U.S. Pizza Franchise Accepts Payment In Pesos From Spanish Patrons

(Thanks to Blair Lovern, from Dallas / Fort Worth’s PegasusNews.com, for giving me a heads up on this story)

As a self-proclaimed “Marketing Dork,” I have to say that I’m quite proud to be a “Dallasite” today. There’s this pizza joint called Pizza Patron (59 stores), that’s headquartered here in my hometown of Dallas Texas, that truly understands their consumer demographic of Spanish customers. Many Mexican residents of Dallas have just recently traveled from Mexico, and have a surplus of Mexican currency sitting there in their wallets that’s going unspent. Pizza Patron had a marketing brain fart and decided to give these people a place to spend their pesos as they’re now accepting them as payment for pizza.

I’m not quite sure how many Mexican customers will actually take Pizza Patron up on this opportunity because I’ve only seen this story reported in the English language, and therefore won’t reach their Spanish speaking audience – But I guarantee that this company is going to receive a helluva lot of viral attention towards this marketing move. The fact alone that I, Brad Williamson, am acknowledging this story has to be worth BILLIONS to them in marketing dollars. Haha, yea right! ; )

It amazes me that more businesses haven’t implemented such a strategy in their operations. This truly is a no-brainer of an idea for businesses that have a large population of foreign customers. Even if no one actually utilizes the opportunity, it still adds a highly respectable element to your business’s operations.

Here’s the story as Karen Robin-Jacobson, from the Dallas Morning News, sees it…

Starting Monday, patrons of the Dallas-based Pizza Patrón chain, which caters heavily to Latinos, will be able to purchase American pizzas with Mexican pesos.

Restaurant experts and economists said they knew of no other food chain with locations so far from the Mexican border offering such a service.

“We’re trying to reach out to our core customer,” Antonio Swad, president of Pizza Patrón Inc., said Friday.

“We know they come back [from Mexico] and have pesos left over. We want to be a convenient place for them to spend their pesos.”

While U.S. restaurant chains have stepped up their marketing to Latino consumers and incorporated Latin flavors in the menu, it’s unusual to see that outreach extend to the cash register.

“I think it’s a very interesting idea,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based restaurant market research firm. “They are catering to that audience.”

But Mr. Paul said he did not see other chains rushing to emulate the program, in part because of bookkeeping headaches.

You can read more here…

What do ya’ll think about this!? Is this nuts, or a no-brainer of a marketing move? Let us know what you’re thinkin’ in the comments below…

Wishing You Continued Success…

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Brad Williamson

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Author: Brad Williamson (27 Articles)

Who is Brad Williamson? Well... I'm a lover, entrepreneur, and fried chicken aficionado. ...Nuff said.

Comments

  1. Hey Brad, thats pretty nuts…

    Is it legal over in the US? Do they pay Tax on it or something?

  2. Robert,

    I’m not real sure how all that’s gonna work. However, the following paragraph explains how they’re going to convert the money during a transaction…

    ” Using cards listing the conversion calculations, cashiers will enter the figure in U.S. dollars into the cash register and give the change in U.S. currency.”

  3. yeah, it must be a no-brainer, cause where will the Spanish people in your headline get Pesos?

  4. This is a billiant idea… It just reinforces a companies commitment to thier brand position.

  5. Interesting. They take dollars in mexico, we can take pesos here. Illegals will be happy.

  6. PESOS FOR PIZZA!

    I think it’s a kick ass idea and I hope they get lots of attention from it.
    Anyone who doesn’t like this idea or has strong words to say against it is just plain jealous.

    Why aren’t the Spanish Language media picking up on this?

  7. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/01/07/index.php?section=economia&article=017n2eco

    Here is the “Pizza for Pesos” story in Spanish…it doesn’t seem as though Mr. Williamson looked hard enough.

  8. Thanks Emily!

    I can’t imagine WHYYYYY I didn’t think to surf on over to http://www.jornada.unam.mx for the Spanish scoop!?!? I must have momentarily lost my mind ; )

    Seriously Emily, thank you for being on top of things – I appreciate you taking the time to update everyone.

