Advertising Sans Names and Logos

By Sean Kenniff | Megan Swann


Sean Kenniff
Megan Swann
Temporary Tattoos Available at Eden Hill
Temporary Tattoos Available at Eden Hill

Sure, a lot of chefs are tatted up. But when’s the last time you got tattooed in a restaurant dining room? How bout one with a grand tasting menu? At Eden Hill Restaurant, Chef/Owner Maximillian Petty is giving out tattoos to guests, albeit temporary tats. He’s not pushing an aesthetic choice or even a value-add to the dining experience—though it is. What Petty has come up with is a brilliant branding campaign. 

“I wanted to bring in different sensory elements. I heard about a guest who had limited taste buds, so I wanted to concentrate on smells. We started with thyme and rosemary tattoos. We pair the tattoos different ways depending on the menu,” Petty says. The tattoos are ordered from and they’re scented. 

Guests are brought a tattoo on a B&B plate with a moist napkin. They take about 20 seconds to apply. Some people really get in it, applying them like a tramp stamp or unbuttoning their shirts to slap it on their chest. One couple even made the tattoos permanent on their anniversary. “Ninety-nine percent of guests apply the tattoo, many in weird places on themselves,” says Petty.      

Once guests leave the restaurant, people ask them about their tattoo—at work, in a bar, at the park—initiating a conversation about dining at Eden Hill. Petty has created a branding camping that gets people talking about his restaurant without using the name of the restaurant or even a logo. And in a town that has never fully embraced fine dining (except for Canlis, notably), the tattoo loosens people up and may have even drawn them into the restaurant in the first place.

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