Domino’s tried to sell pizza to Italians. It failed

Seven years after its debut in the country, the American pizza giant has formally closed its stores after it failed to win over locals who preferred homemade alternatives, according to a report by Milano Today.
EPizza SpA, the franchise operator of Domino’s (DMPZF) brand in Italy, filed for bankruptcy in April after it struggled to sell enough during two years of pandemic restrictions, according to a document filed in a Milan court.
The company halted operations at all Domino̵[ads1]7;s stores on July 20, according to a report by Food Service, an Italian food industry publication.

While some may attribute Domino’s failure to its brazen attempt to infiltrate pizza’s homeland with American cuisine, ePizza said it fizzled out due to competition from food delivery apps.

The Milan-based company faced “unprecedented competition” from local restaurants that started using services such as Glovo, Just Eat and Deliveroo during the pandemic, the lawsuit said.

Domino’s said in a document attached to the lawsuit that ePizza’s problems last year were the result of “significantly increased competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mom and pop’ restaurants delivering food to survive.”

It said it had problems too once pandemic restrictions were eased and consumers began visiting seating again.

The court in Milan had given the company a deadline of 90 days, during which the creditors were not allowed to demand repayment or take the assets. It expired at the beginning of July.

Domino’s had high hopes when they moved into the Italian market in 2015, signing a 10-year franchise agreement with ePizza. It planned to introduce a large-scale pizza delivery service to the country, which was absent at the time, the lawsuit said.

At the start of 2020, ePizza managed 23 stores in Italy and six more through a sub-franchise partner.

Neither Domino’s nor ePizza immediately responded to CNN Business’ request for comment.

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