Domino’s Pizza Plots Italy Expansion, and Italians Have Feelings About It
Italy has given the world so many wonderful culinary wonders from espresso to pizza. And recently, America has been giving them right back. In 2018, Starbucks raised some Italian eyebrows by opening its first location in the country that inspired the chain. And now, traditionalists have something new to scoff at after Domino’s is apparently eyeing a major Italian expansion.
Domino’s isn’t new to Italy: The company first entered the original home of pizza back in 2015 and currently has 28 locations in the country, according to The Local, but that five-store-per-year expansion rate is set to explode: Alessandro Lazzaroni, CEO of Domino's in Italy, told potential franchisees that the chain is looking to open 850 stores over the next decade, the financial site Money.it reported – a number that would give the American-based brand 2 percent of Italy’s pizza market.
To be fair to Domino’s, it’s not like they are targeting Italy specifically: As Money.it points out, the chain currently has around 16,000 locations across 85 countries. Based on that math, you could make the argument that Domino’s has been slow to infiltrate Italy.
Additionally, Domino’s Italian website assures customers that the recipe “has been designed specifically for the Italian market, with a product that respects tradition, top quality ingredients and a dough that is subjected to a maturation of at least 48 hours, so as to be good and also highly digestible. Compliance with the Italian pizza recipe is also ensured by the use of sourdough from the durum wheat flour of the Altamura bread. This yeast gives an exclusive fragrance to Domino's pizza in Italy.” Heck, it sounds like Domino’s should bring their Italian pizza recipe to the United States!
Still, that hasn’t kept Italians on social media from complaining (because what else is social media good for!) The Local found examples of Facebook users calling the expansion like “selling ice to Eskimos” or “bringing sand to the beach.” And yet, it’s not like Domino’s doesn’t know what they’re doing: They already have 28 stores there, so clearly, those must be doing well to warrant opening hundreds more. “It's already here in Piacenza and sadly it's pretty popular!” another commenter was quoted as saying. Hey, it’s not like the beach ever runs out of room for more sand!