Did you know that you can get a free pepperoni pie from the Dallas-based chain Pizza Patrón? All you have to do is order in Spanish on June 5 (or, as it is traditionally known in Mexico, Cinco de Junio).
Even though Pizza Patrón is specifically marketed towards Hispanic customers (its slogan is, Más Pizza, Menos Dinero), some easily-offended, humorless, or immigration-panicked people are complaining, as Bruce Horovitz of USA Today reported:
“Maybe they thought it was a cute thing to do, but I think it’s discrimination,” says Marcela Gomez, president of Hispanic Marketing Group, a Latino marketing firm in Nashville. “As an advertising agency, I would never recommend this to my client.”
One conservative group doesn’t like it, either. “It seems to punish people who can’t speak Spanish, and I resent that,” says Peter Thomas, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, which advocates English as the nation’s spoken language. “In public areas, people should be speaking English, and that includes pizza parlors.”
But Andrew Gamm, brand director at Pizza Patrón, says it’s all about creating a buzz within the brand’s target market: Hispanics. He says 70% of its customer base is Spanish-speaking. “It makes perfect sense for us,” Gamm says. “We’re trying to make our bond with the Hispanic community stronger.”
Even Russia Today, of all places, delivered an extensive recap of the controversy.
But here’s the thing: it’s not like you have to walk up to one of the thirty Texas locations on June 5, the day of the promotion, and utter a long sentence with a perfectly conjugated subjunctive verb. As Horovitz noted, “It can be broken Spanish. It can be first-time Spanish. But it has to be Spanish.”
In other words, “Yo quiero pizza,” would suffice, if that weren’t Taco Bell’s bit.
“I can teach you how to do it, [just] say ‘pizza por favor,’” Houston Pizza Patrón franchisee Jose Miguel Dominguez told KHOU. “Pizza is universal in every language so all you really need to learn is ‘por favor.’”
Still, for those who remain intimidated or inconvenienced by the prospect of two words en español (that’s Spanish for “in Spanish”), we offer you ten handy phrases that will surely get you fed for free. Just add “pizza” to the end of each one:
1. “Donde está la biblioteca?”
2. “¡Ay, caramba!”
3. “Que Sera, Sera.”
4. “Y tu mamá también.”
5. “Vaya con Dios.”
6. “La cucaracha, la cucaracha.”
7. “George Lopez.”
8. “George P. Bush.”
10. “Hey baby, que paso?/Won’t you give uno beso? Y una pizza.”
If you’re not willing to use these, then you’ll just have to pay $4.99 to get your pie. Or seventy pesos. Yes, that’s right: Pizza Patrón also accepts Mexican currency.