If you're trying to sell American pizza to Italians, you may be in for a rough ride. At least that's what the world's biggest pizza chain just learned, as fierce competition in the country that invented the beloved food forced it to throw in the towel.
After seven years in Italy, Domino's announced that it is closing all 29 locations in the country, according to Bloomberg. Domino's originally entered the pizza capital of the world in 2015 with a franchising agreement with ePizza SpA, a company that ended up filing for bankruptcy in April 2022, blaming pandemic-related restrictions.
"The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent and prolonged restrictions from a financial point of view have seriously damaged ePizza," the company told BBC.
Domino's initially planned to dominate the Italian market by offering deliveries in a country where the service wasn't common. It also offered a vast variety of American pizza toppings, like pineapple, which stood out from the traditional pizza the local market was saturated with.
But when the pandemic hit, and other pizza spots also turned to deliveries, making the competition even tougher.
"We attribute the issue to the significantly increased level of competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and mom&pop restaurants delivering food, to service and restaurants reopening post pandemic and consumers out and about with revenge spending," ePizza says in an investor report regarding its fourth quarter 2021 results.
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Apparently, Domino's couldn't compete with the local 63,000 Italian pizza spots. While news of Domino's Italian demise is being heralded by Italians on social media (one tweeted that opening Domino's in Italy was comparable to trying to sell snow in the North Pole), Americans can rejoice knowing their favorite pizza chain isn't going away anytime soon. We remain devoted to our cheesy crusts and pineapple pizzas.