    Mr. Williamson

  9. (Wow… Get a load of THAT GUY. Haha!)

    Soooooooo, anyways…

    How bout that viral marketing strategy??? Pretty crazy huh???

  10. Chris Cheney says:

    Dear Brad,
    I happened upon your site in my quest, spurred by patriotic (or not) outrage at the idea that merchants in my city (Dallas) have taken it upon themselves to nonchalantly change the acceptable form of legal tender in MY country. Not only is this outrageous, it is subversive, and this must stop. We, as a society, have been browbeaten into near submission when it comes to speaking up to defend our rights, not only as a country, but as indidviduals. I watched the TV piece on this story last night and could not believe that I live in the United States of America, where we can’t even get kids working at stores at the mall to count back change without the benefit of a computerized register, and now some pizza guy is going to give his workers a “conversion” chart for pesos??? I have one word for this story……….
    ASSIMILATION! Or lack thereof!! Obviously we have a problem when 1) Our local school districts have to spend money to hire bilingual teachers (And a local council member suggested the city hire “illegal aliens” as teachers to save the city money instead of educating already acredited teachers); 2) School principals are given one year to learn Spanish or they will be terminated; 3)Local students/workers boycott school/work to demonstrate in order to show their “clout” and prove their “worth” to the American economy and choose to carry signs and flags supporting the country from which they “escaped”; and the list goes on and on. I wish I had the video from the May 2006 “Boycott” by Hispanic students and workers to show you how the “protest” ended up in the
    pool at City Hall. I would love to send you a copy of the “bill” for extra police protection when this group stormed City Hall, then ended up in the reflecting pool outside. It looked like a normal day at the local water park. But the crowning glory for me was a sign that read “Imigrants have rights too!!!”
    Maybe that kid should have stayed in school.

    • If you travel the world, you will see that merchants accept world currencies. Your concerns are irrelevant to this story.

  11. I think this world is coming to an end with all these people taking over our jobs and our country why cant we be just the way it was by not accpeting any foreign probability in this country..

  12. Don Vafanculo says:

    This is a disgrace… one more erosion of our national identity. But what with talk of amnesty for those 12 million or so criminals burdening our national coffers and augmenting our crime rates, I am hardly surprised. Those who accept pesos as payment deserve to be deported on principal, especially since you can almost guarantee that a large percentage of peso-wielding customers will be illegal aliens who also need to be deported. I fear for the future of this country.

  13. (I’m sorry to stray away from the topic of marketing, but I can’t help but say a few things concerning a couple of the comments above.)

    Scott… Who’s fault is it that these people are taking “our” jobs? Is it the fault of the immigrants, or the American businesses that are hiring them? Lay off the immigrants, they’re just seizing the wonderful opportunities of our country.

    Gregor… Have you ever heard the phrase “Bad press, is good press?” I’d say that this marketing strategy is working perfectly as it’s gotten a lot of people talking. Pizza Patron doesn’t need, nor want, the business of the hateful individuals who are upset by their actions. And Dixie Chicks… You might wanna reevaluate their situation. They went from pop-bubblegum country act, to respected freedom fighters over night. Republican or Democrat, you’ve gotta respect the balls that they had to speak their mind.

    Chris Cheney… I live in downtown Dallas, and the rally that you speak of could not have been more peaceful. The Mexican culture is an admirable group of hard working individuals who deserve the same opportunities to create a success of themselves as us Americans do.

    ——————–

    Ultimately, I’m shocked to hear of all the negative criticism towards this news story. Deep down inside all of our souls, no matter our race or country of origin, is a desire to be happy and successful. No one should be held back from creating the life of their dreams – And if you feel that your successes are being held back from you due to outside influences (Which is what all these arguments are stating), then you’re obviously just making excuses for your own misfortunes and need to put forth more effort into your life pursuits so other people won’t have the opportunity to “steal” your success away from you.

    Let’s knock down these superficial differences that’s creating all of this hate, and love one another always… ALL WAYS.

    Brad Williamson

  14. Have any of the people freaking out about our national identity been in the northern half of the country? All sorts of businesses up here take Canadian dollars.

