Author Topic: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad  (Read 4043 times)

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Offline SemperFi

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Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« on: January 15, 2007, 01:20:22 PM »
This topic is really making waves apparently.  Some say money is money, but if you are in America, you should pay in US dollars.  I could care less.  I have been stationed in Okinawa, PoHang S. Korea, Pattaya Beach Thailand, and nobody ever complained about taking US dollars from me there.  If the store owner doesn't mind having to convert the pesos back into US, then why should we?  Anyhoooo, thats my spin on it.  Beware, this is one volatile subject.  Adam

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/us/15Pizza.html?ex=1326517200&en=1d7116d4ec26c2f2&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Adam


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 04:37:43 PM »
Adam,

I have copied and pasted the article below before it disappears and the NYT asks to be paid to see it.

The Pizza Patron pizza chain operates in my back yard here in the Dallas area, where the immigration issue is at a fever pitch. I go to Mexico a few times a year and I invariably come back with pesos. I checked this afternoon, and I have about 125 pesos, or about $10 at the conversion rate used by Pizza Patron. I may use my pesos to try out their pizza. Their pizza has long been targeted to Hispanics, who now make up a sizable percent of the Texas population.

Here's the article:

DALLAS, Jan. 14 — Jose Ramirez and two friends stopped by a Pizza Patrón here after work on Thursday for a carry-out dinner. Mr. Ramirez, his jeans dusted with white chalk from the construction site, ordered a Hawaiian and La Patrona — a large with the works.

The pies cost him almost 220 big ones. Pesos, that is.

Mr. Ramirez, 20, received his change in American coins and said he liked the chain’s new “Pizza por Pesos” promotion. He had been in the United States for 15 days — his home is in Guanajuato, Mexico — and he wanted to spend the last of his Mexican currency.

“I just arrived,” he said in Spanish, smiling nervously. “It’s my first time here.”

The employees at this Pizza Patrón in East Dallas, one of 59 in five Southwestern and Western states, were still puzzling over the conversion rates almost a week after the chain started accepting peso bills on Jan. 8.

But the promotion has already hit a nerve in the nationwide immigration debate. The company’s Dallas headquarters received about 1,000 e-mail messages on Thursday alone. Some were supportive, but many called the idea unpatriotic, with messages like, “If you want to accept the peso, go to Mexico!” There were even a few death threats.

Antonio Swad, president and founder of Pizza Patrón, said he was surprised by the outcry.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting ‘pizza for pesos’ to become a touchstone for the immigration issue,” Mr. Swad said. It was nothing more than an effort to “reinforce our brand promise to be the premier Latino pizza chain,” he said. “We’re businessmen.”

“The Latino population is significant and it’s important,” Mr. Swad continued. “It’s here to stay. The United States is not going to be like it used to be; it’s going to be different, and it has an opportunity to be better.”

Mr. Swad, who is Italian-Lebanese and was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, did not speak Spanish when he opened his first take-out pizzeria in Dallas in 1986. But he saw a business opportunity in the growing Latino minority in his neighborhood, and the way his customers struggled to order in English.

A year later he changed the name from Pizza Pizza to Pizza Patrón, hired bilingual staff members and added items like La Mexicana, a pizza that includes spicy chorizo sausage and jalapeños.

Pizza Patrón became a franchise in 2003, and same-store sales were up more than 34 percent in the most recent quarter compared with last year, Mr. Swad said.

From 10 to 15 percent of business at his five Dallas pizzerias has been in pesos, he said. Despite the criticism, he said he would continue the promotion until the end of February as planned.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, a group that seeks to limit immigration, said he was concerned that Hispanics could create a parallel mainstream in the United States.

“It’s a trivial example, but Hispanics now have their own pizza chain,” Mr. Krikorian said. “It’s a consequence of having too many people arrive from a single foreign culture, and may well reflect a kind of cultural secession.”

