January 09, 2007

Latino Pizza Chain Accepts Pesos

Update: video



Who's assimilating who? Coming to a Denver pizza joint near you:
A pizza chain catering to Latino customers has started accepting Mexican currency in all of its restaurants, including two in Colorado.

Pizza Patrón Inc. on Monday launched a two-month test that will allow customers to pay for their purchases with pesos. Dallas-based Pizza Patrón has locations in Aurora and Lakewood and will open at third store in Denver's Montbello neighborhood later this month.

The chain caters to Latino customers by hiring bilingual employees and listing its menus in both English and Spanish. The carry-out pizza shops also play contemporary Latino music and are brightly decorated to appeal to Latino customers.

"A lot of our customers travel regularly between the U.S. and Mexico, either to visit family or to do business, and they oftentimes have pesos left in their drawer or in their pockets," said Pizza Patrón spokesman Andy Gamm.
. . .
Experts say it's unusual to see a company operating outside a U.S.-Mexican border town accepting pesos. But Janina Calderon-Ferguson, president of Calderon Hispanic Marketing in Lakewood, called it a smart marketing move.

Even if only a small portion of Pizza Patrón customers opt to pay with pesos, its willingness to accept the currency will create significant goodwill among Latino customers, she said.

"More than being a convenience, it makes people feel like they're in Mexico to have that option. It feels like home," she said.
Yes, I'm sure the vast majority of those with leftover pesos are those who "travel regularly between the U.S. and Mexico". I have some leftover Euros and British pounds from last year, and a whole stash of Chinese renminbi from 2001, are those accepted too?

Didn't think so.

I'm sure that many Latino pizza lovers are turned off by chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut with all their "english" signage. They only feel comfortable ordering a pizza in Spanish, while feeling "like they're in Mexico"? Marketing, no. Reverse assimilation, you betcha.

Saw this first at Moonbattery, though that story only included those franchises around Dallas.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Gina said...

"A lot of our customers travel regularly between the U.S. and Mexico, either to visit family or to do business, and they oftentimes have pesos left in their drawer or in their pockets," said Pizza Patrón spokesman Andy Gamm.

Visit family and do business? Doesn't he mean immigrate illegally?

Tue Jan 09, 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous piboulder said...

To gina:

Not necessarily. They could do it legally, if they have a legal visa to begin with. If they're U.S. citizens, they could visit Mexico legally as well.

It's a unique idea, but I just don't know how successful it will be. Stores and restaurants up in the northern states have had a policy for years that they do not accept Canadian currency, even though plenty of travellers want to use it, because they have some left over. If this would work out well, I think someone else would've tried it a long time ago.

The main trouble that I see with it is pesos are not legal tender in the U.S. Pizza Patron is for all intents and purposes accepting scrip. I'm sure they do business in dollars, buying their supplies. So they have to pay a bank a fee to convert their pesos to dollars, and they'll get whatever is the conversion rate at the time. So they have an incentive to convert their pesos quickly. If the peso falls against the dollar they lose money.

Personally I see it as a publicity stunt. They're making a political statement, and they're trying to attract Latino customers at the same time.

Wed Jan 10, 11:23:00 PM  

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