The multinational fast food giant has closed the last of its Italian branches, making its final delivery on July 29th, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning no official announcement had been made by Domino’s representatives, but Italy has been removed from its map of international markets.
A New York Times correspondent who visited one former Domino’s site in Rome found it closed down and bearing a poster advertising a forthcoming piadineria (an Italian stuffed flat bread) franchise.
Searches for Domino’s Rome, Turin and Parma outlets via the company’s Italian site on Wednesday morning simply brought up the messages ‘SU-SA CLOSED’; its lone stores in Verona and outside Milan read “WE APOLOGIZE, BUT THE STORE NEAR YOUR LOCATION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.”
The response from Italians on social media leaned heavily towards schadenfreude.
— italians mad at food (@ItalianComments) August 8, 2022
“Who would have thought Domino’s pizza wouldn’t have worked in Italy,” read one sarcastic tweet.
“So much the better, they’re not pizzas!,” wrote another.
— Edmond Dantes (@EdmondD06561791) August 10, 2022
A select few were disappointed, however.
“Sorry but I’m mad that Domino’s Pizza’s closing in all of Italy. I loved their four cheese pizza,” wrote one commentator (to the consternation of at least one respondent).
Ma scusate però io nera che dominos pizza chiude in tutta Italia. Amavo la loro quattro formaggi
— Fréd consegne a domicilio (@FredPitalBass) August 8, 2022
Domino’s first entered the Italian market in 2015, and before the coronavirus pandemic had plans to open over 800 stores, taking on debt to bring them to fruition.
But the global health crisis dramatically shifted the on-demand food landscape in Italy as small restaurant owners had to quickly adapt to a delivery model to avoid going out of business.
As a result, Domino’s found itself faced with much stiffer competition than it had reckoned on.
Court filings show in April the company sought and was granted 90-day protection against creditors from a Milan court, which expired on July 1st, according to Bloomberg.
Its most recent annual report shows the company was €10.6 million in debt at the end of 2020.