John Echeveste, a co-founder of the Hispanic Public Relations Association, said he did not see the peso drive as a major business trend, but he did consider it a symbolic acknowledgment of the importance of the large and growing Hispanic market.

“Mexicans are spending U.S. dollars on their side of the border and vice versa,” Mr. Echeveste said. “It works both ways. From a marketing perspective you don’t really look at whether those people are illegal or not, you look at whether they have money.”

Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, an advocacy group, said the reaction of the e-mailers to the pizza promotion disturbed him.

“No one is trying to dis the U.S. dollar or offend U.S. citizens,” Mr. Wilkes said. “It’s time that the vast majority of Americans stand up and say, ‘This is hate speech; it should not be tolerated.’ ”

The Pizza Patrón on Ross Avenue in East Dallas is a few doors down from Casa Latina Cassettes and CD’s and a Fiesta supermarket. Accordion music from the Mexicana satellite radio station blares from tinny speakers above the door.

“They’ve been bringing in the old, old, old kinds of pesos,” said Jose Palacios, 31, the store’s general manager.

Those out-of-circulation bills are not accepted, and banks offer a slightly better rate than the chain’s set price of 12 pesos to the dollar.

“It’s for convenience,” Mr. Palacios said. “Most of Mexico’s people, they go in December to Mexico to celebrate and be with family. They come back and say, ‘Oh, I’ve got 200 pesos; what do I do with it?’ ”

Just before 8 p.m., the phone rang with another boycott announcement. “Next thing you know, we’re going to be raising Mexico’s flag,” the caller complained.

Jorge Delgado and Derek Byerly, surgical support technicians dressed in hospital scrubs, stopped by on their dinner break.

“I’m going to buy it with pesos,” joked Mr. Delgado, 20, as he opened the door. He and Mr. Byerly, 27, who is black, like to tease each other about racial stereotypes, he said.

But like almost all Pizza Patrón customers, Mr. Delgado paid with dollars.

The next day, Juan Rodriguez, a maintenance worker, picked up a pepperoni and mushroom pizza for lunch.

“I can pay with pesos?” he asked in Spanish.

Mr. Rodriguez, 43, had been to Mexico two weeks ago. “I’m going to Mexico a lot of times; it’s better for me,” he said of the peso promotion, switching to English. He said he did not understand the controversy: “I don’t know what is the problem.”



Offline SemperFi

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 04:41:05 PM »
Thank You Peter,

I debated doing that since they do have a time limit, but since I am still new, I am a tad passive about posting large articles.  I see that you were wise not to post a comment.  These days immigration is as volatile as Roe vs Wade.  Adam
Adam

Offline LabRat

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 05:08:55 PM »
Withoput spending a single peso, these guys got their name in newspapers and on TV all across the US and Mexico.  If its a publicity stunt, its a pretty damn good one!

Offline SemperFi

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 05:13:58 PM »
Never thought of that one.  Free publicity is always good I guess, unless something is in your food that shouldnt be there.
Adam

Offline don juan de pizza

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 03:01:16 AM »
Exactly, many shop owners in differnt countries gladly accept the US dollar when one makes purchases in their shops.  The pizza chain is just doing the same thing with pesos and that's it. Though it probably doesn't make a whole lot of financial sense (or at least it didn't used to with the peso meltdowns of years past), but the publicity they're getting not just U.S. wide, but internationally probably more than makes up for it. 

The owner Antonio Swad should stop beating around the bush and tell it like it really is.  He knew exactly what he was doing, anyone knows that this type of tie in with Mexico promotion would probably cause a some sort of nationalistic stir with all the long history of tension between Mexican immigrants and U.S. citizens in a southwestern state like Texas.  Though they probably didn't foresee how successful this type of promotional would turn out with all the free national and international media exposure they received.   

