The last Domino’s Pizza restaurant in Italy closed after the company operating its outlets in the country went bankrupt. Franchise owners are impacted by the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.
Domino’s has been struggling to win customers in Italy since 2015, when it launched in the Italian market. The franchisee first filed for bankruptcy in early April after its business was hit by coronavirus restrictions.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent and prolonged financial restrictions have severely affected ePizza,” the company said.
The company also says it faces increasing competition as brick-and-mortar restaurants start using delivery apps.
As part of the bankruptcy process, the company gets protection from its creditors for 90 days. However, the protection ended last month. The Italian company has reduced its activity, and deliveries stopped at the end of July.
In 2020, the company directly managed 23 points of sale in Italy, and another six points of work were managed through sub-franchises, according to the document.
By comparison, the UK and Ireland have more than 1,200 stores, making it the largest Domino’s market in Europe. The world’s largest pizzeria chain has more than 18,300 stores in more than 90 international markets, most of which are managed as franchises.
When it entered Italy seven years ago, Domino’s aimed to differentiate itself from the country’s traditional pizza makers with a full home delivery service and signature menu that includes American-style recipes.
The news of Domino’s departure from Italy was welcomed by several social media users. “Always wondered how Domino’s managed to survive in New Jersey, let alone Italy,” tweeted journalist Dave Jamieson. Another Twitter user, Alicia Smith, noted that opening Domino’s in Italy was like trying to sell snow in the Arctic.
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