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Pizza Patron Offers Free Pizza if You Order in Spanish

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 29, 2012 6:03 AM

Order in Spanish, get a free pizza. That's the gist of Pizza Patron's Spanish marketing ploy, which it has named "Pizza Por Favor." On the evening of June 5, all patrons who order a pizza in Spanish will get a free pepperoni pie.

The advertising campaign has been drawing criticism from all sides. Marcela Gomez, president of Hispanic Marketing Group, even thinks it's discrimination.

This blogger thinks she's probably right.

Approximately 70% of Pizza Patron's clientele is Spanish-speaking, brand director Andrew Gamm told USA Today. The company is "trying to make [its] bond with the Hispanic community stronger" through this campaign.

This is a fine goal, but the execution is legally flawed. By rewarding people who order pizza in Spanish, Pizza Patron is arguably extending a benefit to the Hispanic community without also fully extending it to everyone else. Patrons can use broken Spanish, according to the paper, but there are still many non-Hispanic people who can't even do that.

Even in Texas, where the company is based.

In a nutshell, Pizza Patron is rewarding people for their ethnicity and cultural background. Discrimination laws prohibit such conduct from businesses open to the public.

Now, there is a way to fix Pizza Patron's Spanish promotion. Jose Miguel Dominguez, who owns four franchises, is willing to teach his customers. "[A]ll you need to learn is 'por favor,'" he told KHOU-TV. "Pizza" is the same in Spanish.

If Pizza Patron wants to stay out of trouble for its promotional stunt, then all of its franchisees should probably follow Dominguez's lead. Employees should be ready to help customers order pizza in Spanish.

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