A RESTAURANT has found itself under festive fire after cheekily claiming it is serving up Santa’s transport for dinner.
Khublai Khans Mongolian Barbecue hit upon the unusual Christmas caper to advertise the fact it has reindeer on the menu.
But its billboard on Baltic Street in Leith – reading “Warning! Santa will not arrive this year . . . as we have Rudolf and his mates” hasn’t struck the right note with everyone – and may lead to more than a few awkward conversations between parents and excited children.
Owner Maciej Troscianko, who came up with the striking slogan, said he wanted to create something that would get people talking.
He said: “The best ad is the one that makes people talk. I always love unusual things and I love well-thought-out advertising.
“It’s not just saying: ‘We are better or cheaper than somewhere else’ or ‘we are taking bookings for Christmas’.”
Supervisor Steven Foster, 22, said his boss had a knack for coming up with attention-grabbing marketing ads.
“I think this is quite a good idea. He always thinks of these witty ways of advertising and he came up with that one pretty quickly.
“It’s quite humorous and it certainly grabs people’s attention. It’s short and sweet and it’s next to a busy road so everyone can see it.
“It’s become a talking point in the community.”
The advertising campaign comes a week after a trader at Edinburgh’s Christmas hit the headlines for selling real-life reindeer hide.
Mother-of-two Leanne Keenan, 26, who was passing by Khublai Khans, said she was glad her children were too young to read the sign.
She said: “I would just tell them it’s a joke but I can definitely see a situation where it would upset kids.
“I think that I would have cried if I had seen it when I was little.”
But Mr Troscianko dismissed claims the advert would upset youngsters.
He said: “I’m sure the children won’t cry.
“They might ask their parents ‘What’s happening here?’
“Santa will find a way to deliver their presents, and the parents will be able to explain that it’s just a big laugh.”
Chef David Wlodarczyk, 35, said hundreds of his reindeer dumplings had been served at the renowned eaterie since they appeared on last Saturday’s menu.
The dish, prepared with spices and vegetables, is proving almost as popular as their top starter of kangaroo haggis.
The advert, which also appeared on Facebook, sparked a string of comments on social media, with Rowan Stein writing: “Ha! Best ad ever! Hats off to whoever came up with that!”, while Khublai Khans in Glasgow claimed to have “nicked Dancer and Prancer”.