El Pinto Files PROTEST to City of Albuquerque

La_Posta_truckEl Pinto has filed a formal protest to the City of Albuquerque on the recommendation to grant the food and beverage concession at the Albuquerque International Sunport to a competitor. El Pinto has been voted time and time again by the people of Albuquerque as one of the best restaurants in the city and is an ambassador sharing the love for distinctive New Mexican food since 1962 to visitors coming to our great city. Locating an El Pinto restaurant in the Sunport will do nothing but further the love of visitors for New Mexico's blue skies and green chile.

The protest is based on key misrepresentations and scoring irregularities that are misguiding the recommendation committee and may misguide the actions of City Council and the Mayor on the approval of this concession. The complete protest letter can be found here (caution 3.3 meg file). The key points are the following:

1) El Pinto and our partner Grove, Inc. will provide $700,000 more than the competitor in capital improvements at the Sunport and approximately $2.9 million more in revenues to the City over the life of the lease ($2.44 million is guaranteed). The citizens of Albuquerque who are facing cuts in city services should speak out to your City Councilor and Mayor Berry to question why a great community partner like El Pinto whose proposal is guaranteeing $2.44 million more in revenue to the city not being recommended. The people of Albuquerque are at risk of leaving significant money on the table at a time when budget needs and budget cuts are effecting everyone. If you don't know who your City Councilor is, you can find emails and information here.

Salsa Twins When Younger2) El Pinto was penalized for our inexperience operating restaurants. One evaluator commented the El Pinto/Grove Inc. partnership only had experience in "fast food/not sit down" and had "no experience in full service restaurants." Nearly everyone in Albuquerque knows El Pinto seats thousands of guests each night. As a matter of fact, we can seat over 1,000 guests at one time, employ a staff of 235 people and have been in business for nearly 50 years. Although we have guests standing many nights in the lobby with a line going out the door, they are all waiting for their seat to enjoy distinctive New Mexican food.

3) If City Council approves the recommendation nearly ALL Food and Beverage Concessions, amounting to 85%+ of Food and Beverage Sales, occurring at the Sunport will be with one company. Public documents from the Albuquerque Sunport show Fresquez controls over 82% of all food revenues in the Sunport this year already. Get Document Here. The citizens of Albuquerque, across New Mexico, and tourists to our great State should not face a monopoly on food and drinks in the Sunport. It isn't good for the City or for the consumer.

4) If City Council accepts this recommendation, jobs will be lost, guaranteed. The El Pinto/Grove. Inc. partnership is a strong one that will generate a guaranteed $2.44 million more revenue to city coffers than the competitor. We are only able to generate that revenue through high quality service, higher quality staff, and higher purchases of foods and services. That means jobs for the people of Albuquerque! We will provide more jobs directly through El Pinto and indirectly through our vendors. The additional $2.44 million that goes to the city in revenue, will keep police, fire, and civil servants working, keep salaries up, and keep programs off the chopping block. Dollars like this turn within the community multiple times.

El Pinto needs your help now to make a difference if you want to be welcomed home with El Pinto red and green when you arrive in the Sunport. We have never asked our supporters in Albuquerque and beyond to do something like this before, but unless City Council and the Mayor's office hear from you now, all could be lost. El Pinto has grown up with New Mexico and helped to put New Mexican cuisine on the map. We have helped to share the love for red and green chile with visitors from around the world. Working with the City of Albuquerque at the Sunport will be a great honor for us, and we want to treat visitors to our city with the best service and a proper Taste of New Mexico. It is unfortunate City Council and the Mayor's office is receiving a recommendation that has inaccurate information in it.

You will make a difference by doing one of the following:
1) Write a letter to the editor at the Albuquerque Journal and explain why El Pinto is a great restaurant for the Sunport.
2) Contact your City Councilor by phone or email and tell him/her why El Pinto should introduce visitors to New Mexican cuisine.
3) Contact Mayor Berry at mayorberry@cabq.gov or at the Mayor's Office and let him know what you would do with an extra $2.44 million.

4) Email us direct at elpinto@elpinto.com so we can hear from you and share your comments. It will encourage us.

Thank you,

John & Jim Thomas
The Salsa Twins

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