  15. Brilliant marketing idea???

    I guess, if you consider an action sure to draw protests by angry Americans to be a positive business marketing tool.

    Good luck with that. It didn’t work out too well for the Dixie Chicks.

  16. Being a Marketing person myself I can appreciate all the free PR and publicity the pizza chain is receiving. I even went so far as to look up my local Pizza Patron restaurant here in Houston. Honestly I didnt even know we had any until now.
    I do however agree with Don and especially Chris. Its just another nail in the coffin of our National Identity. Were being slowly colonized, and in the interest of ‘tolerance’ and political correctness we arent even putting up a fight.
    I remember those scenes Chris is describing during the protests last year. Many of those scenes were repeated in my hometown of Houston.
    My prediction in a nutshell, I think accepting the Pesos WILL get the restaurant tons of attention, but as the story goes more viral it will backfire.

  17. Helping their countrymen? I do not think so! The exchange rate they charge is very high! It is almost a 10% mark-up. If your stupid you use pesos and if you have any thing that appears to be a brain you walk into bank and exchange a a fair rate! Can I said words like: SCAM, RIP-OFF or GREED???

  18. Well it would be the american buisnesses hiring them becasue when americans go to get a job they can’t cause either the buisnesses are not hiring becasue they have so many people working for them that are getting paid lower than minimum wage thats crap..Weh ncan americans get that kind of freedom I mean cut me some slack here I am sure im not the only person in this country that wants to be flipping burgers for a living because now that we are taking foreign money it’s all going to change for society.If I were to go into a foreign country and tell them al i have is american dollars they say i cant take that becasue its not our kind of money..Now that we are taking pesos whats going to happen in society no one will ever know because the government is allowing things to happen and not doing much about it next thing that is going to happen is we are going to build a bank that saves pesos for foreign people or any other kind of money basically we are making a more living for them..It is not that easy for americans to start a buisness today becasue the government pays foreigns to build their buisness while americans fight with the government to get enough to open a buisness.

  19. my personal opinion on the matter of the pizza franchise accepting pesos is that if they want to have dealings with AMERICANS in a MEXICAN way, then they can move down across the border and handle tourists. america has a set currency, and any other way is not acceptable to the majority, which runs this country. immigrancy causes a lot of problems with american citizens because the lower class immigrants let themselves be worked to death for extremely little. what happened to the monroe doctrine???

  20. Why in hell would illegal aliens have pesos if they work here?Think about it people..

    • exactly. It’s for people that travel to and from Mexico or vice versa, and have extra mx currency that has value. Same thing if you are from France and travel to England with extra Euros that still have value.

  21. Brad, nice comment back to Scott.

    I am against Illegal Immigration, I wish our citizens would be the ones to take the jobs, but since we have rights, we know when we are getting screwed on pay and benefits and have the right to do something. Illegals dont… so why are we attacking them, its the freakin’ employers who are the problem. Lets enforce labor laws, and SUPER STRICT penalties on the employers. See, the rich owners dont have to live with them in their neighborhoods, so they dont care. Unfortunatlely, us in the middle and lower middle class do. And it is so much easier to scapegoat them since they are around in our cities. But who is the real culprit here? Why are we so friggin stupid??! It’s obvious where the problem lies…

  22. Let me answer part of Chris Cheney’s objection:
    I happened upon your site in my quest, spurred by patriotic (or not) outrage at the idea that merchants in my city (Dallas) have taken it upon themselves to nonchalantly change the acceptable form of legal tender in MY country. Not only is this outrageous, it is subversive, and this must stop.

    While US Currency is “legal tender for all debts public and private,” that does not mean that a person or business cannot accept other forms of payment for goods or services.

    In my city, there’s used to be a “barter network” in which businesses would exchange goods and services for other goods and services rather than money. If I, as a hypothetical business owner, were willing to accept eggs as payment for something, I could do that.

    Businesses in Mexico accept American dollars, why shouldnt our businesses do the same. It’s good business sense, since it will be attractive to their target market. Besides individuals and businesses exchange foreign and american currency every day. Why is this instance somehow different.

