Say it ain’t dough: Even pizza isn’t immune fromthe crusty economy. “The downturn is definitely affecting us,” admitsPeter Cooperstein, a Pizza Expo regular whose 11 Amici’s East CoastPizzerias in Northern California have suffered same-store salesdeclines in part because corporate pizza parties are getting sliced.Pizza Expo EVP Bill Oakley acknowledges the concern among the 10,000operators expected this year, but still believes the “drop-down effect”– diners opting for a nice pizzeria rather than a fancier Italianrestaurant — will cushion the industry. A stretch? Maybe, but it can’tcompare to Bruno Di Fabio, whose 39.9-inch dough stretch last year wonthe World Pizza Games, an annual highlight of the Expo. — DL
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