No Frills Mandates Spanish At South Omaha Store
Store Will Pay For Managers, Others To Learn Language
OMAHA, Neb. -- A new policy at a local supermarket has some shoppers upset.
No Frills on 36th and Q streets is asking some employees to learn Spanish so they can help customers who only speak that language. No Frills said it made the decision purely based on the bottom line. Spanish-speaking managers can cater to the large contingent of south Omaha Spanish speaking clients, but the policy is getting a mixed reaction from shoppers.
No Frills Manager Dick O'Donnell said he decided a few years back to brush up on his Spanish. He figured doing so would help him with the store's growing number of Latino shoppers. Store managers said at least two-thirds of customers at the store speak Spanish, and for years it has carried a large collection of Hispanic groceries, so this is the next logical step.
"You can help people so much with just small problems that they have, with our customer service counter, or if they're looking for something, or directions to some place.," O'Donnell said.
Now, No Frills is making Spanish mandatory for all managers, pharmacists and butchers at the store on 36th and Q. The company will pay for all classes, including overtime. Managers who don't want to learn Spanish have the option of transferring to other stores. No other No Frills locations are included in the mandate.
"This is not a political issue at all, this strictly taking care of business," said No Frills President Rich Juro.
With the country abuzz over illegal immigration, the new policy doesn't please all No Frills shoppers. One told KETV NewsWatch 7 he thinks immigrants should learn English.
Despite the comments, No Frills said a little bit of Spanish will go a long way toward better customer service.