It’s a black pie for Domino’s Pizza. After teaming with a local business seven years ago to introduce the brand in Italy, the chain’s last restaurant in the gastronomic home of pizza is closing, according to Bloomberg News.
The U.S. company partnered with a franchiser, ePizza SpA, to open the first Domino’s in Milan in 2015, announcing that “we’re going where no major pizza brand has gone before.” EPizza would go on to open 28 more Domino’s outlets in the country and planned to open hundreds more, the news service reported.
It was the sort of arrangement — American know-how in food delivery and Italian expertise in a cherished national dish — that may have looked good on paper.
But ePizza faced mounting competition from Italian pizza makers and delivery services, especially when COVID-19 shut down restaurants in Italy in 2020, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, ePizza’s promise to use “100% tomato sauce and mozzarella” appears not to have captured the hearts and palates of enough Italians to remain competitive in the land credited with inventing the cherished national dish.
“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, Bloomberg reported.
A Domino’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.