Domino's Pizza ran into a big issue with its attempt to enter the Italian market that might not surprise many. According to Food & Wine, the Michigan-based pizza chain is no longer in operation in Italy after franchise operator ePizza SpA filed for bankruptcy.
After filing in April, the company closed all Domino's locations in July. This information was likely out there, but it is also odd to have a pizza chain in Italy and expect people to eat there.
Arrivederci Dominos! https://t.co/84yDh70R75— Food & Wine (@foodandwine) August 12, 2022
ePizza SpA blamed COVID-19 and government restrictions in the pandemic for making Domino's non-viable operations. Food & Wine adds that the popularity of other food delivery services also contributed to the impact on Domino's and its franchisee.
"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 SpA wrote to investors
Domino's has been in Italy since 2015, establishing the chain as distinct from traditional pizza restaurants by offering delivery. The original goal was to expand to 880 restaurants by 2030, but the franchise only mustered 40 stores that all stopped operating in July.
When the first restaurant opened in Milan in October 2015, Alessandro Lazzaroni, as a master franchisee, felt it would succeed due to the quality of service and products. "We've created our own recipe [...] with Italian products, like 100 percent tomato sauce and mozzarella, and products like Prosciutto di Parma, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, and Mozzarella di bufala Campana, products that we purchase from carefully selected Italian suppliers," he said.
Alas, the plan did not work out and contributing factors exacerbated the situation. Domino's Italian campaign is no more, which is not a surprise for the locals. According to Reuters, the idea of Domino's over any other pizza in Italy was tough to comprehend.
"There was no point in opening it...we were talking about it just this morning," a Bologna resident told the news organization. "It didn't make sense. Maybe an American pizza chain would have made sense for tourists, but for an Italian, it doesn't make sense. It's like me going to England and making fish and chips, it doesn't make sense."