Despite Death Threats, Pizza Patron To Continue Taking Pesos

DALLAS, March 5 /PRNewswire/ — Pizza Patron, the premier Latino pizza brand, announced today they will continue to accept Mexican pesos at all of their locations through the end of April despite intense opposition. The chain drew international attention and sparked heated debate when they refused to withdraw their controversial “Pizza por Pesos(TM)” program.

International news coverage included the CBC in Canada, the BBC in London, the New York Times, CNN Prime News, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo and Univision as well as thousands of websites and newspapers across the country. The promotion’s broad exposure fueled passionate public reaction, which included many hate-filled emails and phone calls, and even some death threats.

“What began as a sound business decision to create a unique experience in our stores and offer an added convenience to our customers quickly evolved into a national debate on illegal immigration,” said Andrew Gamm, director of Brand Development for Pizza Patron. “We have taken a lot of heat over this program, but we make no apologies for reaching out to serve our core Hispanic customer better.”

During the first two months of the program, Pizza Patron saw same-store sales increase more than 35% over the same period last year citing “Pizza por Pesos(TM)” as one of the major contributing factors.

“This program reinforces the brand promise we have kept for more than 20 years with our core Hispanic customer, which simply stated, says, “We are here for you,” said Antonio Swad, founder and CEO of Pizza Patron. “It’s true that we have been highly criticized over this, but the positive support we have received from the communities we serve far outweighs the negative public reaction. Our guests are thrilled with this service, and our sales for January and February demonstrate that. What we set out to do, we are doing: making Pizza Patron a better choice for our customers than any of our competitors.”

About Pizza Patron

Pizza Patron was founded by Antonio Swad in 1986. Since franchising began in March 2003, the brand has gone from four locations in Dallas to 63 in five states, with more than 40 under development. Pizza Patron features fun and festive pizza stores that are community-based in Spanish-speaking or predominately Hispanic neighborhoods. In 2006 Pizza Patron successfully introduced new products like Patron Dippers(TM) and Fiesta Wings(TM), and rolled-out their “Lista(R)” (ready now) pizza program nationally. In addition, Pizza Patron has developed a dine-in store model, the Pizza Patron Rapidito (airports/malls) model, the “Tiendita” (portable mini-store extension) and their “Lista(R)” Drive-thru concept. All pizza dough is made fresh throughout the evening; no preservatives are added or needed. The sauce is prepared fresh in the stores from crushed Roma tomatoes and only 100% mozzarella is used. Whole and half pizzas are offered at prices as low as $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping and . 49 for the same half pizza. A large ‘La Patrona’ pizza with everything is only . 99. For more information, visit Pizza Patron

Web site: