Workers at a Canadian sandwich shop have pulled off a marketing masterstroke by bagging a visit from acting superstar Liam Neeson, simply by offering him free food!

Staff at the Big Star Sandwich Co. in the city of Vancouver discovered that the 64 year old Northern Irish actor was working on his new film Hard Powder in the nearby area, and decided to chance their arm by offering a free feed for the star on Tuesday (May 2nd).

They put out a chalkboard sign on the pavement outside the shop that read: “Liam Neeson eats here for free”. The other side read, “Come in and get Taken by our sandwiches”, referring to the popular franchise of films in which Neeson punches a lot of people who threaten his family.

The gamble worked brilliantly, as just a few hours later, Neeson strolled into their shop to take them up on their offer, pictures of the sign having gone viral quickly.

The staff responsible were just as taken aback that their sign had actually been effective. “Holy f***, it worked!” they wrote as they posted a photo of themselves posing outside the shop with Neeson as a memento of the occasion.

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Even though Neeson apparently didn’t actually buy anything, he adopted his character from Taken to stride into the shop with purposeful menace, apparently gruffly demanding of them: “Where’s my sandwich?”

“We had no idea he would be in our vicinity,” said Alex Johrden, Big Star Sandwich’s director of operations, to BuzzFeed Canada the next day, explaining that two employees, Kyle Gus and Serge Patoka, had put up the sign.

“I assume someone on the film crew saw the sign and got it back to him. As you can see in the photo, they're about as stoked as they've ever been in their lives.”

The impromptu appearance also apparently inspired Big Star to make a one-off special sandwich, called simply ‘The Neeson’. “Try the Neeson! Lots of beef, a one-two-punch of bacon and hickory sticks, and spice that’ll get revenge on you tomorrow,” they tweeted.

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