I wouldn't of even looked twice if I saw one of those places with that silly name and ugly logo in the LA area but now just to see what the big fuss is all about I may try it.  If anything people know who they are.  Of course if I do try it its not going to be anything worthwhile, but for the SO CAL area it may be alright. 

like Pete-zza is thinking of doing, In some other news article about the promotion many people are using those Mexican pesos they have lying around the house from their summer vacation to buy a pizza or two and getting rid of something that is only taking up space.  Some news stories sort of try and spin it into something more devious.  Maybe I'm not seeing the angle here but I don't think this promotion is going to send a surge of people running down hills or racing through deserts from Mexico just to try a slice of pizza ;D like some other news story want to imply.


If somebody has anything to complain about is that if you look through there website, there is sort of double standard when it comes to promoting diversity.  In every picture on their website everyone has the 'general Latino look' of tanned skin, short and stocky.  Strangely everyone has the same hue of tanned skin.   
   
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 03:03:22 AM by don juan de pizza »

Offline Jack

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2007, 10:22:44 AM »
Exactly, many shop owners in differnt countries gladly accept the US dollar when one makes purchases in their shops.   

Exactly!  I've been all over the world on business and have encountered very few places that would not accept dollars, typically other major currencies too.  The exchange rate may be tantamount to rape if they think they can get away with it, but they will accept it, if you will. <grin>

Personally, I see no issue with any business accepting other currencies.  They are selling a product and how they are paid is their prerogative.  If you want to move to a different forum and discuss English as a second language in the USA however. . . . .

Jack

p.s. - If I've stepped over the line with my final comment, please feel free to report and/or delete my post.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 10:25:18 AM by Jack »

Offline Bruce R Leech

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2007, 10:19:02 AM »
I live and make Pizzas in Mexico. southern Baja Ca. to be exact. and we except money from all over the world as do most business here. I have always wondered why the USA is the only place that wont take anything but US dollars.

Offline abc

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2007, 09:16:07 PM »
I live and make Pizzas in Mexico. southern Baja Ca. to be exact. and we except money from all over the world as do most business here. I have always wondered why the USA is the only place that wont take anything but US dollars.

might be because the USD has enjoyed many many many, yrs of being the defacto world currency and thus generations of Americans have been born into and grown up with this being the case.   It's like English being the language taught in many non-english speaking countries... thanks to US's position in the world since being a super power.

Offline pizzafanachick

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 03:56:34 PM »
My first post--don't beat me up :P  Just a thought, however....I live in a region of the country where illegals are almost beating out us citizens.  In my neighborhood alone 8 out of 10 houses are owned by legal immagrants, and at least 3 out those 10 are rented out to illegals.  In our town illegals are earning at least $10/hr for their trade, whereas legal citizens are often earning $6-8/hr with the same or even superior education level.

The police find themselves with their hands tied.  This is not an argument for or against the immigration issue.....just that the American public is so adament about this kind of issue due to people living in similar conditions.  When I travel to France, Mexico or Canada I am not doing so illegally (although when I am in a different country I exchange funds).  And yes, I do realize most South Americans are also not here illegally.....but it is a big point in US politics right now.

I think a lot of Northern Americans are offended with this right now because of the big issue of illegals.  I also think that countries who are not dealing with this percentage of illegals entering their country have no clue what economic effect it really has.  THAT is why most countries accept US dollars...but the US may not accept foriegn dollars.  Not the only reason, by far, but a partial reason.  IE, I think part of the reason is that most working class companies are not willing to train their workers  well enough to translate the money from other countries.


Offline Shagravcho

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Re: Pizza Chain Takes Pesos, Americans mad
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 10:46:36 AM »
I'm from Europe originally and no, we don't accept anything but our own currency which is not Euro. If you go to a store and you want to pay with USD or even Euro, they won't accept it. I don't think US should accept Peso just because there are so many Mexicans are here, or if that's not the case, only they see business, US should also accept the other 1000 currencies which is out there in the World... Why just Peso? Americans are offended that many comes to this country and doesn't take any effort to learn the language or try to fit in, they expect Americans to learn their language and nowadays even many government forms, the driving tests is in Spanish, they have their own everything! Americans are offended because they think Hispanics are here to take over America!


 

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