Although Americans crave penne, bruschetta and cannoli as well as convenient and quick culinary options, operators seeking to marry the two desires into expandable Italian fast-casual concepts are feeling some indigestion.While operators still view the niche for Italian-inspired food in a fast-casual format as underserved and new such concepts continue to debut, growth among many players—with the exception of those whose menus focus on pizza—has been stymied by operational, competitive and ...

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