VALLEY BIZ BLOG: Free Pizza If You Order In Spanish

All seven Rio Grande Valley locations for Pizza Patron are participating in a June 5th promotion to give away a free pepperoni pizza to customers who order in Spanish.

Did someone say FREE PIZZA??? Just saying those two words get people TMs ears to perk up.

The Pizza Patron chain knows how to play on that.

On Tuesday, June 5th, the Dallas-based company is giving away a free pepperoni pizza to customers who order in Spanish.

Customers must use the phrase Pizza Por Favor in their order between 5 and 8 p.m. on that day.

There is a limit of ONE free pizza per customer.

The Tuesday morning announcement set off a firestorm of controversy on blogs and websites.

Many English-only advocates were upset and angry that the Latino-themed pizza chain would use Spanish in such a way in a marketing campaign.

But Pizza Patron is not backing down. In fact, they TMre probably enjoying the free publicity.

The company first courted controversy a few years ago when they announced that they would accept Mexican pesos as payment for pizza.

Pizza Patron still accepts pesos at all 102 locations in Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Florida.

Action 4 News spoke to different locations across the Rio Grande Valley.

They said all seven locations in Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission and Rio Grande City will honor the June 5th free pizza promotion.

Pizza Patron Press Release

DALLAS, TX, May 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- On Tuesday, June 5th from 5pm to 8pm, Pizza Patron is launching its PIZZA POR FAVOR(TM) event at restaurants nationwide. Every customer that orders in Spanish will receive a free large pepperoni pizza, which is the company's top-selling product. Free pizzas are limited to one per customer between 5pm and 8pm, at participating locations, while supplies last.

PIZZA POR FAVOR(TM) is the first of three 2012 campaigns the company has planned to celebrate the brand's Hispanic focus and honor the positive force of change immigrants have made in communities throughout America.

"Free product promotions have been around for a long time," said Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patron, "but I've never heard of any company rewarding guests for speaking Spanish. For us, PIZZA POR FAVOR(TM) makes great business sense -- it is an opportunity for us to strengthen the relationship we have with our core customer."

Collateral materials for the promotion feature the word PIZZA spelled with a "C" resulting in text that reads PICZA POR FAVOR(TM) (pronounced "PEEK-ZA"). Company officials say many of Pizza Patron's corporate staff members pronounce words like PIZZA as PICZA or PEPSI as PECSI.

"Nearly half of our corporate staff says PICZA ('PEEK-ZA') instead of PIZZA," says Gamm. "And when we dug a little deeper, we soon realized that a good number of our Hispanic customers also say PICZA ('PEEK-ZA') too. We thought it would be fun to incorporate that cultural component into the campaign."

Pizza Patron gained notoriety in 2007 when company executives received threats over its PIZZA POR PESOS(R) program -- the decision to accept Mexican pesos at all of its U.S. locations. The company continues to accept Mexican pesos (bills only) as a form of payment, providing change in U.S. dollars.

Pizza Patron is headquartered in Dallas with 104 locations in 7 states and more than 80 under development. Franchise opportunities, offering a proven system for hard-working franchisee candidates, are available in prime Hispanic markets throughout the country.

A typical Pizza Patron is a carry out location, located in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, with a footprint of about 1,200 square feet. Pizza Patron also has branded restaurant models for any real estate option including inline drive-thru, dine-in or carry out models as well as non-traditional sites like airports and campuses.

Pizza Patron units require an all-in investment of $199,300 to $464,000 per store with a franchise fee of $20,000.

About Pizza Patron Since 1986, Pizza Patron has been committed to making its promise of "Mas Pizza. Menos Dinero.(R)" a reality for every customer. From the beginning, the brand has been recognized for its 'fresh-dough' pizza, its low prices and its trademark "friendly, bicultural service." In 2007, the company drew international media attention when it decided to accept Mexican Pesos at all of its restaurants, gaining over 500 million media impressions in the U.S. alone.

Today, Pizza Patron is the nation's premier Latino pizza brand and remains dedicated to bringing its unique experience to life with every pizza made, and in every community it serves.

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