    It sounds more like a matter of paranoid xenophobia, than some conspiracy to take over America.

  23. Jesus! Talk about marketing gone wrong! This is just sickening…

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070111/D8MJ9A100.html

  24. I think this is an excellent idea. Some buinesses in US cities near the Canadian border such as Buffalo, NY accept Canadian Dollars. Canadian cities near the US border such as Toronto, ON accept US Dollars. Why should it not be the same in the states near the Mexican border?

    Pesos for Pizza is capitalism at its best!
    And YES they will be paying taxes on their Pizzas. Having worked in Buffalo in a company which accepted Canadian Dollars, the conversion was done ONLY after the NYS taxes where in the total.

    Martin

  25. David Johnston says:

    Much of the rest of the world welcomes US Dollars at their pizza joints. What is wrong with you people who are freaking out over this? It is a great idea!

  26. I’m an immigrant from south America. In my country in the big cities or tourist places there are business like restaurants, car rentals, hotels, designers clothing stores, etc, that take dollars and euros. And our national identity is still the same. In my country, English is mandatory in high school despite being Spanish our national language. I grew up listening to American music as well as music from my country. I even live in the USA and I love this country deeply.
    But my identity is the same as it was when I was back in my country. My country is still the same (for better or for worse, lol) as it’s ever been.
    So the business strategy of a pizza place is not going to change the national identity of this country. Please get something to do and stop complaining. I work hard everyday to have a decent life and I’m thankful for that to this great nation.
    Love and Peace for all. Happy 2007

  27. Amen Juan and David! Spot on! Finally some compassionate minds are entering this discussion!

    And sorry to sound like a marketing dork, but all this intolerance, that many Americans are showing towards this story, is really hurting our country’s brand. Couple this, with a another certain somebody, and you’ve got yourself one super low approval rating towards this country.

    However, I stay faithful… yet disappointed.

    Brad

  28. great idea for two reasons, how many places are there for you to spend any pesos you might have lying around, people might try the pizza just to get rid of spare currency and become retun customers if they like the taste. Secondly they have let all the blogs identify the racist scourge that flit around opining their hate.
    Go Pizza Patron, I have never tried their pizza but will now do so just to show my support.

  29. Janet Halper says:

    Hi:
    I was just in a discussion with some folks yesteday who were very dissatisfied with pizzas being paid for with pesos….and quite frustrated with
    Hispanics whom it was felt by the group did not choose to learn to speak English. (Proof of this not forthcoming)
    I totally disagreed with them and saw their reactions as being ones of uninformed and closed-minded individuals. So we had quite a heated discussion.

    I believe that they’ve forgotten how their parents and grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from other countries.
    However, at least the ten of us did talk, and perhaps one or two minds were changed…or at least some alternate opinions were being considered.

  30. From Matthew:

    “Pizza Patron makes it all too clear that they have no interest in serving American clientele of all backgrounds”

    Matthew, would you please explain your reasoning behind this statement? What proof do you have that confirms this alleged Pizza Patron philosophy?

    ——————

    However, one statement of yours has a great amount of truth to it…

    “I know nothing of marketing, but I do recognize a PR “backfire” when I see it.”

    Yes this has definitely turned into a “PR backfire.” I’m sure Pizza Patron, along with many other Americans, had no clue that there were so many culturally intolerant people in this country, and would have never dreamed of such a reaction.

    It’s sad really.

  31. I am a lawyer who lives and works in Dallas. I know nothing of marketing, but I do recognize a PR “backfire” when I see it. This is what I hear in the downtown Dallas legal/business community:
    Pizza Patron is a racist wart on the Dallas business landscape. Pizza Patron makes it all too clear that they have no interest in serving American clientele of all backgrounds, but prefer to cater to the “Hispanic community.” By declaring allegiance to one ethnicity, Pizza Patron (in a very small way) is contributing to the further balkanization of America. Pizza Patron turns the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” on its head, choosing to divide potential clientele along fractured ethnic and racial lines. Then again, Pizza Patron may not know the phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” as it appears on American currency, not Mexican Pesos. “Out of One, Many” should be Pizza Patron’s corporate motto.
    Since I am not a member of Pizza Patron’s preferred “community”—i.e., an exclusive cohort of illegal Mexicans and “Hispanics” (a politically expedient term that means nothing), I assume I am not welcome in Pizza Patron stores. In the proud tradition of Martin Luther King (and others who believe in a color-blind America) I will encourage my family, friends, church members, co-workers and partners to boycott Pizza Patron.
    Before you “target” one particular demographic group, you better make certain you are not alienating all others. Marketing executives should realize that there is a massive backlash against the further Mexicanization of America. Americans of all backgrounds–Polish, Japanese, English, Russian, Dutch, Sudanese, Congolese–are FED UP with Spanish-speaking immigrants who refuse to assimilate and American companies who cater to their language deficiency.

