According to reports, Domino’s Pizza’s remaining locations in Italy have been closed after the company that ran its outlets in the nation declared bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, which broke the story first, franchisee ePizza SpA was affected by the pandemic.
Since its debut in the birthplace of pizza in 2015, Domino’s has failed to gain traction. Some social media users cheered the fast food giant’s departure from the country.
EPizza SpA originally declared bankruptcy in early April, citing coronavirus restrictions.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent and prolonged restrictions from a financial point of view have seriously damaged ePizza,” the company said.
The company also stated that it was facing increased competition as traditional eateries began to use delivery applications. As part of the bankruptcy process, the company was granted 90 days of protection from its creditors. However, that protection expired last month.
The Italian company has already begun to reduce its business from its peak in 2020, with deliveries ceasing at the end of July. According to the bankruptcy proceedings, the company directly managed 23 locations in Italy as of 2020, with another six stores handled through sub-franchising.
In comparison, the United Kingdom and Ireland have over 1,200 Domino’s locations, making it Europe’s largest Domino’s market.
The world’s largest pizza business operates approximately 18,300 shops in over 90 worldwide regions, the majority of which are run by franchisees.
When Domino’s first arrived in Italy seven years ago, it tried to differentiate itself from the country’s traditional pizza producers by offering a comprehensive home delivery service and a menu that included US-style toppings like pineapple.
During the pandemic, however, it faced rising competition as local restaurants joined food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat.
Some social media users applauded Domino’s decision to leave the home of pizza.
“I’ve always wondered how Domino’s could survive in New Jersey, let alone Italy,” journalist Dave Jamieson tweeted.
Another Twitter user, Alicia Smith, joked that opening a Domino’s in Italy is akin to attempting to sell snow in the North Pole.
Domino’s Pizza and ePizza SpA did not reply promptly to BBC inquiries for comment.
(Adapted from BBC.com)