I live in New York, a city that didn’t invent pizza, but can certainly claim to have perfected it. Through no fault of my own, the closest pizza place to me is technically Domino’s, the delivery-centric chain capable of pumping out consistently okay pizza. Why anyone would order Domino’s in Brooklyn when there are so many superior options available is anyone’s guess. But at least the pizza joint’s presence in New York isn’t as nonsensical as their next big move.
Recently, Domino’s announced that it intends to open an astounding 850 locations throughout Italy over the next decade. Yes, we’re talking about the very birthplace of pizza. As Money.It notes, Domino’s already has a foothold in the boot-shaped country thanks to 28 current locations, mostly concentrated in northern Italy. However, this new goal would increase the company’s Italian presence by thirty-fold in the hopes of capturing a two percent market share when it comes to all of the country’s pizza.
Given that pizza is one of the most important elements of Italy’s rich and robust culinary heritage, reactions to the news have been pretty negative so far:
Dominos has announced that it will open over 800 pizzerias in ITALY over the next decade. It’s truly the end of civilization.
— Andrew Martino (@apmartino) January 9, 2020
Domino's in Italy? Is like, selling ice to eskimos... Authentic Italian pizza with fresh dough/ingredients is the top of the food chain (literally). Why would you ever order a Domino's Pizza (in the birthplace of Pizza) over the real thing? Should be some law against this. 🍕 ⛔ https://t.co/yOk1r6A0w4
— Cʜᴜᴄᴋ ᴅᴏᴜɢʟᴀs ✪ (@ChuckDouglas_) January 13, 2020
2021 Headlines, Dominos to close 880 pizza shops in Italy
— Lee Hathaway (@leehath1968) January 9, 2020
Though the effort by an American company to sell Italians on one of their own cultural products is audacious, it isn’t without recent precedent. Starbucks initially received a lukewarm reception when it tried to launch a splashy roastery location in Milan back in 2018 as well. However, it’s worth pointing out that this particular Starbucks has a 4.4 star rating on Google with more than 8,600 reviews to its credit, so maybe there is hope for Domino’s after all.
Still, Domino’s will face a steep uphill battle to convince Italians that they can be trusted to pump out pizza worthy of its birthplace. Just don’t be shocked if Italians end up buying more wings from Domino’s than pizza.