MILAN – When a pizza with pineapple meets a traditional Margherita, the one with pineapple – at least in Italy, the home of pizza – hours are numbered. She went wrong at Domino’s pizza, US giant of pizzerias with home delivery, which officially raised the white flag in our country by closing all stores: the 29 branches of the brand still present in Italy were headed by a concessionaire, ePizza Spa, which declared bankruptcy. As part of an insolvency procedure, explains the Financial Times, was granted 90-day judicial protection from its creditors, which prevented them from seeking repayments or seizing company assets, which expired last month. The official statements read that “the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent prolonged restrictions have seriously damaged ePizza”, but the president and largest shareholder Marcello Bottoli refused to comment when contacted by the FT.
Having landed in Italy in 2015, the US chain – famous abroad also for its “non-traditional” pizza toppings – had opened stores in Milan, Turin, Bergamo, Bologna, Rome, and the Veneto. According to the latest annual reports collected by Bloomberg the Italian company had 10.6 million euros in debt at the end of 2020. To complicate the expansion plans of the group, which aimed to open 900 stores by 2030, would have been the pandemic, with the enormous growth of competition in the food delivery sector.
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A $ 14 billion listed behemoth on Wall Street
Born in 1960 from brothers Tom And James Monaghan, over the years Domino’s Pizza has become a giant of catering today listed on Wall Street. In 1998 the private equity fund Bain Capitalthen led by the future Republican candidate for the White house Mitt Romney, he had taken over 93% of the company from Tom Monaghan for close to a billion dollars. At current market prices, the company has a capitalization of over $ 14 billion.
A trademark, that of dominoes, actually the son of a play on words The first restaurant acquired, in fact, bore the name – Dominick’s Pizza – of its owner Dominick DeVarti. Five years after taking over the business, and with three restaurants under their belt, the Monaghan brothers set out in search of a new name as DeVarti was not willing to give him his for other stores. The idea of switching from Dominick DeVarti to Domino came from a delivery boy and was welcomed by the owners. As for the three dots on the logo patch, it was Tom Monaghan himself in 2003 who gave an explanation. “I decided to put three dots on the Domino because we had three stores, and every time we created a new one, we would add a dot. You can see that at the time I didn’t think I would create a national chain.”