Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's Corp. has agreed to form a joint venture with Fazoli's Systems Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based casual Italian chain, to develop 20 to 30 Fazoli's restaurants in three U.S. markets. The joint venture will take over management of the existing Fazoli's market in Denver and will introduce the brand in two new markets, which have not been announced.

Earlier, McDonald's said that the deal fits with its strategy to broaden the types of food it offers and the restaurants it operates, giving consumers a variety of dining experiences. In addition to its well-known burger franchises, McDonald's also owns and operates Boston Market and Donatos Pizzeria restaurants, and holds a majority interest in Chipotle, a Mexican fast-food concept. -Crain's Chicago Business