As new concepts rush to capture specific niches in the growing fast-casual segment, one frontier remains unclaimed: fast-casual Italian. Sure, pasta and panini players have come and gone, but industry observers say such concepts are too narrowly focused, making them incapable of replicating the category leadership of a Chipotle Mexican Grill in the Mexican space or Panera Bread among bakery-cafes. And even as chains battle for domination of the fast-casual sandwich, burger, Asian, ...

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