Domino Pizza's gamble that it could blanket Italy with its fast-food fast-delivery model has turned into a big loss, as its Italian franchise partner, ePizza, has filed for bankruptcy and closed all 34 stores. The closing, on Wednesday was sudden and unannounced.
The chain first opened in Italy in 2015. TravelGumbo has had an eye on this attempt at peddling mass-market chain pizza since it started, with a 2015 article that included a quote that the task was like "trying to sell ice to the Eskimos."
Domino's hoped that it could spread far and wide in the Italian market based on novelty (no local pizzerias were selling pineapple pizza, cheeseburger pizza and the like) and on delivery, also not a common practice among Italian pizzerias at the time.
By early 2020, the company had 28 stores and was so bullish that it announced it would open 800 more by 2030 as reported by TravelGumbo. At that point, the company was aiming for 2% of the Italian pizza market, second in the world to the United States. However, the pandemic saw not only the spread of delivery by nearly everyone, but especially by local pizza shops and delivery services.
By last week, it was over. All the shops were closed, and at least one advertised the opening soon of a restaurant specializing in piadina, small grilled flatbreads stuffed with various ingredients.