December 11, 2012

¿Inglés o Español?

By Kathleen Furore, editor

El Restaurante Mexicano

“Should my ad be in English or Spanish?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked that question since launching el Restaurante Mexicano magazine in 1997. And while the market has evolved and grown significantly since those early days, the way I answer that question hasn’t changed much at all.

My short response is always, “Go with English.”

That advice is based on conversations with myriad readers and advertisers with whom I’ve interacted over the past 15+ years. While many of our readers are Hispanic (some first, even more second and third generation), most of them speak English—at least enough to get by. The catch is there are owners, operators, and chefs who can’t read a word of Spanish (and that’s especially true as more non-Hispanics enter this growing industry segment). That means you might miss a large number of potential customers with an all-Spanish ad.

My more nuanced answer: “Go with English, but let readers know if you have someone on staff who can speak Spanish. And if you have room, including both won’t hurt.”

Just adding “Hablamos Español” assures readers who DO prefer Spanish they will be able to communicate in the language they speak most proficiently. And including some Spanish also demonstrates to everyone who sees your ad that you recognize and respect the Hispanic language and culture. Those messages combined create a definite competitive plus.

Kathleen Furore is the editor of el Restaurante Mexicano. Do you have comments about this article? She would love to hear them. Please contact her at, or 708-267-0023.

December 11, 2012