When Competing with Italians...
… never underestimate their love for authentic Italian pizza.
In 2015 Domino’s Pizza had ambitious plans when they expanded to Italy; they wanted to capture a 2 % market share and open 880 restaurants. After only seven years, Domino’s closed all 29 locations and exited the ‘Country of Pizza’.
When Domino’s entered Italy, the future looked bright for the American Pizza giant. Their unique differentiator was home delivery, which was not common in 2015. Italians loved to go out and enjoy a pizza in a local eatery. Then Covid hit, and Italian pizzerias soon introduced home delivery by collaborating with services like Just Eat and Deliveroo. Domino’s didn’t consider that local competitors would catch up. The pandemic sped up innovation, and Domino’s unique value evaporated.
When expanding to a new country, offering unique value is very powerful but never rest on your laurels. The competition is watching and what is unique today may be common tomorrow.
One more thing to remember: NEVER compete with Italian pizza!