Pizza Patrón, a pizza chain based in Dallas, serves pizza to a largely Hispanic client base, and 70% of its patrons are Spanish-speaking. In order to appeal to the Hispanic community, the chain of 104 stores offered a free pepperoni pizza to anyone who asked for it in Spanish. The "Pizza Por Favor" ("Pizza Please") promotion, which was limited to June 5th between 5 and 8 p.m., was expected to give away as many as 80,000 pizzas.
The amount of controversy this innocuous-seeming promotion stirred up is surprising but, at the same time, it is also telling in that the mere suggestion of using Spanish over English is a genuinely heated issue. Though the pizza chain sees this as an inclusive outreach, some see it as exclusionary. Ultimately, every brand and every retailer who wish to win over the coveted Hispanic shopper segment will have to decide which side of this issue they are on. They will have to decide whether they want to overtly court Hispanics and risk earning the ire of those who would feel left out or covertly appeal to them by trying to minimize exclusionary language and offers.
"Pizza Patron's Free Deal for Spanish Orders Raises Eyebrows," USA Today, 5/22/12 www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2012-05-22/free-pizza-order-in-spanish/55143404/1