The silent end of Domino’s pizza in Italy

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Domino’s pizza in Italy it is no longer there: it vanished on the sly, closing all the stores one at a time, and finally making the site and the app not working; but without an official announcement, without clarity indeed leaving many customers with orders placed and not delivered, and finally denying the state of affairs up to the last on social media, and promising reopening shortly. The American dream of a pop pizza delivered comfortably at home goes away, and you can also guess why: delivery, which just yesterday was the future, today is the present if not the past. But maybe that’s not all.

In recent days, someone reported the news of the closure of Domino’s: the support pieces were available no less than on the same site of ePizza, the company that manages franchising the Domino’s brand for Italy. On closer inspection, however, there is something strange: the document reports an instance of ePizza at the Bankruptcy Court of Milan, and the interlocutory response of the same court. But the request is not for bankruptcy proceedings, but for “protective measures” of the assets: in practice, the company, given the debts it is unable to pay, asks that creditors not be able to declare it bankrupt or attack its capital with executive measures (yes can do, a decree law of 2021 on the protection of companies allows it). Furthermore, the request is dated 1 April 2022 and the response of the Court – which asked for the documents to be integrated quickly – a week later. It is imagined that in the meantime the thing has gone ahead from a judicial point of view, and for this reason, looking for official sources, we waited a moment before giving the news. However, we have not received any answers either from the communication agency of ePizza-Domino’s Italia (which has not worked for them for some time), nor at the moment from partisan lawyers, or from Domino’s social channels.

The substance, however, is that: just take a tour in the comments of the same Domino’s Facebook pageor try to do aordering from the app or site. Many points of sale have been removed from the map, others are there but are not operational, still others by clicking on them take orders only until July 29 (?!).

Domino's pizza site

Domino's pizza site

Domino's pizza site

In short, the ship appears to be without a helmsman, and perhaps even without a crew. Nevertheless, in theapplication to the Court in April we talk about the protection of own assets aimed at an imminent future relaunch. And a couple of weeks ago, under the last Facebook post dated July 13, the account responded blow for blow to customers who complained of closures in various cities, assuring: “we hope to be back soon”, “we’ll be back” , “Soon” and so on.

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But from the comments it seems that this is not the case: everyone reports closed stores, even those not officially declared; and someone is still waiting for an order placed a week ago … Of course, the Domino’s account has also stopped responding for a few days, while someone else insinuates references to incorrect behavior even towards employees: “So all the crests you did on Rol, holidays and games with paychecks weren’t enough?”.

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The adventure of Domino’s Pizza Italia thus begins a sad and silent end: as often happens in the food sector, the openings are with great fanfare and the closings with the favor of darkness. However, retracing the short history of ePizza, which brought Domino’s to Italy, we can understand a few things. It is a story reported by the company itself in great detail in the application presented to the Court of Milan: from the establishment of the company at the beginning of 2015 to the obtaining of the franchise of the well-known brand in March of the same year, from the opening of the first store in Milan in October 2015 to the expansion with 10 pizzerias in Milan itself, from opening in other Italian cities such as Rome, Bologna and Turin to the peak of early 2020. Immediately before the pandemic Domino’s Italia has 29 “pizzerias”, 23 under management direct and 6 in sub-franchising. Among the creators, co-founder and CEO is Alessandro Lazzaronilong-time food area manager, who at the end of 2020 will switch to the helm of Burger King Italia and has recently left the US fast food to take the reins of Crazy Pizza di Briatore.

Two years later, the numbers are similar even if the composition is slightly different and is affected by the crisis that has already begun: 11 directly managed stores, 13 in sub-franchising and 3 for rent. Here she is crisis: the internal reconstruction attributes it to pandemic, with prolonged restrictions and closures on the one hand, and competition in the delivery field on the other. In short, ePizza seems to say: before it was only us who made the home deliverynow that they started making them they all ate slices of the market.

And yet. On the one hand, it could be argued that Domino’s should have exploited the advantage of those who first occupied a sector and mastered its technology, had it been in good health and with an excellent reputation on the market at the beginning of the pandemic. But above all, you can see one thing, rereading the numbers carefully: 29 points of sale at the peak of success, and after 5 years of activity, certainly do not tell of a triumphal ride. For a industrial chain which has its strengths in widespread distribution and high numbers, are modest figures: just think that a local chain such as Pizzium has reached 31 pizzerias, and historical names of artisanal origins such as Sorbillo they travel just under 20 locals. In short, Domino’s should have smashed everything, but it didn’t: the pandemic has nothing to do with it, it’s just an excuse, the flop was earlier. Because?

One could simply conclude that “these things don’t work for us”: there is some truth but it is not always true, McDonald’s for decades and Starbucks have recently been teaching it. Of course we are not America, most of the catering is still in the hands of individual companies and not chains and big brands, but it does not necessarily work a priori. Perhaps the point is specifically about pizza: as we have had the opportunity to tell, the differences between Italy and the US on pizza they are not just of taste – the problem is not pineapple in short – but of conception and structure, both on the part of the sellers and the customers. Too bad though: we will miss Domino’s pizza (lol).


The article is in Italian

Tags: silent Dominos pizza Italy