then I read it was in NYC. ‘Jew York’ has more Jewish people than Jerusalem, so it is unfair to pay a significant number of their employees less just for not getting something prohibited by their religion.

Not to hijack the thread, but is the phrase “Jew York” a common one? Is it something that is usually said by people you know? Do you mean it in a descriptive way, or is it meant in a bigoted sense?

(and to the OP, I don’t have any tattoos, but could see some people I know getting one just for the discount and bragging rights)

Main Question: Would you get a coupon tattoo?
No, no, never. Well, maybe not never never. I mean, if it were a life-changing amount of coupon, such as “cut the interest rate of your mortgage in half,” I might consider a life-changing piece of body art. But to save money on sandwiches? Fuck no.

Bonus question for people with sleeves, or working towards sleeves - how do you decide what is tattoo-worthy? Are you super deliberate about it or do you do art on a whim?
Speaking for myself, super deliberate. I got my first ink at age 35: a large piece based on a freehand design by my now-wife (she has a matching one). It dominates one shoulder and upper arm. I got my second piece two years later: a literary reference to my favorite author (who, I may add, is dead, and therefore unable to do anything to make me regret it). It dominates the other shoulder. I plan on sleeving both arms out.

Both are pieces I can absolutely guarantee I will never regret; whatever happens between my wife and me in the future, I can’t see myself ever depreciating the life we’ve had together up until now. I cringe to think what I would have gotten tattooed on myself at 20, 25, or even 30. Probably a wise maxim, or even urk a band name. :smiley:

What the fuck? :confused: You’ve been here since 2011 and I am familiar with your name.

It’s only common among anti-Semites. It’s a pretty bizarre term to just drop into a random thread.

I have this weird hang up about idolizing people or places. So that’s a big fat NO for me.

Heck, I don’t even wear concert shirts because of this hang up.

No, I don’t believe I ever would.

I can’t say that I have ever seen this sort of promotion before, although I have seen the “I’m going to auction off x body part for ad space” routine.

No sleeve, my tattoos are along my spine. I have put a tremendous amount of thought into them. Small and meaningful.

Oddly enough, I made my first trip to Melt two weeks ago and saw that tattoo/discount offer, and had a few thoughts about it:

  1. The place isn’t THAT expensive, so 25% off isn’t a whole heck of a lot of money unless you are eating there more than once a week, and if you are, and considering the size of their portions, you might not live that long.

  2. What guarantee is there that the restaurant will be open for years and years? The list of restaurants in this town that have been wildly successful and then disappeared is long. In fact, the night I went there was the night we had the tornado warning…the whole place could have been gone in a few minutes!

  3. So, you get this tattoo, and then six months later you get transferred to the branch office in North Dakota and you never see Cleveland again. Did you get your money’s worth? How much do tattoos cost? Wouldn’t it have been easier to watch for a Groupon?

  4. Is there a size requirement for said tattoo? Could it be, like, a quarter inch square and on my tush where it’ll never get seen?

Can you tell I had a lot of time to contemplate this after pretty much giving up on reading the menu’s fine print in the dark? Wasn’t so blown away by the sandwich to even give serious thought to going back, so the discount wouldn’t be worth it. Though the fried green tomato appetizer was really good…

I thought about that too. My sandwich the other day (takeout so no drink, no tip) was $9.50. I woulda saved less than $2.50 with a tattoo! Then again sometimes I get 2 sandwiches for me and a friend, or have been known to pick up 4 when getting takeout for a group, so it COULD add up I guess.

But it’s such a commitment. It would make more sense if you got one free sandwich any time you came in. You’d at least save $10-18 at a time.

As for tattoo size, I don’t think it matters. If you look through all the pics (and there are a lot of them!) there are some tiny line drawings and such. They have “required art” but not “required size.”

Same goes for the one Analog linked to. Says in the article people are getting tiny tats in hidden places. That doesn’t sound very profitable for the guy “sponsoring” the tattoos!

That phrase can be highly offensive and considered an slur, don’t use it again, Namkcalb.

Ouch! My bad… I’m not so good with American slang.

BTW, who reported me? I said indirect discrimination was wrong.

You had me at Melt-- now I need a Wake and Bacon!

Despite that beautiful sandwich, I wouldn’t get the grilled cheese tattoo.

You can always get that, and figure a way to cover it in the future if you’re working towards a sleeve. Or, incorporate it in your sleeve. A random grilled cheese sandwich tattoo in the middle of a sleeve will be an awesome conversation starter!

Tattoo prices vary based on the location (of the shop, not the ink, though I guess there could be an upcharge for “around my butthole”) and reputation, but my shop has a floor minimum of $80, and that is not uncommon or unreasonable.

So in order to break even on my tattoo, I’d have to buy $320 worth of grilled cheese sandwiches. Jesus.

My wife has been to this place, and she said if you have a grilled cheese tattoo, you get a free meal (or whatever). I do happen to have a tattoo of a flaming toaster with two slices of toast popping out of it, so if we ever go there, I plan to at least see if it qualifies. I wouldn’t get a tattoo that I didn’t otherwise WANT just to get a discount, but if I wanted a tattoo of a stack of pancakes and it happened to mean I get free breakfast at a local establishment, I just might do it.

No. I only have one, and don’t want any more (it’s an original design).


My tattoo was designed by me and has meaning to it. Plus, I doubt I would eat there often enough to get much benefit from the coupon.