Domino's Pizza Gives Up on Italy

Chain has closed its last 13 stores in the country
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2022 6:18 PM CDT
Domino's Pizza Gives Up on Italy
Domino's had aimed to open 880 stores in Italy by 2030.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Domino's Pizza has abandoned its attempt to conquer Italy. The American chain—which borrowed heavily to finance an expansion into the birthplace of pizza in 2015—has closed its last 13 stores in the country, Bloomberg reports. The Michigan-based chain had originally planned to open 880 stores across Italy by 2030 as part of a franchising deal with ePizza SpA but the number peaked at 29. When the company opened its first Italian locations, it promised to use "purely Italian" ingredients, per CNBC, but it also hoped to win over Italians with American-style touches like pineapple on pizzas and cheese-filled crusts—along with a US-style delivery service.

Domino's domination plans, however, were foiled by steep growth in food courier apps in Italy in the years after its arrival, especially during the pandemic, when traditional pizzerias stepped up their own delivery services or made deals with companies like Deliveroo. When it reported its fourth-quarter results for 2021, ePizza cited a "significantly increased level of competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mom & pop’ restaurants delivering food." The firm filed for bankruptcy in April.

Domino's stopped delivery operations in Italy on July 29 but according to posts on social media, some customers were still surprised when their local stores shut down, reports Bloomberg. After the chain's exit from Italy was announced, it was mocked in the country's media for having believed it could compete in Italy's pizza market, Fortune reports. "Domino's is closing its Italian restaurants. Goodbye forever to Hawaiians with pineapple," said business news outlet Affari Italiani. (Read more Domino's Pizza stories.)

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