Pizza Patron: Serving the Hispanic market

02 Apr 2007|spalacios

Last week, ABC Nightline profiled Pizza Patron , a Dallas based pizza franchise, to highlight the interesting opportunities and conflicts that come with selling to Hispanics, particularly undocumented Hispanics in the U.S.

Some lessons that marketers can learn from Pizza Patron are:

1.) Innovative payment transactional models can be powerful for certain segments of the U.S. Hispanic market, this case accepting Mexican pesos. We have seen this in other examples, such as accepting partial cash payments in local branch offices;

2.) Cultural gestures can build extreme loyalty. Companies that have placed small Mexican flags in their windows, pictures of Mexican landmarks in their environments and now accepted pesos have seen marked increases in business;

3.) Globalization, and market integration post-NAFTA, will continue to provide incredible opportunities for innovation. This has been analyzed mostly from the perspective of Hispanics in the U.S., but in fact there are over 1 million U.S. citizens living in Mexico. There is an expectation that this number could exponentially grow, as baby boomers may start considering places like Baja California, Mexico instead of Florida. If this happens, innovation opportunities for real estate developers, medical and health care offerings, transportation, telecommunications will exist on a large scale.

As noted in the Nightline episode, there are anywhere between 9 million to 20 million (which is a very high estimate, perhaps unrealistic) undocumented immigrants in the U.S., most of whom are Hispanic and Mexican. Regardless of one’s politics on the undocumented population, they represent a large consumer group that has specific needs to be served. Many companies, like Pizza Patron, are inventing ways to serve them and gain market share and profits in the process. The efforts by these companies aren’t going unnoticed by immigration reform minded groups and individuals, who are opposed to offerings that serve undocumented immigrants. This tension will continue to grow in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, but opportunities for growth will exist in any instance.

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