Italy’s largest pizza restaurant says it is closing its doors after more than a year of operations
Rome (AP) Italy’s biggest pizza chain, Pizzeria Napoletana, is closing up shop after more then a year in business, blaming rising rents and the financial crisis for the decision.
The chain is in talks with its creditors, but the announcement could further complicate its efforts to return to profitability, analysts say.
The move by the chain is a significant blow to a business that had seen revenue grow by over 200 percent in the last year, and was valued at more than $1 billion by Italian authorities, a business magazine said.
It said the closure was “a blow to the community” but added that the company is trying to make good on a deal with the state for its restaurants in Italy.
“Our company, and the Italian public, are our priority,” the Pizzario Napolettana website said.
“But the economic and financial situation of our country is complicated and complex.”
“It is not enough to continue to serve our customers.
They need to have access to quality food and drink.
This is our aim.”
It is unclear how many restaurants Pizzaro Napoletsa currently operates in Italy, which was founded in 1999 and has more than 100 outlets.
The company is facing a mounting legal bill, as well as a string of food safety problems in Italy in recent years.
Italian courts have sentenced dozens of restaurant owners and workers to prison terms in recent months in cases including contamination of food and staff with drugs, underlining the precarious financial position of some Italian restaurants.
Italy has been in a state of crisis since the start of the financial crash in 2009.