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Carluccio’s in administration as 2,000 employees await fate

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Carluccio's Grand Arcade diner and coffee shop is closed
Carluccio's Grand Arcade diner and coffee shop is closed

Carluccio’s, the Italian restaurant chain, has gone into administration, shutting 71 UK outlets including the one in Cambridge’s Grand Arcade.

“The directors made the decision to place the company into administration after a sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the broader issues currently facing the UK’s retail and hospitality sector,” reports specialist business advisory firm FRP, which is handling the possible sale - or temporary mothballing - of the brand. “This meant the company faced significant cashflow pressures and as a result was ultimately unable to meet its financial obligations as they were due.”

Carluccio’s had already closed its doors in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A message on its website said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing teams and suppliers, who have worked tirelessly to keep us going to this point. Their incredible understanding and support throughout a challenging few days has meant more than we can articulate. And, of course, a huge thank you to you, our guests, who are the reason Carluccio’s is here today.

“Thank for your loyalty over the past two decades, for dining with us over the past few weeks, and for all of your messages of support.”

Founder Antonio Carluccio in happier times at his restaurant in The Arc, Bury
Founder Antonio Carluccio in happier times at his restaurant in The Arc, Bury

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “We are operating in unprecedented times and the issues currently facing the hospitality sector following the onset of Covid-19 are well documented. In the absence of being able to continue to trade Carluccio’s, in the short term, we are urgently focused on the options available to preserve the future of the business and protect its employees.

“We welcome the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and look forward to working with HMRC to access the support it provides for companies in administration and their employees.

“As this fast-moving situation progresses we will remain in regular communication with all employees and key stakeholders, and will provide a further update in due course.”

The majority of the group’s 2,000 employees are expected to be paid through the government’s staff retention scheme while the options - a full sale, partial sale involving parts of the company being sold off ie some sites, or a stay utilising government support until trading conditions improve. The scheme allows for employees to be paid for up to 80 per cent of their salary.

Both the Cambridge restaurant and Carluccio’s London headquarters were unavailable for comment at the time of posting.

Interested parties should contact clengagementteam@frpadvisory.com.

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