Pizza, especially when it’s free, isn’t usually controversial, but a promotion by a Southwestern pizza chain targeting Spanish-speaking customers is drawing tremendous online backlash.
On June 5, from 5 to 8 pm, customers who order in Spanish at Pizza Patrón will receive a free large pepperoni pie, but not everyone will be lining up for the giveaway.
“No thank you for your racist promotion…the native language in the USA is English…I will never order food from you again,” Kathy Williams wrote on the chain’s Facebook page.
“We English speaking Americans RESENT this offer……….You won’t be getting MY MONEY, I will guarantee you that,” Jody King wrote.
Andrew Gamm, the brand director for Pizza Patrón, said the promotion is meant to be fun for all customers and won’t exclude people who aren’t Spanish speakers.
“If you don’t speak Spanish, come on in. We’ll give you the phrase and make sure everyone that shows up walks away with a pizza,” Gamm said.
He said he expects the chain will give away 80,000 pies.
It’s not the first time the pizza chain, which caters to a predominantly Latino market, has had this much backlash. In 2007, the chain briefly accepted pesos as payment for pizza.