Italians Wonder: Is It a Pizza, or an Act of War?

f there’s one thing Italians know, it’s pizza. They invented it; they claim to be the only ones who know how to make it today; and they will guard its reputation zealously. So when an American franchise chain decides to challenge the pizza supremacy of the Italians, you know there’s going to be fireworks — and probably some calzone, cannoli, and little red wine, too. Gotta keep your strength up, right?

Italians are no strangers to Domino’s Pizza — a brand they recognize as ubiquitous in the United States, but one that has managed to only open twenty-eight stores in Magna Italia in the past five years. That works out to around five new stores each year since arriving. But the CEO of Dominos in Italy, Alessandro Lazzaroni, has thrown down the gauntlet by recently announcing to possible new franchise owners that he wants to open about a hundred new stores a year for the next ten years.

The Dominos website assures Italians it uses only Italian grown durum wheat for its dough and cheeses from within the borders of the country.

Still, the uproar on social media over this so-called ‘invasion’ has been vociferous. Thousands of posts complain that bringing more Dominos to Italy is like bringing more sand to the beach.

But even dyed-in-the-wool adversaries reluctantly admit that the Dominos brand is doing quite well in Italy. It remains to be seen if eating a Domino’s pizza in Italy is viewed as a meal, or as treason . . .