Creative, Sweet

Tattoos are life

Ah yes, tattoos. The once taboo practice of body art, which you’d have to hide from your parents, employers and polite society. Thank God it’s now accepted and celebrated across the globe! Especially in little ol’ NZ, where it seems every second person has some ink on display. Sure, there may be a few "regerts" out there, with a few ex-partners names now hidden under long sleeves, but overall, here at BurgerFuel, we applaud your tattoos.

People often associate BurgerFuel with cars and engines, but tattoo culture has been part of the fabric of our brand from the very beginning too. Since we first cranked the grills in '95 at our first store in Ponsonby, Auckland, the value of personal expression and artistic flair with a side of rebellion, has been core to what we’re about.

In fact, next time you’re in having a feed, have a quick look at our staff. Chances are they’re rocking some sweet ink, ear stretchers, piercings and doing a solid job of expressing themselves – on their terms, how they want to. Personal expression is one of our fundamental values here, and something we look for in our staff when hiring. It’s more popular nowadays, but back in the mid 90’s, having staff like this was not commonplace at all (at least not in our industry). But for us, these are the people who built our legacy, forged our brand and have been cooking you the best damn burgers in NZ for over two decades! Loud, proud, proverbial sleeves rolled up, and ink on display.

Over the years a few staff members and BurgerFuel lovers have even got BurgerFuel tattoos! Now that’s what we call passion! It’s this level of enthusiasm that was the driver for our Kids Ink. program, where we custom made a kids range of temporary tattoos. The designs are full of our rebel spirit, but only last a few showers (don’t worry mum).

But we couldn’t stop there, our events team recently bought an air compressor kit, got our design department to create some sweet tattoo stencils, and branded up punters at events like Northern Bass and the Kumeu Hot Rod Show. Sometimes the line for the spray-on tattoos were as long as the line for our burgers (and that’s saying something). So, keep your eyes peeled at future events for the BurgerFuel promo team, you may leave with some temporary spray-on ink. Choice!

A lot of our BurgerFuel artwork and design is still inspired by the tattoo scene, but that’s only the beginning. At our HQ in Auckland we have a pop-up tattoo parlour, where we ink up staff, prize winners from our VIB program, or guests who come to our parties (all for free of course). We have an ever-growing list of flash options for people to select from as well, and no, not all of them are about burgers (but of course some are).

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been teaming up with Otautahi Tattoo for our Valentine’s Day competitions – offering fresh ink as prizes, to either cover up an ex-lover’s name or get matching tattoos with a bestie, a member of the fam, or that special someone.

We also love to get behind tattoo shows and expos wherever possible. One of the biggest ones recently was the Tattoo and Arts Extravaganza in Tauranga, where we had our BurgerFuel Container Kitchen pumping out burgers, alongside our own DJ and purple-d out hangout zone. As always, a big shout out to the awesome NZ Tattoo and Arts Festival in New Plymouth as well! These events are the Mecca for the tattoo scene in NZ, and we like taking part as much as we love attending them.

Our different stores across NZ are all encouraged to team up and connect with local tattoo parlours wherever possible. One of the best examples of this is in Christchurch, when the local franchisees threw their own Friday Night Bites party (a Friday party hosted by BurgerFuel) and had 4 tattoo artists giving away free tattoos all night. Live music, free burgers, free drinks, and free tattoos – now that’s our kind of party! BurgerFuel Christchurch has thrown a couple of these parties now, teaming up with different artists each time, ranging from personal tattoo artist friends and connections to the local Otautahi Tattoo shop in CHCH. Either way, the quality was high, and the ink flowed.

Depending on the tattoo parlour you go to, some local BurgerFuel stores have an arrangements that when you get fresh ink and come into store rocking your freshly wrapped cling film, you'll get hooked up with free Spud Fries with Aioli when you buy a large burger. When BurgerFuel Head Office hears this sort of relationship is cranking with local tattoo parlours, we want to hop on the next plane and high-elbow the store staff involved, because that’s what we’re all about.

Our love for tattoos is only a part of our wider love for quality design and creative ideas. We even have an internal program for it, it’s called Creative, Sweet. But if you’re like us and love engines, classic cars, and epic music, then you’ll want to read a few of our other articles about our passion for those things too.

Till then, stay inked, and stay sweet.