The brains behind Domino’s global strategy have overseen the first of what they warn will be several locations of the chain in Italy: The city of Milan got the inaugural outpost, and there are supposed to be four total by year’s end. That’s four more than any other American pizza chain dares to open. “No major American pizza brand has successfully entered the market,” the president of Domino’s International clarifies. “We’re going where no major pizza brand has gone before.”
This is called really having faith in your product. Pizza Hut, which can be found on every permanently occupied continent, has said before, “Italy does not fit with our global brand story.” Domino’s, which recently unleashed a crust filled with globs of mozzarella and peanut sauce, says the Italian recipes were created to fit Italian tastes. The ingredients — things like prosciutto di Parma, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana — are locally sourced, and the pizzas themselves don’t budge beyond the nationally proven styles of margherita, Sicilian, and Neapolitan. (No honey-Sriracha insanity over here.)
Snide remarks about cheap, bad pizza invading Italy aside, Domino’s is right to think it will have at least one upper hand: Italians don’t really do pizza chains or takeout, and they’re definitely untapped as far as gimmicky emoji pizza ordering goes. But Domino’s should probably lower its ambitions first and master the basics, like what constitutes a real crust.