The dominos have fallen for Domino’s Pizza in Italy.
The Michigan-based chain is leaving after seven years of struggling sales in the country where pizza originated.
The American brand partnered with the Italian business ePizza SpA with plans to open 880 total stores across Italy with American-style delivery and American toppings like pineapple.
Italian pizzerias, however, pivoted to delivery apps like Deliveroo and Glovo, undercutting the Domino’s Pizza strategy.
This problem became especially acute during the pandemic when deliveries spiked, and continued once pandemic restrictions were lifted for other restaurants in Italy.
“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,” ePizza SpA said in a report to investors quoted by Bloomberg.
The chain had already stopped offering delivery in Italy via its website on July 29.
Court protection for ePizza SpA from creditors ended on July 1, although there has been no further legal action regarding that company’s debts.
At its peak in 2020, the ePizza SpA operation ran 23 stores throughout Italy.
When news of Domino’s leaving Italy hit social media, wags japed that trying to sell the Americanized product in the birthplace of pizza was a bold move.