Domino’s Pizza folding operations in Italy

The last 29 Domino’s branches in Italy have officially closed. The Financial Times reports Domino’s began operations in pizza’s motherland in 2015, but it was unable to deliver on its plan to eventually open 880 restaurants there.

Domino’s made an effort to use locally sourced Italian ingredients, and hoped to set itself apart from local competition by offering the then-extremely rare service of home delivery. It appears, however, that Italians just didn’t care to have their crust stuffed with authentic, beautifully marbled gorgonzola.

Also a problem: The pandemic opened up stiff competition in the delivery space, offering locals better pizza at home and leading the company’s Italian franchise partner, ePizza SpA, to file for bankruptcy in April.

Other American chains doing “Italian but worse” haven’t fared so poorly in the country, though. Starbucks has plans to open 26 more stores by the end of 2023, and last week, CEO Howard Schultz said the chain was flourishing there.