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Ciao to U.S. chow: Domino’s Pizza quits Italy after locals shun American pies

August 10, 2022

Domino’s Pizza’s footprint in the Home of Pizza has proven to be short-lived—with Italians favoring local pies over the American version, reports Bloomberg.

After starting operations in Italy seven years ago, Domino’s now has closed all 29 branches nationwide. The company borrowed heavily on its plans to open 880 stores; but faced tough competition from local restaurants that expanded their delivery services during the pandemic. It finally sought protection from creditors after running out of cash and falling behind on its debt obligations.

The company already had reduced operations in the country from its peak in 2020 and stopped offering delivery from its website on July 29.

The U.S.-based chain entered Italy in 2015 through a franchising agreement with ePizza SpA and planned to distinguish itself by providing a structured national delivery service; along with American-style toppings, including pineapple.

“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 said in a report to investors accompanying its fourth-quarter 2021 results.

Still, the closures came as a surprise to some of its customers, who turned to the chain’s Italian social-media channels—questioning why their calls and orders weren’t going through or why their local store had shut.

Research contact: @Bloomberg