Domino’s Pizza Admits Epic Defeat

Domino's Pizza has admitted to an epic failure. The pizza chain has announced it has failed to succeed in the Italian market.

By Kristi Eckert | Published

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Domino’s has just admitted to an epic defeat. Just seven years after entering the Italian market as EPizza SpA, Domino’s announced that it would be terminating all of its operations in Italy. It officially closed all of its stores at the end of July.

Domino’s has cited the overarching cause for its withdrawal from Italy as challenges that arose during the height of the pandemic. The company said it had been unable to recover from those challenges. Still, there is some room for speculation. Speaking from personal opinion, and I’m really letting the fact that I was raised in the northeast next to New York City show here, Domino’s is not real pizza. It’s a greasy chain option suitable for late-night cravings, and even that is stretching it. Thus, for Domino’s to have the audacity to think it could successfully infiltrate the birthplace of pizza is pretty presumptuous. 

Moreover, not only is Italy the birthplace of pizza, but Italians’ palettes are exceedingly different than those of most people from the United States. Much of the cuisine that is native to the United States is characterized by immense portions and not-so-healthy ingredients. Case and point – hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese, just to name a few. Whereas in Italy, the Mediterranean diet is chock full of fresh ingredients. Domino’s doesn’t exactly fit that bill. Thus, from that angle, it is unsurprising that the chain failed to penetrate the Italian market in a meaningful way. 

All that said, much of that was just personal conjecture. Do with it what you will. Domino’s, though, has remained steadfast in its assertion that it failed to capture the appetites of Italians because the pandemic severely stunted its growth there. The pizza chain made specific reference to the rise in popularity of numerous food delivery services during the pandemic’s height. Dominio’s said that this was the primary area they were looking to succeed in, but because the market became so competitive so rapidly the company failed to stand out and gain sufficient traction among their customer base. The company pointed to services such as Glovo, Just Eat and Deliveroo as their main competition. These services are equivalent to the likes of DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats here in the United States. 

Interestingly enough, even though Domino’s was pushed out of the Italian market over “unprecedented competition” from food delivery services, those same services are struggling, too. As pandemic restrictions have eased, people have resumed in-person shopping and dining and are relying less on delivery services. Thus, as Domino’s pulls outs of the country, local food delivery services are contracting their businesses as they aim to adjust to the massive decline in business. 

All in all, Domino’s couldn’t make it in Italy but they are doing just fine in the United States. After making a historic comeback from an all-time low for the business back in the early 2000s, the chain has garnered a loyal following.  The chain’s promotional and staple deals do well to attract many folks on a tight budget. This is especially true now, given that inflation has put a chokehold around the average individual’s wallet. Although I might add, that still doesn’t make it real pizza.