Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Family Ties (and Tattoos)

March 31st, 2010 by

If you regularly read the Tattoo Blog then you might know that I sometimes like to follow one day’s post up the next day with something similar.  For example, yesterday I wrote about the popularity of food related tattoos.  Today after doing a bit of searching around, I happened to come across yet another food related tattoo article.

This time, the article is about Casa Sanchez; a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District.  The restaurant has been in the Sanchez family since the 1920’s, but it wasn’t until 1999 that Ms Sanchez came up with the idea for a promotion in which anyone who was willing to have the restaurant’s logo tattooed on them would receive a free lunch for the rest of their lives.  Many people said that such a promotion was akin to economic suicide and that the Sanchez family would rue the day that they came up with such an idea.

Well, today the restaurant is still alive and kicking, although since 1999, the promotion has undergone a slight alteration.  Ms Sanchez didn’t think that anyone would be interested in getting the restaurant’s logo tattooed on their body, but before the year was up, the Sanchez family were so overwhelmed by people wanting to get a tattoo of the restaurant’s sombrero wearing kid riding a giant ear of corn, that the offer was capped at 50 people max.  From then on, interviews were conducted with prospective tattoo enthusiasts to determine who would qualify.

“If the potential customer didn’t understand the spirit of the tattoo—becoming an unofficial member of the Sanchez family—and asked too many questions about the meals or the restaurant’s solvency, Ms. Sanchez gently told them, “I don’t think this is going to work out.”‘

The end result was a sort of new addition to the Sanchez family, fifty new additions, to be exact.  Bonded to the Sanchez family and the Casa Sanchez restaurant by their tattoos, these are people who are not just in it for a free meal, but who have come to view the restaurant as something of a home base.  One of those tattooed with the restaurant’s logo – Makena Echeverria – is an unemployed construction worker who takes an eighty minute bus ride twice a week to eat at the restaurant.  For Echeverria, the restaurant and the family atmosphere make a difference.

I think we’ve all seen promotions that tie in with tattoos many times before, but this one seems different to me.  This one seems to have a lot of heart and its purpose goes a lot deeper than just getting free food.  It brings people together and creates a bond that, much like the tattoos themselves, will always be there.

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