Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Pizza Place to Take Mexican Pesos For Pizza
You may have heard the story kicking about the talk shows and the internet about the South Western Pizza chain that has announced that they will be taking US dollars as well as Mexican Pesos as payment for their pizzas?
In some circles this is causing quite a nativist outrage. Upstanding Americans are crying "anti-Americanism" against this pizza chain, Pizza Patron, which has stores in Southern Arizona, Southern California and other areas of the USA close to the Mexican border.
It seems the natural charge to make against the chain in this day of heightened sensitivity against illegal immigration. But, if one takes a little bit of time to think about this with a bit of reason, one might come to feel this story is just a humbug of a story.
The Pizza chain folks, for their part, are claiming they are surprised at the attention they are getting. I find TAHT claim a bit disingenuous. As I said, we ARE in a heightened sensitivity over immigration, after all. Still, I heard the public info office of the chain on the radio yesterday wondering what all the hullabaloo was about?
Reuters, reporting in a story titled "Texas-based pizza chain accepts Mexican pesos", gives us the public stance of Pizza Patron.
"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.
OK, not a delicate promotion they have, to be sure. But, let's think about this for a second.
Many countries, for instance, have business that accepts several different currencies. Especially when they are near border areas or cater to a specific foreign clientele. It isn't unusual... though it is a tad unusual in the United States. (Since our currency is often considered a world currency, it isn't common for Americans to accept foreign money, to be sure. And, I don't want to speak out of turn, but there may even be some laws against usage or foreign currency for debts in the USA.)
Point two: is that this is purely a business decision. i support business more often than not and feel this company has a right to adopt this practice if they feel it will improve their bottom line.
Point three: I'd bet that they stop doing this after a time. Consider that it takes nearly 12 Pesos to make up one US Dollar. That mean a 9 dollar pizza will cost nearly 100 Pesos! That means these stores will have giant buckets of these practically worthless Pesos that they will have to handle and take to exchange. I think this company will find it way more trouble than it is worth to take these Pesos. So, in the end, all the notoriety they get will be for naught.
I have to end up coming down on this story with a big "so what"?