When you think of pizza, Italy might spring to mind, but global restaurant chain Domino's had plans to change that by attempting to infiltrate the Italian market.
Unfortunately for them, locals didn't take too well to the American-style delicacy and the food chain was forced to close its stores across the country.
Domino's launched in the pizza's founding nation in 2015. By 2020, there were 23 outlets managed by Franchise holder ePizza SpA, the BBC reported.
Another six stores were reportedly run through sub-franchising, according to the bankruptcy documents, but today there are none after EPizza SpA filed for bankruptcy.
'Made no sense' to locals
The people of Rome didn't seem too bothered by Domino's Pizza's demise though, in fact, many had never heard of it.
When quizzed about his thoughts on the store closures on the streets of Rome, one man said, "Who is Domino? Do you know him?"
"So they wanted to take pizza to the place where it was invented," he said in Italian, after learning of Domino's intentions.
"Americans understand nothing," he added while laughing.
Some shrugged their shoulders, ignorant of the global pizza chain.
Others said it "made no sense" to introduce American-style pizza into the Italian market.
"I'm not surprised they failed," another Roman said
Online mockery: 'Madness'
The fast food chain's expansion attempt was also ridiculed online.
"Trying to open Dominos Pizza in Italy is like trying to sell snow in the North Pole," political commentator Alicia Smith tweeted, and others agreed.
Columnist Laurie Macfarlane said on Tuesday that it's "hilarious to think that Dominos thought they could conquer Italy".
"Did they actually compare their distinctly-average-but-extortionate pizzas to an authentic Napoletana?" he tweeted, calling the move "madness."
Pizza chain disrupted by Covid restrictions
According to reports, coronavirus restrictions "seriously damaged ePizza", financially forcing them into bankruptcy.
The company reportedly said it faced increasing competition as traditional restaurants started using delivery apps.
According to the ABC, the company had big plans to open 880 stores and control about 2 per cent of the Italian pizza market by 2030.
"There's a lot of pizza, but there's not a lot of delivered pizza," Domino's chief executive Patrick Doyle reportedly said at the time.
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