Domino’s operates restaurants in dozens of countries around the world, but Italy is no longer one of them. As CNN Business reports, the chain has closed its last Italian location after facing rejection in pizza's birthplace.
Domino’s had big plans when it first infiltrated the Italian market in 2015. Though their pies aren’t exactly authentic, the company believed its delivery options would give them an edge over artisan pizza makers. It also tailored its recipe to Italian tastes, featuring a fermented sourdough crust and local ingredients like Grana Padano cheese and prosciutto di parma.
Despite skepticism from pizza connoisseurs, the chain’s Italian rollout wasn’t disastrous. Domino’s had opened 28 locations in the country by early 2020, and it aimed to bring an additional 850 stores to the market by 2030. These goals were quickly curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many businesses in the food industry, Domino’s in Italy was hurt by social distancing measures.
The chain had delivery to fall back on, but ironically, this became less of an asset during the pandemic. Many competing restaurants began offering delivery options for the first time, and Domino’s straight-to-your door pies were no longer a novelty. According to the company, increased competition in this space is what did them in—not Italy’s distaste for American pizza.
After shrinking its Italian footprint over the last two years, Domino’s shuttered its final location in the country at the end of July. The chain was unable to take over the world’s pizza capital, but its mission could have gone much worse. Taco Bell has twice tried to establish a presence in Mexico, and failed miserably each time.
[h/t CNN Business]