  32. “US Pizza FRanchise Accepts Payment in Peso’s from Spanish Patrons” Wouldn’t “Spainish Patrons” pay in Euro’s? Well I guess any free publicity is good publicity, unless it’s from the health department. Personally Icould care less if they want to take pesos for pizza-the way I see it, most people in the US who have pesos are probably back from vacation. I think it was simply a move that was made to get media attention, they must’ve been loco if they did not think it would backfire-especially in Texas.

  33. I know some people seem to be upset about this, but it does seem to be good for the business. I’d also point out that when I drive from Detroit to New York via Canada most of the restaurants along the Canadian roads take U.S. dollars. It’s just good business to accept money from the people passing by in the currency they have. The places in Canada generally offered a small premium on the current exchange rate for their trouble. It sure made my life easier.

  34. A couple of comments:

    - Spanish people earn in euros, not in pesos. Spanish people are people born in Spain. Hispanics earn salaries in a wide variety of currencies (almost as many as countries in Latin America). Mexicans working in Mexico earn in pesos. Also, the pizza place accepts payment in pesos from all patrons (even, e.g. Americans that went to Mexico and kept some unspent pesos), not only from “Spanish patrons”. This two facts make the title a very bad one by the way.

    - Regarding Mr. Williamson’s “smart” reply to Emily

    “I can’t imagine WHYYYYY I didn’t think to surf on over to http://www.jornada.unam.mx for the Spanish scoop!?!? I must have momentarily lost my mind”

    I can say that you can simple go to Google advanced search and type “pizza patron dallas” and in language, select “Spanish” and you will get the scoop. That reply was, in my opinion, totally inappropriate.

  35. Additional comments:

    - Regarding the I’m not quite sure how many Mexican customers will actually take Pizza Patron up on this opportunity because I’ve only seen this story reported in the English language, and therefore won’t reach their Spanish speaking audience”, I will remind you that some Mexicans do have a command of the English language (and for example, Mexicans working legally in the US with frequent travels to Mexico might have spare pesos to spend).

    - I’m inclined to the “no-brainer” position… after all, isn’t that what a bizMaverick is? “doing what it takes”?

  36. So many people were quick to conclude that this company’s idea to accept Mexican currency was going to contribute to illegal immigration in one way or another. The fact of the matter is that many families [Americans and legal immigrants] vacation in Mexico often and return to their homes in the U.S. with extra pesos in their pockets. My parents vacation in Mexico every year, and they always return to Dallas, TX with leftover pesos from their trip (as do most of my uncles and aunts) — all of whom work in the U.S. legally. Instead of bothering with exchanging their leftover pesos to U.S. currency, they would simply hold on to those extra pesos [usually about $10-20 bucks worth] and use them the next time they visited Mexico. There are so many families that do this, that it would make perfect sense to benefit from this opportunity.

    Let me add that I actually grew up in the Dallas neighborhood where the first Pizza Patron opened. That neighborhood was primarily made up of Hispanics and Blacks. Their pizza has always been popular in those communities because of the price point. The restaurant’s popularity grew because the pizza was decent and the prices were cheap (plain and simple). There were always both Hispanic and Black customers at the local Pizza Patron. The company’s idea to accept Mexican currency was not to ‘alienate the other demographic groups’ — it was simply a clever way to make a few extra sales and attract new customers.

  37. great info , thanx for sharing, great idea