A Target For Tom Tancredo

Texas-based pizza chain accepts Mexican pesos

A Dallas-based pizza chain which caters to the Hispanic community is accepting the Mexican currency at all of its 59 U.S. stores starting on Monday, giving the greenback some unusual competition at the cash register.

“Unlike many other businesses for us it makes sense. Our stores are located in predominately Hispanic communities and so the majority of our customers are Hispanic,” said Andrew Gamm, director of brand development for Pizza Patron.

“We know that a large number of them travel back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico and consequently have some pesos left over in their pocket. The pizza business is extremely competitive and we thought this was a way to position ourselves in relation to our competitors,” he told Reuters.

Actually, this seems like an ingenious way to both attract attention to your chain, as well as capitalize on a market that is probably underexploited. In a situation like this, it doesn’t matter if they’re only doing 1% of their business in pesos, the brand loyalty it creates as it curries favor amongst Mexican immigrants could make it more than worth their while. They could even extend it further, and attempt to gain favor with libertarians by accepting the Liberty Dollar.

But it’s also a bit of a dangerous time to be doing it, with the rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric coming in the US.

But against the backdrop of rising anti-Hispanic tensions as America grapples with an estimated 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants, there are some who do not regard it as a harmless marketing gimmick.

“This is America, We speak English and our currency is the U.S. dollar. I will no longer visit your restaurant due to your demonstrated inability to assimilate into the culture of this country,” said one irate former customer in an e-mail sent to Pizza Patron on Monday morning.

Given that they operate in Tom Tancredo’s home state of Colorado (among others), I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try to craft legislation to fight these guys. A company like this is trying to out-compete in a tough industry by offering services their competitors haven’t yet thought of. And yet they’ll catch hell from political and media demagogues looking to work average Americans into a lather over the “invaders from the south”.